This has been a year unlike any other in Babson College’s 101-year history.
From the Centennial celebration last September through the challenges of a global pandemic this spring, the Babson community experienced unique highs and lows. One constant has been the unwavering support of the College’s alumni, parents, staff, and friends. The 2019–2020 fiscal year, which ended June 30, produced record-breaking results for overall giving and alumni participation.
“When our students and the College needed support this year, the Babson community rallied around us,” said Edward Chiu, the Governor Craig R. Benson Endowed Senior Vice President for Advancement. “Our donors stepped up like never before to help students and drive the mission of Babson, even during what was a difficult year for so many.”
Babson alumni especially stepped up like never before. A total of 12,330 donors gave to the College during the fiscal year—a 32.4% participation rate, the highest in College history. That’s particularly important because it’s a key metric that significantly impacts college rankings and helps maintain Babson’s status as the No. 1 school for entrepreneurship in the nation.
That alumni support helped fuel a record total of giving, topping $91 million in commitments to the College. That included the single largest gift ever: $50 million from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation for the creation of the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Named for Arthur M. Blank ’63, H’98, the new school will advance and amplify values-driven entrepreneurial leadership on a global scale, a key initiative of the College’s strategic plan.
Read more about the economic impact of Babson alumni around the world.
“I’ve always been impressed by the generosity of the Babson community, but this year really showed the depth of commitment people have to this College and our students,” Chiu said. “This level of support reinforces the belief our alumni and friends have in the power of a Babson education, but also demonstrates that they truly care about the health and well-being of our students.”
The collective generosity of the community helped Babson continue making progress toward its strategic initiatives—including owning entrepreneurial leadership, reaching learners everywhere, and developing new education models—while also alleviating the financial impact of COVID-19.
Donor support has a ripple effect that touches nearly every aspect of Babson, with more than $30 million applied toward the College’s operating budget. Donors also supported athletics, arts, and affinity groups that are so important in enhancing the overall student experience.
“The power of philanthropy also meant that we could invest more than $24 million in academic learning—from supporting term chairs and faculty fellows, to sustaining and growing programs and initiatives within our centers and institutes,” Chiu said. “This ensures that our students are learning from the best and brightest in a well-rounded and exceptional academic environment that is augmented with rich curricular and cocurricular activities.”
This year’s fundraising efforts had a direct and significant influence on the lives of students through scholarships and financial aid—a need that rises each year and is expected to grow exponentially due to the financial toll the pandemic has taken on families. More than $27 million assisted more than 1,500 students with scholarships and financial aid.
This year, however, students needed the strength and unity of the Babson community like never before, because of COVID-19 and its widespread impact on their lives. The Emergency Fund was established in the initial days of the pandemic, and the Babson family responded with compassion and swift generosity, with more than 1,020 donors giving more than $275,000 to assist those most affected by the crisis. To date, more than 155 students have received aid through the fund.
“Gifts that were made to the Emergency Fund don’t tell the whole story of how the Babson community came together during that time,” Chiu explained. “We had alumni buying plane tickets for our students and opening up their homes so displaced students could have a place to stay. It was amazing to see the lengths people would go to make sure our students were taken care of.”
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