The academic year’s familiar rhythm comes to a celebratory close at Commencement, a time of transition and recognition for our students who have earned their degrees and are poised to join our global network of more than 39,000 alumni in 114 countries.
Commencement also allows everyone connected to the College—members of governance, faculty and staff, families and friends, and alumni—to share a proud moment and reflect on the impact we have made on our newly minted graduates. As entrepreneurs of all kinds, they are not just prepared—but ready—for the next phase of their lives, and they will bring with them skills and a mindset that will advance our mission to create economic and social growth everywhere.
As the world’s premier institution for entrepreneurship education, Babson has chosen an undergraduate speaker and honorary degree recipient who was named by Fortune as one of “The 12 Greatest Entrepreneurs of Our Time.” Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work in microfinance. Among his many accomplishments, he has founded numerous socially responsible ventures, including Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which has provided millions of loans, mostly to women. He is one of only seven individuals to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. His belief and investment in the disadvantaged, along with his pioneering work and advocacy, have empowered the powerless to use their entrepreneurial talents to turn ideas into opportunities for themselves and others. Professor Yunus currently serves as chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.
Our graduate ceremony will bestow an honorary degree on Beth Brooke-Marciniak, who is global vice chair of public policy at EY, a multinational professional services firm. She also is a member of its global executive board and the global sponsor for its diversity and inclusiveness efforts. Brooke-Marciniak has been named to Forbes’ list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” eight times and was named 2009 Woman of the Year by Concern Worldwide. In addition to being among the profession’s most prominent voices on public policy, she also has been at the forefront of promoting diversity and inclusion in support of women and the LGBT community at EY and in the corporate arena.
Since the Babson community appreciates those who take action to create positive change, Commencement is the perfect time to provide graduating students with a final lesson from global leaders who will not only inspire them, but whom they also can aspire to emulate. We are excited to welcome these pre-eminent and influential leaders to our community while sending a new generation of Babson’s best into the world.