Reaching Out to the Community

As active members of the community, Babson reaches out to residents of Wellesley, Needham, and beyond, encouraging participation in on-campus cultural performances, exhibits, lectures, and other programs, and invites the public to use its library.

Wellesley and Needham Scholarships

For more than three decades, Babson College has granted scholarships to qualified residents of Wellesley and Needham. In this academic year, five students from Wellesley received $31,000 in Wellesley Town Scholarships, and five students from Needham were awarded $25,500 in Needham Town Scholarships.

Wellesley Education Foundation

Babson sponsors teams that participate in the annual Wellesley Spelling Bee. Babson donated $4,275 and sent a faculty team to compete.

Audit-the-Class Program

Wellesley and Needham senior citizens have the opportunity to audit Babson’s undergraduate classes on a space-available basis at no cost. This academic year, four Wellesley senior citizens took advantage of this opportunity, taking five courses worth $24,400, and five senior citizens from Needham took seven courses worth $29,280.

World of Wellesley

Since its inception, Babson has supported the World of Wellesley (WOW). This year, in addition to staff time, a donation of $500 was contributed.

Sodexo Education Services

Sodexo Education Services, which provides dining services in all Babson facilities (except for Babson Executive Conference Center):

  • Works closely with the parent-teacher associations of Wellesley’s Ernest F. Upham School, Fiske Elementary School, St. John’s CYO, and the Wellesley Middle School on fundraising events
  • Donates the use of kitchen and dining facilities at Trim Dining Hall for the Wellesley Middle School’s annual pasta dinner
  • Donates catering for the annual Wellesley Club dinner held on the Babson campus
  • Supports the Wellesley Seniors’ Thanksgiving dinner held the Saturday before Thanksgiving in Trim Dining Hall
  • Contributes to the Annual Wellesley Community Children’s Center Annual Fun Run

Sodexo and the Babson College community (sororities, fraternities, the Bernon Center, and the Athletic Department) join efforts every November to support the Cans Across America food drive. This past year, a total of 500 pounds of canned food was donated to the Place to Turn Food Bank in Natick. Sodexo also supports the annual Bernon Center Spaghetti Luncheon, which funds the student participation in Habitat for Humanity.

Pan-Mass Challenge

As one of the sites for the Pan-Mass Challenge, Babson hosted more than 2,500 riders in August 2009. During the 2009 calendar year, the PMC raised $30,384,200. More than 50 percent of funds raised for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund comes from the Pan-Mass Challenge. A total of 568 children, participating in the Kids Ride at Babson in June 2010, have thus far raised $112,519. Participating riders and volunteers included Wellesley and Needham residents, as well as Babson students, faculty, and staff.

Richard W. Sorenson Center for the Arts

The Sorenson Center is a performing arts facility that presents a wide variety of programming in theater, dance, music, film and video, and the literary arts. Most events are open to the public, and parking is free.

The Babson Players performed the comedy The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 in the fall of 2009 and the musical The Wedding Singer in the spring of 2010. The Franklin W. Olin Players from Olin College of Engineering uses the Carling-Sorenson Theater as its stage venue for most performances, and performed Blood Brothers in the spring of 2010. The Babson Dance Ensemble performs high-energy, colorful dance shows every semester.

Other Babson-sponsored events open to the public:

  • AMAN (South Asian culture, dance, and music show) every semester
  • BAPSA (Asian Pacific culture, dance, and music show) spring semester
  • Malcolm Stearns Memorial Film Society/ Class Movie Nights all year
  • BSU Apollo Night (Black Student Union’s talent show) spring semester
  • Thompson Poet (visiting poet reading and discussion) every February

A number of area community arts and cultural organizations regularly present programs in the Carling-Sorenson Theater.

Theatreworks@Babson, a community theater group, presents a play every fall semester in support of the liberal arts division’s foundation curriculum. The plays are professionally directed, and casting is open to students, staff, faculty, and area residents. In the fall of 2009, a multicultural cast performed William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

On-Campus Lectures and Programs

Babson regularly hosts business and world leaders speaking on business, as well as cultural and current events, and the arts. These events are often open to the public (many are free). Among the speakers were:

  • Roslyn Daum, lawyer, board member, The Center for Women and Enterprise
  • Winona Duke, founder of White Earth Land Recovery Project and Native Harvest
  • Vicente Fox, Former President of Mexico
  • Nicholas Kristof, author, Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
  • Jamil Mahuad, former president of Ecuador
  • Pam Reeve, chair, The Commonwealth Institute
  • David Oliver Relin, author, Three Cups of Tea
  • Henri Termeer, chairman and CEO, Genzyme Corporation, inducted into Babson’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs

The Thompson Poet Series, held annually in February, welcomed prize-winning poet Claudia Rankine, author of Don’t Let Me Be Lonely.

Speaking to the graduating classes in May was William E. Strickland Jr., president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation. Strickland received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, and John J. Fernandes, 1975 alumnus and president and CEO of AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, received an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

Babson celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day in February featuring author Patricia J. Williams. East Meets West, organized by Babson’s Asian Pacific Student Organization, takes place in April during Asian Heritage month.

The Glavin Family Chapel

The Glavin Family Chapel is designed to meet the spiritual needs of all in an interfaith facility where members of the College community may practice their faith, seek inspiration and guidance, and find peace in the quiet of a sacred space. The goal is to make Babson and Olin a welcoming community for people of all faiths. Several traditions hold regular worship services at the chapel, including: weekly Catholic Mass; weekly Protestant worship (in conjunction with the Redeemer Church); monthly Shabbat; and regular Buddhist meditation sittings. There also is a private prayer room on the ground floor of the chapel regularly used by Muslim students.

Visual Arts on Campus

Exhibits of artistic, cultural, and historical interest abound on campus on a rotating schedule. Exhibit hours include weekends, evenings, and by appointment to make the shows community-accessible. In addition to exhibits of student work, offerings this year included:

  • “Delirium II,” by sculptor, painter, photographer, installation artist, and human rights activist Elshafei Dafalla Mohamed
  • “Inner Garden,” a collaborative installation by Mary Begin, Denise Driscoll, and Mirela Sahleanu
  • “Stitch,” a site specific installation by artist August Ventimiglia

While on campus for “Delirium II,” Mohamed presented a one-time tribute to the African diaspora. “Unshackled Memory” was a display of 3,400 brightly painted paper boats made by Mohamed and placed in the shape of a peace symbol on the floor of Knight Auditorium.

Horn Library

The Horn Library has a generous community access policy for Wellesley and Needham residents. In addition to using materials on open shelves, Wellesley and Needham users may check out books for four weeks.

Wellesley Community Children’s Center (WCCC)

Babson College and Wellesley College help support a day-care center for children of the community and the colleges’ employees. During 2009–2010, the center served 44 children from Wellesley and 12 from Needham. Twenty-one are children with a parent who works or studies at Babson.

The current Babson Community Impact Guide contains information from 2009-2010 fiscal year. The new edition of the Guide will be published in Fall 2011.