When looking back at her time at Babson, Jen Archambault Visco ’95 remembers well the trips abroad she took as a two-sport athlete.
As a goalie for the field hockey team and a diver for the swimming and diving squad, she went around the world, visiting Australia, Russia, Sweden, Finland, and Bermuda.
Affording those trips wasn’t easy, but the chance to travel as a young person was invaluable. “That really added so much to my Babson experience,” she says. “I would hate that other athletes couldn’t participate in those trips.”
Her husband, Davide “Dave” Visco ’95, feels the same. His parents made sacrifices to send him to Babson, but while he was in school, he was able to participate in all the activities that were available to him. For the most part, cost wasn’t an issue. He often thinks about the students who aren’t so lucky
“There are too many students who lack the financial means to be able to take full advantage of the Babson experience,” says Dave, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees. “When people are left out and can’t participate, it is a terrible feeling.”
When considering the cost of college, people typically focus on the big expenses: tuition and the price of meals and a place to stay. But other costs can and do pop up: trips, Senior Week events, sorority and fraternity dues, club sport fees. These activities may be a big part of campus life, but they’re not free. Participating in them comes at a price that not everyone can pay.
“While talent is universal, opportunity is not, even at Babson,” says Lawrence P. Ward, the College’s vice president and dean of campus life. “A student may have their tuition and housing covered through some form of aid or family sacrifice and still not be able to afford a developmental or programming opportunity that comes up.”
Jen and Dave Visco, two longtime supporters of the College, decided to do something about that. Working together with Ward, they helped establish the Carol Hacker Endowed Student Life Fund, which supports deserving students who need assistance paying for extra expenses. Since its inception, more than 100 donors have made a gift to the fund. “The fund is important,” Ward says, “because it expands opportunity to a more fulsome student experience to more enrolled students.”
A Fitting Name
The Carol Hacker Endowed Student Life Fund takes its name from a beloved staff member who left an impact on a generation of students, including the Viscos. Beginning at the College in 1991, Carol Hacker played a big part in the life of Babson, holding nine jobs over the course of 30 years.
Learn more about the impact that Carol Hacker has made at Babson and about how to support the Carol Hacker Endowed Student Life Fund.
“I am extremely humbled that the Viscos are naming it for me,” Hacker says. The honor is well-deserved. Hacker served as chief of staff and vice president of the Alumni and Friends Network, and for her first 15 years at Babson, she worked directly with students, including as dean of students.
“To me, Babson has always been about the people,” says Hacker, who retired in 2021 and today lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she enjoys days filled with golf, pickleball, and volunteering. “I feel privileged to have known thousands of students and faculty and staff. I am very proud of those students today as alums and what they have done with their lives. I call many of them my friends.”
Two of those former students who are now friends are Jen and Dave. Much has happened in the lives of the Viscos since the two first met at Babson. They started a family, and they built successful careers. Jen is senior vice president of finance and business operations of Expansion Therapeutics, a drug discovery and development company, while Dave is managing director of Taurus Investment Holdings, a global real estate private equity firm.
Despite the passage of time, however, they haven’t forgotten about Babson and look back fondly on their rich experiences as students. “Babson had a profound impact on our lives,” Dave says. The Viscos also haven’t forgotten about Hacker, who has remained a constant in their lives for decades. “We were kids and now we are adults,” Dave says. “Our relationship with her has deepened with time.”
The couple frequently talk and text with Hacker, and she has followed their careers and the lives of their four children. After Hacker retired, they threw her a party at their Cape Cod home attended by 75 alumni and two former Babson presidents, Leo Higdon H’07 and Brian Barefoot ’66, H’09, P’01.
The Viscos remember how supportive Hacker was of students. “Carol was always there for you,” Dave says. “We all have our Carol stories.” Interacting with students, Hacker celebrated their accomplishments, offered career advice, and assisted them through their struggles. “I felt like I helped students through good times and bad times,” Hacker says. “My Babson was a caring and compassionate place, and it will always be that for me.”
For all these reasons, naming the fund after Hacker feels right. It’s supportive of students, just as she always strived to be.
“It’s fitting for the fund to be named in her honor because it seeks to do exactly what Carol did for so many Babson people for so many years—connect them to learning and growth opportunities at the College that are transformative and affirming,” Ward says. “The fund quite simply is her legacy.”
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