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Entrepreneurs Tory Burch, Bobby Sager, and Leonard Schlesinger Named Babson College Commencement Speakers and Honorees

Commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 17.

Tory Burch, CEO and designer of Tory Burch, an American lifestyle brand; Bobby Sager, entrepreneur, philanthropist, photographer and founder, Sager Family Traveling Foundation and Roadshow; and Leonard Schlesinger, Babson College President Emeritus, will be honored during the 2014 Commencement ceremonies on May 17 at Babson College.

Burch will address the undergraduate ceremony at 10 a.m. and receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Sager will address the graduate ceremony at 2:30 p.m. and receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters. Schlesinger will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws during the undergraduate ceremony.

Said Babson President Kerry Healey: “Each of these extraordinary leaders are impacting the world in meaningful, positive ways and represent the values and ideals that are the cornerstone of Babson’s mission—to educate entrepreneurial leaders who make and find opportunities that create economic and social value everywhere.”

Babson College 2014 Commencement Ceremonies – details and complete schedule »

Tory Burch

Tory BurchTory Burch opened a small Manhattan boutique in 2004 that has since grown to a global business and brand with more than 100 freestanding stores, a presence in more than 1000 department and specialty stores, and online at www.toryburch.com. As one of America’s premier fashion entrepreneurs Ms. Burch has earned awards and accolades from Glamour, Vanity Fair and was named one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in the World.

She is also a dedicated philanthropist, launching the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009 to support the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs and their families in the United States. Babson College has been fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with Ms. Burch in partnership with Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program, extending access to entrepreneurial education to promote economic growth, job creation and social improvement.

Ms. Burch graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in art history. 

Bobby Sager

Bobby SagerBobby Sager embodies a Babson core belief that entrepreneurship is the world’s most powerful force for economic and social change. Since joining Gordon Brothers in 1986, and leading a transformation of the company from a small Boston-based jewelry business into a multi-billion dollar global financial services organization, Mr. Sager has lived and taught with an entrepreneurial mindset that has taken him, and his family, on a worldwide journey to change lives as the founders of the Sager Family Traveling Foundation and Roadshow.

Since 2000, and after dozens of trips to places like Rwanda, Pakistan and Palestine to teach entrepreneurship, business skills and train local educators, his family’s hands-on philanthropy has inspired and challenged people to reach their full potential across society and around the world. Mr. Sager has been honored by the Young Presidents’ Organization— a group with more than 21,000 young CEO members representing 125 countries—as the first ever recipient of their Global Humanitarian Award and was recently given the YPO’s highest award for distinguished service.

As an author, photographer, and speaker, Mr. Sager confronts challenges in some of the world’s most troubled and dangerous places, and works tirelessly to bring attention and create positive change at a personal level. He graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in economics and subsequently earned a master’s degree in management from Yale University. Watch Bobby Sager's Speaking Reel »

Leonard Schlesinger

Len SchlesingerLeonard Schlesinger served as the 12th President of Babson College and is regarded as one of the College’s most dynamic, energetic and thoughtful leaders. During his tenure, Dr. Schlesinger successfully enhanced the College’s reputation, academic profile and financial strength. With boundless enthusiasm, energy and drive he introduced, supported, and expanded the concept of Entrepreneurship of All KindsTM, positioning Babson as the recognized worldwide leader in entrepreneurial education and demonstrating the value of entrepreneurship to every organization.

Prior to coming to Babson, Dr. Schlesinger held executive positions at Limited Brands and Au Bon Pain. After leaving Babson, he returned to Harvard Business School as a Baker Foundation Professor of Business Administration where he had taught for twenty years during his earlier academic career.

Dr. Schlesinger has been a successful and sought after lecturer and consultant to more than 200 major corporations, governments and non-profit organizations. He is the author or co-author of eleven books and published numerous case studies on entrepreneurship, service management and organization management that are widely read and used in both academia and business.

Dr. Schlesinger holds a Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in American Civilization from Brown University. He was named President Emeritus of Babson College in 2013.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds™. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society—while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.

By Barbara Spies Blair, blairb@babson.edu, 781-239-4621 | 3/28/2014 12:00 AM