Introducing the Ralph Z. and Charlotte R. Sorenson Atrium

Ralph and Charlotte Sorenson cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony
Ralph and Charlotte Sorenson, alongside President Stephen Spinelli MBA'92, PhD, officially open the newly dedicated Ralph Z. and Charlotte R. Sorenson Atrium.

The atrium at Babson Commons is more than a mere entranceway to Horn Library.

“It’s one of the crossroads of our campus, filled with the hustle and bustle of students every day,” said Jeffery Perry ’87, P’23, chair of the Babson Board of the Trustees. And, Cailin Capozzi, dean of students, called it “Horn Library’s living room” and described it as “a window into the student and campus experience here at Babson.”

On Friday, Babson College formally dedicated that space as the Ralph Z. and Charlotte R. Sorenson Atrium at a luncheon attended by more than 80 people, including the Sorenson family.

President Emeritus Ralph Z. “Bud” Sorenson H’85 served as Babson’s seventh president from 1974 to 1981, a pivotal period in the College’s history that included the first significant capital campaign, the construction of several major campus facilities (including Horn Library), and one momentous, game-changing decision.

“When Bud became president of Babson in 1974, he immediately recognized the need for Babson to forge a unique and special identity, a focus on which Babson could become a world leader,” President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD said in his remarks. “His solution was to dedicate Babson to becoming the world’s premier management school for the teaching and study of entrepreneurship. That move has shaped Babson and enabled our success for more than four decades.”

Perry, too, praised that transformational decision. “We define ourselves today as entrepreneurial leaders, thanks in no small part to Bud’s vision,” he said.

Planting Seeds

In his remarks, Sorenson compared his time in office to Johnny Appleseed. “I see my role here at Babson is that of having helped plant a number of ideas during my tenure,” he said. “Many of these ideas were subsequently nurtured and brought to fruition through teamwork and joint efforts.”

Sorenson also praised the critical role his wife, Charlotte, played during their time on campus. She wrote a white paper to the Board of Trustees on the role of a presidential spouse, and that paper was circulated and drew praise from throughout higher education.

Now, they are both honored for their commitment to Babson with the dedication of the Sorenson Atrium.

“This means the world to Charlotte and me and our entire family,” Sorenson said. “It’s been a privilege for us to be part of Babson’s history. And, we’re very proud to be part of its future.”

Check out photos from the dedication ceremony:

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