In reading the history of Babson College, we are reminded of a time when companies and institutions were founded on good, solid principals. It’s no wonder that they have provided a quality education for nearly a century.
On September 3, 1919, with an enrollment of 27 students, the Babson Institute held its first classes in the former home of Roger and Grace Babson on Abbott Road in Wellesley Hills.
From the beginning, Roger Babson set out to distinguish the Babson Institute from colleges offering instruction in business. The Institute provided intensive training in the fundamentals of production, finance, and distribution in just one academic year, rather than four. The curriculum was divided into four subject areas: practical economics, financial management, business psychology, and personal efficiency (which covered topics such as ethics, personal hygiene, and interpersonal relationships). The program’s pace assumed that students would learn arts and sciences content elsewhere.
Believing experience to be the best teacher, Roger Babson favored a combination of class work and actual business training. Seasoned businessmen made up the majority of the faculty. To better prepare students for the realities of the business world, the Institute’s curriculum focused more on practical experience and less on lectures. Students worked on group projects and class presentations, observed manufacturing processes during field trips to area factories and businesses, met with managers and executives, and viewed industrial films on Saturday mornings.
The Institute also maintained a business environment as part of the students’ everyday life. The students, required to wear professional attire, kept regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday) and were monitored by punching in and out on a time clock. They were also assigned an office desk equipped with a telephone, typewriter, adding machine, and Dictaphone. Personal secretaries typed the students’ assignments and correspondence in an effort to accurately reflect the business world. Roger Babson prepared his students to enter their chosen careers as executives, not anonymous members of the work force.
Nearly a hundred years later Babson College, an independent, not-for-profit institution, is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). In the 2015–2016 academic year, more than 2,100 undergraduate and 900 graduate students attended Babson College, representing more than 80 countries.
Today, Babson president Kerry Healey notes that Babson is the world’s #1 recognized institution for Entrepreneurship education, whose mission is to prepare entrepreneurial leaders to create economic and social value everywhere. She writes:
“The spirit of Babson is infectious. There is a positive energy on campus that is both nurturing and inspiring for our students. The result is a learning environment that encourages bold thinking, measured risks, taking action, and the knowledge that we are all part of a special community.
Aside from the importance of providing a quality education for its students, Babson College places a great deal of emphasis on sustainability for our environment. The school web site gives an indication of just how much they are doing on campus to promote resource efficiency including:
- Bottle Filling Stations – Promoting the reduction of single-use water bottles. These water bottle–filling stations are used roughly1,000 times per day
- Community Garden – An on campus garden maintained by volunteers
- LEED Buildings – Several buildings on campus have been retrofitted to improve energy efficiency and reduce consumption.
- Food Waste Diversion – Food waste from campus dining centers is diverted and composted into soi at regional farms. Babson currently diverts about 5 tons of food waste per month!
- Green Commute – Babson encourages its students and faculty to utilize carpooling, biking, Inter-Campus Shuttle service and offers electric vehicle charging stations.
- And more…
All across Babson, campus staff, students, and faculty are tackling issues of sustainability and resource efficiency and working to solve these integrated challenges. In 2008, Babson became a signatory of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, with a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. In the summer of 2010, we opened the Babson Sustainability Office to support, enhance, and coordinate these efforts.
As a business school, they are aimed at educating tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and innovators. Babson is committed to integrating social and economic sustainability concepts into the business practices of this next generation of leaders and to create resilient, sustainable prosperity.
With so much effort put forth on environmental issues, we are proud to welcome Babson College as one of our latest members of our Sponsor A Highway® program, which reduces litter along the highway. It’s just one more way this great institution is contributing to a more sustainable environment.
If you want to learn more about Babson College, check out everything they have to offer on their web site.