When Valibhav Vohra ’07 thinks about his life’s journey, about how he has grown through the years, he always thinks back to where that journey began: Babson College.
“Babson has had a very large role to play,” says Vohra, who lives in Delhi, India, and is the managing director of Continental Carriers, a global logistics management provider.
So, when Vohra heard about Make Your Mark last year, he thought about his journey and where it has led him, and he decided to give back. “Giving something back to Babson is always on my mind,” he says. “I feel like contributing toward the journey of others at Babson in some way.”
Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 8, kicks off this year’s edition of Make Your Mark, the annual day of giving for the Babson community. It is the College’s most important fundraising day of the year.
Starting at noon EDT and lasting for 36 hours, Make Your Mark invites the Babson community to donate a gift of any amount to make an impact on the College and its students. It is an effort that spans the world. Last year, 2,358 donors from 41 states and 41 countries participated in Make Your Mark.
“Make Your Mark is about building community,” says Edward Chiu, the Governor Craig R. Benson Endowed Senior Vice President for Advancement at Babson. “It’s about the power of numbers when all our alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends join together to show their support.”
‘A Forever Fan’
Over the past five years, donors cumulatively have given more than $1.8 million to Babson during Make Your Mark. Last year alone, contributors donated more than $700,000.
One of those donors was Carla Curiel ’05, the co-founder and CEO of Lanugo Media, a Miami-based bilingual family entertainment company. “I will always be a supporter and forever fan of Babson,” Curiel says.
Much like Vohra, she thinks about the role that Babson has played in her life’s journey. “I give yearly to Babson because it has given me so much,” she says. “It has given me a world-class education, lifelong friends, amazing memories, and it has supported me in my entrepreneurial journey from the start. I had access to faculty guidance, participated in WIN Lab, and even attended an event at the White House thanks to Babson.”
A Wide Impact
The donations from Make Your Mark touch every part of campus and make a direct and significant influence on the lives of Babson’s students, from scholarships and financial aid to athletics and activities.
Donors may give to the College initiative of their choosing. For instance, they can contribute to The Fund for Babson, which addresses areas of most need across campus, or invest in academic learning, supporting term chairs and faculty fellows and sustaining and growing programs within the Centers and Institutes.
“Make Your Mark is about building community. It’s about the power of numbers when all our alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends join together to show their support.”
Edward Chiu, the Governor Craig R. Benson Endowed Senior Vice President for Advancement at Babson
To appreciate the wide breadth of Make Your Mark’s impact, consider some numbers from last year’s event. More than $60,000 was raised for The Fund for Babson, and more than $26,000 was donated to the Emergency Fund, which supports students most affected by the pandemic.
Some 370 donors provided scholarship assistance of more than $37,000, and more than 460 donors supported 10 of Babson’s athletic teams with gifts totaling more than $58,000. The Institute for Family Entrepreneurship, meanwhile, received more than $40,000 from 35 donors.
Fittingly enough, Make Your Mark falls on Founder’s Day, a long-standing Babson tradition that celebrates the College’s history and rich entrepreneurial legacy. To inspire the worldwide Babson community to action again this year, Carol and Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD, will personally donate $25,000 if the College reaches its goal of 2,500 donors in 36 hours.
As Babson’s president, Stephen Spinelli calls on the College community to come together. “Our community is composed of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, united by shared values and a common mission to educate entrepreneurial leaders who create social and economic value,” he says. “Your partnership is critical to sustaining that mission.”
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