As Babson College begins the search for its next president, alumni have launched a massive social media campaign this week endorsing Babson Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Dennis Hanno.
A Babson alumnus founded the Facebook group “#PrezHANNO” on Feb. 7. As of today, the group has more than 2,300 members.
“The first day there were 300 people, then 900 people,” said alumnus Daniel Girdusky, a supporter of the campaign. “It has grown really quickly.”
In early December, Len Schlesinger, the president of Babson College, announced that he would step down from his position at the end of the academic year. In a letter to the Babson community dated Dec. 3, he wrote that “it is now time to reorient much of my attention to those in my family who both deserve and require it.”
The Babson College Board of Trustees has established a search committee to find Schlesinger’s successor. Members of the Babson community are encouraged to submit suggestions online.
On the Facebook group, students and alumni post endorsements and pictures of Hanno. One person even wrote a one-act play about the presidential search and uploaded it to the group.
The description of the Facebook group reads, “First, he revolutionized the undergraduate experience. Then, he took the graduate school to the next level. It's our responsibility to ensure he is enabled and empowered to continue defining Babson's future. Tell the Presidential Search committee your Dean Hanno story. Everyone has one.”
Alumni are also endorsing Hanno on twitter with the hashtag #PrezHANNO:
According to his biography on the Babson College website, Hanno previously served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Matters in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Girdusky said Hanno is an obvious choice because he genuinely cares about the students. When Girdusky attended Babson, he said that Hanno held “coffee hours” once a week, during which time he would give away coffee and talk with students.
He said that Hanno seems to know every student’s name, as well as a few facts about him or her.
“He’s definitely one of the guiding forces behind the student experience at Babson,” Girdusky said.
Girdusky also said he is certain the president search committee will make a good choice no matter who they pick, but he is hopeful that the committee will take Hanno into serious consideration.
“He would be a very student-centric president and when you have a person who knows everyone on campus, he would continue the transformation of the college,” Girdusky said.
Katherine Landergan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.
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