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Babson College Establishes Butler Institute for Free Enterprise through Entrepreneurship

February 7, 2020 GMT
Babson College President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD, Professor Andrew Corbett, Andrew Butler ’84, John Butler ’52, and Debi Kleiman, executive director of the Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, announce the establishment of the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise Through Entrepreneurship.
Babson College President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD, Professor Andrew Corbett, Andrew Butler ’84, John Butler ’52, and Debi Kleiman, executive director of the Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, announce the establishment of the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise Through Entrepreneurship.

WELLESLEY, Mass., Feb. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Babson College, the top ranked college for entrepreneurial education, announces the establishment of the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise through Entrepreneurship, with $10 million in funding from the John E. Butler family.

In its first century, Babson had an outsized and highly successful impact on individual entrepreneurs and their businesses. Now in its second century, Babson will scale its impact to positively shape the ecosystem that supports and enables the growth of entrepreneurs and their businesses. With the establishment of the Butler Institute, Babson seeks to drive research and policy outcomes through the exploration of how governmental policies, social values, and ethical business can influence entrepreneurship, free enterprise, and prosperity for all.

“We have admired entrepreneurs for a long time,” says John Butler, the chairperson of his family’s business, Cottingham & Butler, Inc. “They make an amazing contribution to our society.”

“Entrepreneurship does so much more than help the individual entrepreneur,” says Andrew Butler, Cottingham & Butler, Inc. executive chairperson. “It provides jobs and opportunities. It does so much for our society and economy.”

Paul T. Babson Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and Entrepreneurship Division Chair Andrew Corbett will serve as the Faculty Director of the new institute.

“I’m unbelievably excited,” says Corbett. “Through the wonderful and generous support of the Butler family, we have a great opportunity.”

“What kind of impact can entrepreneurship have on the greater good?” asks Corbett. “We live in an entrepreneurial age. We live in an age of creativity. This mindset is a way to solve problems. We want to put policies in place that allow this to happen.”

Programming will take multiple forms. The Butler Institute will study the relationship between free enterprise and entrepreneurship through numerous research projects. This work will leverage research from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the Babson-led research study that has been examining levels of entrepreneurial activity around the world for two decades, in new and innovative ways. The Institute will also serve as a convener, bringing together a community of thinkers and business leaders that will examine the policies and practices that create economic and social value for businesses, regions, and economies and creating opportunities for student engagement. With this approach, the Butler Institute will be able to have a macro-level impact.

This $10 million gift from the Butler family is the most recent gesture of their support for entrepreneurial leadership at Babson. They previously endowed the John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad at the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship. Through the Launch Pad’s diverse programs, student and alumni entrepreneurs explore opportunities and move their business concepts forward, taking advantage of workspace, mentoring programs, expert advisers, and other valuable resources. Beyond their giving to Babson, John and Alice Butler and their son Andrew support numerous causes within the arts, preservation, medicine, and other higher education institutions.

About John E. Butler

John E. Butler joined his family’s insurance firm in 1957 as one of three employees. Under his leadership and vision, Cottingham & Butler, Inc. has grown to over 1,000 employees. The company’s growth as consultants has been fueled by the development of alternative market facilities including claim administration, health, managed care, and safety. His current focus is the development and implementation of initiatives for the company’s vigorous growth.

John Butler is a former director and executive committee member for both Assurex Global and the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. He is a past chair of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

In his community, John Butler currently sits on the Executive Committee of the Board for the University of Dubuque and formerly the Grand Opera House Foundation. He was honored with the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also served as a former board member for a number of local organizations. Currently, he serves on the Executive Committee of The Noble Network of Charter Schools as well as The Lyric Opera, both of Chicago.

He recently was one of the principal founders of Heritage Works, a nonprofit fostering historic preservation.

About Andrew J. Butler

As Executive Chairperson, Andrew J. Butler is responsible for providing oversight and direction to the Cottingham & Butler, Inc. Board of Directors and to the organization as a whole. Prior to this role, Andrew Butler served as Vice chairperson of Cottingham & Butler, Inc. and President of SISCO and HealthCorp. He has served on the Board of Directors of Cottingham & Butler, Inc. since 2010. He has worked with an exceptional leadership team to grow Cottingham & Butler, Inc. into the fifth largest privately held insurance brokerage firm in the U.S.

Prior to joining Cottingham & Butler, Inc., he was President and CEO of Butler Insurance Service, Inc. and Butler Benefit Service, Inc., where he spent his time building the organizations to be the premier providers of employee benefit consulting and claim management services.

Andrew Butler earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Babson College. He also earned his MBA from The College of Insurance. Industry designations include CPCU, CEBS, ARM, and CSFS. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Dubuque Museum of Art and is a trustee of Junior Achievement of the Heartland. He was also on the founding board of the Regional Opportunities Council and was President of the Figge Art Museum.

His wife, Debi, has been a huge supporter and significant contributor to his success, as has their son, Ryan and daughter-in-law, Priscilla.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader of 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.

Michael Chmura, mchmura@babson.edu

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