Arthur M. Blank School
The Blank School engages Babson community members and leads research to create entrepreneurial leaders.
Last July, as I reflected on my first year as president of Babson College, we were busy preparing for our return to campus and the start of a year unlike any other. It was a year that tested us and compelled us to reinvent the way we teach, learn, live, and connect.
As we navigated a pandemic, and focused on keeping ourselves and each other healthy and safe, we simultaneously grappled with seismic global and societal turmoil: social injustice, climate disruption, political turbulence, and economic uncertainty.
For Babson, I am proud to report that it was a year of growth, learning, and opportunity. Our community demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership in action. We worked collaboratively to solve problems, generate solutions, and lead change. Now, our collective yearlong focus on managing the COVID-19 crisis, promulgating our strategic plan, and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion has positioned us to thrive in the post-COVID world.
Our management of the COVID-19 crisis is guided by two principles: working to safeguard the health and well-being of our community, and maintaining academic continuity and excellence. With shared sacrifice, we achieved those goals.
We continue to make progress in pursuit of our strategy. Babson’s Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership helps to advance and amplify values-driven entrepreneurial leadership on a global scale.
Our strategy prioritizes DEI as a key strength in entrepreneurial leadership. Our work together is ongoing, and we commit to being intentional about creating meaningful and sustainable change.
I embark on my third year as president energized and motivated to accelerate our forward momentum.
In addition to my second anniversary at Babson’s helm, today marks the start of the College’s new fiscal year. With dynamic management, Babson is entering FY22 from a position of strength. Challenges remain, but we are positioned for a bright future. We also are developing our strategic objectives for the year ahead, building on the outcomes highlighted above, and evolving our Critical Few Objectives to drive continued progress. Later this month, I will share a more detailed update on our areas of focus for the coming year.
Babson, higher education, and the world, are at a turning point. The immeasurable disruption of the past year, and the remarkable societal response it fueled, creates opportunity for a new Age of Enlightenment, powered by knowledge and learning.
Society now demands that everyone be included in the right to solve problems, create value, and flourish. For the first time in human history, all people, no matter where they live or how old they are, can access learning where, when, and how they demand it. Economic and social networks have transformed the way we live and work, and the pace of change continues to accelerate. Commensurate knowledge and learning are essential.
The past 16 months have demonstrated that entrepreneurial leadership is increasingly needed and relevant. The world requires leaders who think and act boldly to create sustainable and purposeful value. Babson is building those leaders. We are re-emerging into the post-COVID world prepared to educate a society of lifelong learners ready to tackle society’s most pressing problems and eager to reinvent the world around them for the better.
Thank you for your continued collaboration and commitment to Babson and one another. I am proud to lead this dynamic, diverse, and global community of entrepreneurial leaders. Together, we are poised to thrive. I look forward to another year of growth, progress, and excellence.
Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD
I arrived at Babson College prepared to lead change. With higher education on the precipice—facing widespread disruption, accelerating change, and foreboding market dynamics—our community recognized the essential need for evolution.
Last year, on March 10, 2020, Babson College announced the decision to temporarily close our physical campus and shift all classes online.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, during his recent video conference testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, described a “Shark Tank”-like process in which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) urged scientists and innovators to compete in a $500 million race to create new COVID-19 tests.
Last week, the world witnessed an appalling act of violence in Minneapolis. The death of George Floyd represents the latest in a long, horrific, unacceptable pattern of unequal treatment and violence against the black community.
Since I last communicated on the pages of this magazine, Babson College, the world, and all of our lives have changed dramatically
Arthur M. Blank ’63, H’98 is a founder, a doer, a leader, and a philanthropist. Best known as the co-founder of The Home Depot and the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, he has a broad family of businesses as well as a family foundation.