Dr. Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr. '66
Undergraduate Commencement Speaker
Dr. Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr. is the epitome of a leader. A renowned executive in the telecommunications industry, a senior adviser to financial services and equity firms, and current Chairman of the Stevens Board of Trustees, his prudent wisdom, sound judgment, and keen analytical mind combined with his tenacity, diplomacy, eloquence, and charisma have served him well throughout a stellar professional career.
Dr. Babbio currently serves as a Senior Advisor at TAP Advisors LLC, a leading financial services advisory firm in New York City. He formerly served as Senior Adviser for the private equity firm Warburg Pincus from 2007 until early 2013.
Dr. Babbio served as President and Vice Chairman of the Board at Verizon, the third-largest telecommunications company in the world, where his vision and guidance fueled the company's growth and success. Dr. Babbio played a pivotal role in the firm's $8.4 billion acquisition of long-distance carrier MCI in 2005, held responsibility for the Verizon Telecom and Verizon Business units, and served as a member of the board of directors for Verizon Wireless.
Prior to heading Verizon, Dr. Babbio led Bell Atlantic as President and Chief Operating Officer, a role in which he shared oversight of and responsibility for all business operations; the restructuring of the business units; the GTE merger process; and the development of new growth opportunities. As chairman of the company's Global Wireless Group, one of the largest wireless operations worldwide at that time, Dr. Babbio was the lead executive charged with developing Bell Atlantic's domestic and international wireless communications strategy. Under his leadership and in part thanks to his foresight, Bell Atlantic substantially increased the size and scope of its domestic and international wireless holdings. It was a remarkable accomplishment for Dr. Babbio, who had begun his telecommunications career upon graduating Stevens in 1966 at New Jersey Bell, a company that eventually became part of Bell Atlantic.
Dr. Babbio has received a number of significant honors during his career. In 1994, he received the Stevens Honor Award, an award given since 1945 by the Institute to celebrate particularly notable personal and professional achievements. In 2003, the International Engineering Consortium (IEC) presented Dr. Babbio with the IEC Fellow Award, given to recognize individuals who have "provided the information industry with a superior level of sustained and significant service". In April 2013, he received the President's Leadership Award from Stevens President Nariman Farvardin during the inaugural Stevens Awards Gala in New York City. On that occasion, President Farvardin remarked "I can truly attest to his brilliance; I am both honored and indebted to Larry for his selfless support, his guidance, and his mentorship during my early term as President."
Dr. Babbio has also long been active in technology leadership, contributing his advice to some of the globe's most important enterprises. He served on the board of Compaq Computer Corporation from 1995 until its 2002 merger with Hewlett-Packard Company, now the world's largest personal computer vendor, where he continued to serve as a board member until 2012. He presently serves on the board of ARAMARK Corporation, one of the nation's largest service companies, as he has done since 1999. Dr. Babbio has also given selflessly of his time to not-for-profit causes, including his service on the Board of Directors of the philanthropic Wallace Foundation, which works to make enriched educational opportunities available to underserved communities of children in urban areas.
Dr. Babbio has served continuously on the Stevens Board of Trustees since 1994, and as Chairman since 1998, guiding Stevens through periods of tremendous accomplishment as well as challenging periods with a selfless dedication to his alma mater and an aspirational vision of Stevens. He has spent decades closely involved in alumni affairs as a loyal and dedicated alumnus, making an impact on the University in a multitude of ways. His extraordinary generosity helped catalyze and support the landmark building which bears his name, the Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr. Center for Technology Management. This facility is the embodiment of the University's technology-centered education and research programs, many of which were in fact inspired by Dr. Babbio's vision.
Dr. Babbio has also inspired countless others to give back to Stevens in a myriad of ways, including through the landmark Chairman's Challenge, a matching philanthropy program he personally created in 2012.
Dr. Babbio earned his B.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1966. He earned an MBA from New York University in 1970 and received an honorary Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng.) from Stevens in 2001. With the foundation of a Stevens degree, Dr. Babbio launched a remarkable career and record of service that are exemplars for the Class of 2013 and, indeed, for us all.