Community Message: 2014 Commencement Speakers & Honorary Degree Recipients
This is a copy of a message President Kerry Healey emailed to the on-campus community on March 27, 2014.
Dear Babson Community Members:
I’m pleased to announce the outstanding Honorary Degree Candidates and speakers who will join us on campus to celebrate our 2014 undergraduate and graduate Commencement exercises: Tory Burch, CEO and designer of Tory Burch, Bobby Sager, entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist, and Babson President Emeritus Leonard Schlesinger.
On May 17, Ms. Burch will address the undergraduate ceremony at 10:00 a.m. and receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Mr. Sager will address the graduate ceremony at 2:00 p.m. and receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters. President Schlesinger will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws during our undergraduate ceremony.
Tory 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 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 promising 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 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.
Leonard 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 in 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.
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.
Please join me in welcoming them to campus on May 17 for what promises to be a special and memorable day — both for our graduating students and the entire Babson community.
All the best,