Babson College, B.S. ’64H’94 P’87 MP’90 G’20 Trustee
P’87 MP’90 G’20
For the past 40 years, Robert and Janet Weissman have been the wind behind Babson’s sails. With a lifetime giving that has reached a record $100 million, their boundless philanthropy has single-handedly elevated Babson’s faculty, student body, campus, and curriculum.
From the very start of Robert’s humble upbringing in New Haven, Connecticut, it was evident that he had a special way of doing things on his terms and challenging the norm. Although he would eventually graduate from Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts, the public high school he previously attended politely “invited” him to leave because of his bad habit of skipping class to read in the Yale library. Robert chose to continue his studies at the University of Connecticut from which he withdrew not once but twice. The third time proved to be a charm for Robert when he enrolled at Babson College and later graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1964. In the 1970’s, Robert became a pioneer in the cable television transmission industry and later in the nascent computer-time-sharing industry. In 1980, he was named executive vice president of Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, and in 1984 he was named President and COO. Ultimately, he spent 17 years with Dun & Bradstreet, eventually becoming Chairman and CEO in 1994. Robert also cofounded Cognizant Technology solutions, an information consulting company that has grown to 250,000 employees with sales of more than $14 billion.
The Weissman’s early investments at Babson College supported various professorships, athletic initiatives, and most notably the Weissman Scholars program, established in 2008. The Weissman Scholars program currently supports 19 students at the College with four-year, full-tuition scholarships. To date, 13 Weissman Scholars have graduated from Babson and have promising careers at technology startups, charter schools, nonprofit organizations, international automotive companies, and accounting corporations.
“I’ll always be grateful that I’ve lived in a society where I could aspire and achieve. Now I am banking on Babson College and Weissman Scholars to play an increasingly important role in building a better world.”
The Weissman family has also given generously to support our faculty through the establishment of Babson’s first endowed professorship in business analytics. Professor Richard Cleary was appointed the Robert E. Weissman ’64, H’94, P’87 ’90 and Janet Weissman P’87 ’90 Professor in Business Analytics.
Culminating in what was the largest single gift to the College in Babson history, the Weissman’s most recent investment supported key campus facility projects. In recognition of their generosity, Babson named the Foundry in their honor. The Weissman Foundry, located in the heart of campus, is a state-of-the-art collaboration and innovation space open 24/7 to students so that they can create whenever they feel inspired and pick up where they left off.
Robert attributes much of his success to his Babson education. He always knew that giving back to his alma mater was the best way to pay it forward to future entrepreneurs that he hopes will change the world.
“Babson plays a vital role in advancing the work of family businesses, of businesses led by women, of businesses that promote the common good for all people, and of entrepreneurs of all kinds,” said Weissman. “Our entire family feels very fortunate that we are able to help sustain Babson’s mission around the world and to do so during our lifetimes so that we can see the impact our philanthropy is having now and in the months and years ahead.”
Robert and Janet are instrumental members of the Babson Legacy Society, having planned for a significant bequest, and Robert has served as a Babson Trustee from 1979-1985, 1988-1994, and 1998-present. Robert and Janet have two sons who hold Babson degrees, Michael D. Weissman ’87, P’20, and Christopher J. Weissman MBA’90, as well as a daughter-in-law, Wendy Munroe Weissman ’88, P’20. Their grandson Benjamin Robert Weissman ’20 currently attends Babson.