Students from across the country and around the world, from different backgrounds and cultures, live and learn side by side at Babson. This multitude of perspectives encourages students to think and act effectively in any setting and to seek and identify opportunities everywhere. Babson embraces diversity of all kinds, and it empowers students to consider possibilities beyond their own experiences—to design products, found companies, and create value that will transform communities and lives.
During the past several years, Babson’s incoming undergraduates have been increasingly and intentionally diverse. The Class of 2021 is 52 percent women, 28 percent international, 44 percent U.S. students of color, and 28 percent historically underrepresented minorities. It also is the most competitive and well-qualified class in Babson history.
Diversity of all kinds extends to socioeconomic circumstances, and we are working to ensure that a Babson education is accessible to exceptional students regardless of financial means. This year, we awarded $37 million in institutional grants and scholarships. The Class of 2021 includes 14 percent Pell Grant recipients, a percentage we hope to increase in coming years. And, for the first time in nearly two decades, Babson met 100 percent of need for incoming domestic students.
Among those granted scholarships is a group of Diversity Leadership Award recipients selected for their potential to lead and foster an inclusive community at Babson. Next fall, the planned cohort will include public school students from Babson’s Hub locations of Boston, San Francisco, and Miami. As part of our vision to make Entrepreneurial Thought & Action accessible to everyone, everywhere, we have established small-footprint, high-impact Hubs in these communities, known for their entrepreneurship ecosystems, and we are pleased to extend these awards to local students.
It is important that we work to make historically exclusive environments—such as higher education—welcoming to all students, including those from communities where college attendance might not be the norm. Everywhere, in every situation, there are aspiring leaders with the potential to change the world for the better.
Our campus is enriched by varied perspectives and experiences, and our global network of 40,000 alumni and friends in 114 countries is equally dynamic. We are taking steps to ensure that Babson’s governance boards also are representative of all backgrounds and recently elected the first chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, Marla Capozzi, MBA’96.
I am reminded of the words that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, H’17, former president of Liberia, shared at our 2017 Commencement exercises, in which she beautifully articulated the inherent inclusiveness of entrepreneurial leadership: “At a time when many around the world are looking to build walls, close doors, and limit interactions across cultures, the entrepreneur, by his or her own definition, is a bridge builder. A door opener. A problem solver. I salute you, the next generation of innovators and bridge builders.”