In 1919, when Babson was founded, classes were held at Roger Babson’s home on Abbott Road in Wellesley. Two years later, Roger purchased 125 acres of farmland to serve as the future campus for the young school, and in the nearly 100 years since, that campus has continued to grow and evolve. This fall, as I inducted members of the Class of 1967 into the Half-Century Club (one of my favorite events), many of those alumni remarked that they barely recognized the Babson campus—it has been so transformed over the past 50 years.
Today, we are embarking on our next wave of transformations and planning a campus for our second century.
In September, we broke ground on a new recreation and athletics center. This project is among the most ambitious ever undertaken by Babson. When completed, it will provide a venue for events and recreation, a place for members of our entire campus community to invest in their health and well-being, and a beautiful new home for Babson Athletics and our incredible scholar athletes (see “New Construction Project to Transform Campus Life”).
The Weissman Foundry, which also broke ground in September, will be a flexible maker space focused on hands-on experimentation and prototyping. Designed with input from Olin College, it is envisioned as a cross-campus workshop where entrepreneurs of all kinds can collaborate, turn ideas into action, and create tomorrow’s products and enterprises (see “A Hands-On Space for Students to Innovate”).
The Weissman Foundry is particularly special because it is named in honor of esteemed Babson alumnus and trustee Robert Weissman ’64, H’94, P’87, ’90, and his wife, Jan, P’87, ’90. This fall, we were delighted to announce that the Weissmans made a $36.6 million gift to Babson, bringing their lifetime support to a record $100 million. We are deeply grateful for the Weissmans’ commitment to our community and belief in Babson’s unique ability to advance entrepreneurship everywhere.
A portion of their gift will enable us to construct a new learning common and gateway to Horn Library, featuring a four-season garden, a cafe, collaborative work areas, informal gathering spaces, and a new home for the Stephen D. Cutler Center for Investments and Finance. It also will serve as a central location for Babson’s academic and extracurricular resource centers and provide additional classroom and office space.
As we approach our Centennial, we are excited to further create spaces that will enable Babson to remain the global leader in entrepreneurship education, attracting the best and brightest students from around the world, providing an unmatched student experience, and educating entrepreneurial leaders who will change the world for the better.