Message from the Dean of the undergraduate school
Dean Ian Lapp
Few places are as unique as the Undergraduate School at Babson College. Where else can 18-year-olds become CEOs, roommates become co-founders, and students work side by side with world-renowned social innovators? Nearly a century in the making, there is no more exciting time to be at Babson.
This summer, we are preparing to welcome the Class of 2020, our “second century class” and planning exciting programs for all of our students for the upcoming academic year. I am traveling to Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Panama City, and San Francisco, among other places, for Summer Send-Offs for our new students. Our current students are engaged in internships and incubating new business ideas. The Babson Summer Venture Program on our campuses in Wellesley and San Francisco are accelerating the development of new enterprises for students and alumni.
Like the Class of 2020, I, too, am getting to know Babson as I take on a new role as dean of the Undergraduate School, having joined the College last spring. The last 15 years of my career have been spent as an academic leader and faculty member at Harvard and Columbia. While I am new to Babson, I have deeply admired the College for many years, both as a national and global institution with a truly serious commitment to an incredible undergraduate experience, and as an incubator for innovation in higher education. In my short time on campus, my experience has reaffirmed for me why Babson is worthy of the many recent accolades it has received from peers and the press regarding our transformative undergraduate experience. Forbes once described Babson as a “tiny entrepreneurial powerhouse,” and it is the energy of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners that has impressed me since day one.
I see Babson in a category unto itself. It is just as rewarding to take part in the Babson undergraduate adventure as it is to reach the end destination of graduation. Babson offers a transformative learning experience that combines an elite business education with the intellectual and cultural environment found in top liberal arts colleges and Ivy League institutions. Add in the know-no-boundaries drive, curiosity, and instinct to disrupt that is inherent in our culture, and Babson truly stands apart.
This mix makes for a personal and powerful learning experience in the classroom, across campus, and in the world. I see this in our faculty, who treat the classroom as an incubator for new ways of thinking and as an accelerator for student potential by fostering experiential learning and project-based mentorship, allowing students to critically reflect on the past and grapple with new challenges and trends within business and society. This results in a magical learning partnership with our students, who are among the brightest and most creative of their generation. They are diverse in their backgrounds and aspirations, and are adept at recognizing opportunities where others see obstacles.
The Babson undergraduate adventure is located in the heart of the technology corridor surrounding Boston. Its close proximity to the innovation, finance, creative, and health care districts in Boston helps fast-track our students’ ideas for new ventures, land summer and school-year internships, and launch careers. In fact, 99 percent of graduates were employed or attended graduate school within six months of graduation in 2015. Students excel beyond Boston, too, with 48 percent of the Class of 2016 taking advantage of global engagements and study-abroad opportunities.
It is with great enthusiasm and a sense of adventure that I begin my work at Babson. For the many whom I have met already, I look forward to our continued conversations and collaboration. For those of you whom I have not met, I welcome the opportunity. I am certain that you will share my enthusiasm for Babson!