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​​​​​Message from the Undergraduate Dean

Dean Ian Lapp

Undergraduate Dean Ian Lapp

Few places are as unique as the Undergraduate School at Babson College—where else can 18-year-olds become CEOs, roommates become co-founders, and students work side by side with world-renowned social innovators?

There is no more exciting time to be at Babson. This spring, we are enjoying showcasing student-developed FME businesses along with student-led cultural, theatrical, and dance shows. There are pitch competitions on our campuses in Wellesley and San Francisco, as well as alumni engagements across the United States and around the world. We are graduating the Class of 2016 and preparing to welcome the Class of 2020, our “second century class.”

Like the Class of 2019, our “centennial class,” I too am getting to know Babson as I take on a new role as dean of the Undergraduate School. The last 15 years of my career have been spent as an academic leader and faculty member at Harvard and Columbia. While I am new to Babson, I have deeply admired the College for many years, both as a national and global institution with a truly serious commitment to an incredible undergraduate experience, and as an incubator for innovation in higher education. In my short time on campus, my experience has reaffirmed for me why Babson is worthy of the many recent accolades it has received from peers and the press regarding our transformative undergraduate experience. Forbes once described Babson as a “tiny entrepreneurial powerhouse” and it is the energy of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners that has impressed me since day one.

I see Babson in a category unto itself. It is just as rewarding to take part in the Babson undergraduate adventure as it is to reach the end destination of graduation. Babson offers a transformative learning experience that combines an elite business education with the intellectual and cultural environment found in top liberal arts colleges and Ivy League institutions. Add in the know-no-boundaries drive, curiosity, and instinct to disrupt that is inherent in our culture, and Babson truly stands apart.

This mix makes for a personal and powerful learning experience in the classroom, across campus, and in the world. I see this in our faculty, who treat the classroom as an incubator for new ways of thinking and as an accelerator for student potential by fostering experiential learning and project-based mentorship, allowing students to critically reflect on the past and grapple with new challenges and trends within business and society. This results in a magical learning partnership with our students, who are among the brightest and most creative of their generation. They are diverse in their backgrounds and aspirations, and are adept at recognizing opportunities where others see obstacles.

The Babson undergraduate adventure is located in the heart of the technology corridor surrounding Boston. Its close proximity to the innovation, finance, creative, and healthcare districts in Boston helps fast-track our students’ ideas for new ventures, land summer and school year internships, and launch careers. In fact, 99 percent of Babson seniors are employed​ or attend graduate school within six months of graduation. Students excel beyond Boston too, with 48 percent of the Class of 2016 taking advantage of global engagements and study-abroad opportunities.

It is with great enthusiasm and a sense of adventure that I begin my work at Babson. For the many that I have met already, I looking forward to our continued conversations and collaboration. For those of you who I have not met, I welcome the opportunity. I am certain that you will share my enthusiasm for Babson!​