Babson College to Restore and Relocate Historic Globe to Heart of Campus

The 28-foot diameter, 25-ton Globe will be the centerpiece of a symbolic new park that is among four major campus improvements planned to mark Babson’s Centennial

Babson Centennial Park

Rendering of Centennial Park at the heart of Babson's campus

Babson College plans to restore its historic Globe and make it the centerpiece of a symbolic new park that will be located near the heart of its Wellesley campus. Commissioned in 1947 by founder Roger Babson to represent his vision for the worldwide impact of the College’s mission, the Globe was, for decades, the largest rotating replica of the Earth in the world.

Centennial Park and the Globe’s restoration are being funded through the generosity of alumnus and trustee Robert Weissman ’64, H’94, P’87 ’90, and his wife Jan, P’87 ’90.

As part of the Globe’s restoration plan, a team of engineers is investigating how to make the Globe once again rotate—something it has not been able to do since the mechanics stopped working in the early 1990s. This project also will provide an opportunity for student collaboration and engagement in the restoration process.  

Beginning this March, the Globe will move to a temporary home in Babson’s Trim Parking Lot where it will be staged for a yearlong refurbishment. In May 2019, the Globe will be unveiled in its new Centennial Park location.

Centennial Park will be a centralized, eye-catching community gathering space that brings together existing and new Babson landmarks, and will serve as a visual representation of the College’s history and accomplishments during its first 100 years.

“Centennial Park will create an important new community gathering space at the heart of our campus,” said President Kerry Healey. “The restoration of the iconic Babson Globe and its prominent new home in Centennial Park will celebrate Babson’s history and increasingly global presence, and highlight the positive impact that our incredible community of 40,000 alumni and friends in 114 countries will have on the world.”

Transforming Babson’s Campus for Its Second Century

During the past two years, faculty, students, and staff have been consulted on which academic and community resources will be needed to advance Babson’s mission in the years ahead. The Park is the fourth in a series of major campus transformations designed to enhance the student experience and lead Babson into its second century as the world’s preeminent leader in entrepreneurship education.

The three projects previously announced include the:

  • Weissman Foundry—a 9,800 square-foot maker space for student-led innovations, centrally located between the Babson and Olin campuses, which is already under construction and scheduled for completion in August 2018.
  • Babson Commons at Horn Library—including a new building featuring a four-season garden, a café, collaborative work areas, two state-of-the-art classrooms, and a new, more prominent home for the Stephen D. Cutler Center for Investments and Finance. The Babson Commons project also includes renovations to Horn Library to provide additional study space for students, a centralized academic support center, and new faculty offices. Construction will begin in June 2018 and is scheduled for completion in May 2019.
  • Babson Recreation and Athletics Center—a state-of-the-art multipurpose facility that will benefit the entire Babson community is currently under construction and scheduled for completion in September 2019.

Babson World Globe

Known by generations of Babson community members, historians, and world enthusiasts alike, the Babson World Globe originated from the ideas and notions of the College’s founder, Roger Babson, and his grandson Roger Webber.

It was completed in 1955, measuring 28 feet in diameter and weighing 25 tons, and was the world’s largest revolving globe for decades.

By 1989, the Globe was in dire need of restoration and was facing demolition. Through the rallying of Babson students, faculty and staff, and the philanthropic efforts of the broader Babson College community, the Babson World Globe was restored and ultimately rededicated as part of Babson’s 75th anniversary celebrations in 1993.

Read the full history of the Babson World Globe »

The Globe is currently located on Map Hill Drive in a small park adjacent to the Coleman residence hall. As part of its move, the College invites the community to visit the Globe in its current space before preparations begin on Friday, March 9, and also to share their ideas for how the land behind Coleman might be used in the future once the Globe has been relocated.

Centennial Park

Centennial Park will be a stunning, visual representation of what it means for Babson College to be entering its second century—a celebration of its first 100 years and the positive impact of its alumni, faculty, students, and staff on humanity around the world.

Located opposite the Reynolds Campus Center, the Park will showcase Babson’s increasing global presence in entrepreneurship education and highlight its powerful global network of alumni, students, families, faculty, and staff.

The restored Babson Globe will serve as a centerpiece to the Park and will be surrounded by the Yeager Garden—the landscaped green space that accompanies the Globe now and was generously endowed by William L. Yeager ’49 and Barbara K. Yeager in 1996. The Yeagers’ philanthropic efforts also helped restore the Globe between 1991 and 1993.

The Fountain of Flags, which represents the more than 80 nations that Babson students call home and that currently adorns the entrance to Horn Library, will be redesigned and relocated to Centennial Park.

At the base of the Globe will stand a new statue of Roger Babson, commemorative of his formal Babson World Globe dedication on June 18, 1955.

The creation of Centennial Park will begin in July 2018 and conclude in May 2019.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial 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 make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.

By Brianna Radicioni, bradicioni@babson.edu, (781) 239-4548 | 2/20/2018 10:00 AM