From the President

Being the Only, Then and Now

Leonard A. Schlesinger

Photo: Patrick O’Connor

I often have said that Babson is not just the best school but the only school that does what it does.

We are the only school that connects our curricular and co-curricular offerings through the unique methodology of Entrepreneurial Thought and Action,® the only school that has extended entrepreneurship to all contexts, and the only school that is committed to taking entrepreneurship to the world.

Being the only has produced dramatic gains in the quality of the educational experience we offer and in our academic reputation at home and abroad. Consider our undisputed leadership in entrepreneurship, the impressive return on investment for our undergraduate and graduate school alumni, our exceptionally high four-year graduation rates, and our employment rates six months after graduation. Underscoring the market’s strong perception of our distinctiveness, Forbes magazine recently cited Babson as one of the 10 great brands among colleges and universities in the U.S.

Roger Babson in 1919 actually created Babson to be the “only”—an original among business schools that should be seen more as an alternative than as a competitor. The Babson Institute he established operated in its own way and with objectives that were different from any other institution of higher learning at the time. Its curriculum emphasized a practical education and real work experience. Students were immersed in a simulated business environment and applied themselves to meeting the demands of executive work. Rather than deliver the detailed business courses offered at other colleges, Roger Babson said he wanted students “to apply their knowledge productively,” convinced that this was far more important than “cramming their heads with facts.”

Our job 93 years later is to grow this remarkable heritage as the only—to extend and accentuate our differences by offering the best living and learning environment among all schools. As we look ahead to our centennial in 2019, we remain focused on renewing what we do and how we do it. Everyone in the Babson community, on and off campus, will have a role to play in strengthening Babson’s unique positioning and impact among higher education providers, enhancing Roger Babson’s vision of this institution as not just the best, but the only.

Leonard A. Schlesinger