Babson School Spirit Shines Brightly for New Author Howard Brown

It’s a busy week for Howard Brown ’88. his memories, Shining brighthas just been released and returns to the Babson College campus this weekend for the first time in three years to celebrate “Back to Babson.”

The former Babson Trustee and President of the Babson Alumni Association – now the Babson Alumni Advisory Board (BAAB) – has been an inspiration not only for his contributions to the Babson community, but also for the example he sets as a two-time stage IV cancer patient survivor. In 1989, shortly after graduating from Babson University, he was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 23. Then, 26 years later, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Now, Brown, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and healthcare advocate, is listed as No Evidence of Disease (NED) and currently resides with his family in Birmingham, Michigan.

Register today for Back to Babson 2022 from September 30th to October 2nd.

Brown was keen to share his story and unique optimism. However, despite being an accomplished public speaker and frequent podcast guest, he has been reluctant to tackle the daunting task of writing a manuscript, particularly as he recovers from chemotherapy, surgery and the emotional and physical side effects. So, beginning October 2019, he hired others to tell his story. During the pandemic, he conducted more than 200 video interviews with “important and influential friends, family members, mentors, camp counselors, doctors, my basketball boys, interfaith leaders, and of course, many Babson College students, alumni, faculty, staff, and trustees.”

Shining bright then her story is as much like his own. In a recent Q&A with Babson Thought & Action, Brown reflected on his journey and his Babson experience ahead of his return to campus this week.

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What do you hope readers will take away from your memoirs?

“The most important takeaway from the book is that we can all let our light shine brightly to make the world a better place. We do this by uplifting ourselves through self-care, then uplifting others in their time of need, and then sharing our light together to be a power multiplier for healing, kindness, positivity, with action and the sharing of hope. A second theme is the importance of mentoring. I have been blessed to have great mentors in my life and to be able to mentor others. Mentoring is leadership! Most recently, I have delved extensively into Roger Babson and his life and influence, which I know readers will appreciate.”

Your experience as a double cancer survivor is moving and inspiring. What advice would you give to others who are in similar situations?

“We all get knocked down in business, in relationships, in health and in life. I was devastated by two stage IV cancer diagnoses, treatments and survival 26 years apart. The lesson I’ve learned is: It’s not about how much more I can get out of life, it’s about how much more I can give! I worked hard on my mental toughness, my physical condition and tried to limit negativity while focusing on “getting back involved with life”. We cannot go through life or any malaise alone. We must turn to others to lift you up in times of need. Once you get back on your feet, it’s time to pick others up. I call that sharing your light.”

“I gave something back to Babson, but I got so much more in return. … I strongly recommend getting involved with Babson and volunteering.”
Howard Brown ’88

What impact has Babson College had on you and why is it important to you to give back to the community?

“Babson College changed my whole life. I joined Babson in 1985 from Connecticut College. It wasn’t right for me. I was taking summer courses and Dean Marilyn Snyder was a professor of general management at the time. She saw the potential in me to blossom at Babson that I hadn’t seen in myself. I tried to maximize my time at Babson. I played basketball, did internships, and made lifelong friendships that are as close today as they ever were. Then I decided to give something back to Babson. I started attending high school college fairs in Los Angeles, then we started the alumni club in the San Francisco Bay Area and I was asked to join the board of directors of the Babson Alumni Association and became a two-time board chairman and appointed trustee for the college. The title of the book actually comes from my idea of ​​then-President Kerry Murphy Healey as the first woman President of Babson College. She wanted to give the annual State of the College address to the alumni association and I had everyone put on Babson monogram sunglasses and said, ‘The Babson Alumni Association is ‘shining bright’ here today. I ended up giving something back to Babson, but I got so much more in return. When I was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic colon cancer in 2017, Babson came to support me and my family in countless ways. I highly recommend getting involved and volunteering at Babson. There is so much to learn and share, and so many opportunities to make new friends and business connections.”

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There is a chapter in your book about your time as President of the Babson Alumni Association. How formative was this experience for you and the alumni community?

“My time with the Babson Alumni Association has been an impactful, fun, great learning experience and an amazing opportunity to meet and serve the 44,000 alums worldwide in 127 countries to enjoy and now continue their days at Babson College as an undergraduate or MBA be involved to take Babson to new heights. I sign my Babson emails “With Babson Pride and Spirit”. I’m very proud of Babson and our place on the global entrepreneurship stage as we’ve been #1 for Entrepreneurship for 29 consecutive years for MBAs and 26 consecutive years for undergraduates. Babson students, alums, faculty and staff are special as we are One Babson!”

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What are you looking forward to most about Back to Babson?

“After a COVID hiatus for a few years, I am excited to return to campus for Back to Babson Homecoming. I look forward to seeing people in person. I will be attending the BAAB meeting early Saturday morning, followed by the Alumni Volunteer Leadership Awards brunch, then the all famous tent with sporting games, food, fun and friends. Can’t wait to see friends and alumni of the Classes of 1987, 1988 and 1989. Let’s Go Babo! Defend the dam!”

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