Alicia Castillo Holley Makes Estate-Plan Gift to Support of Babson’s Future
Alicia Castillo Holley, PhD MBA’96, came to Babson seeking a better understanding of the business world. She was an academic with several published papers and a strong lab foundation in plant physiology and had become a successful leader of the R&D department at a Bayer-Shell Joint Venture. “Working at a corporation opened my eyes to the business world, and I thought the best way to understand it was to do an MBA,” she said. “But I didn’t want ‘an’ MBA, I wanted a special place.”
An acquaintance mentioned Babson, and Alicia was immediately drawn to Babson’s new approach to business administration. “Before I attended Babson, I had never heard the word ‘entrepreneurship’ before. And I did not know a lot of business concepts like assets and liabilities. I had lived in a socialist country with socialist, academic parents, and we were not interested in the business world. It was indeed a steep learning curve.”
Babson had an impact on Alicia’s capacity to think, talk, and act and created new opportunities for her future. She says, “I always knew I would have a magical life, and I could not have found a better place than Babson to learn about the business world. In terms of methodology, entrepreneurship creates new wealth and breaks down the paradigms of capitalism and socialism. On a personal level, the connection is very deep. Professors patiently and relentlessly worked with me and my fellow students to teach us solid values and core competencies. I am also grateful—and a bit embarrassed—for the patience that many of my fellow students showed when my phone rang during classes, when I had to run to pick up my kids, or when I was unapologetically assertive about the challenges I faced as a single mother in a foreign country.”
Besides attending classes, Alicia did get involved with the Babson Latin Club and was co-president during her second year. She also received the first Armando Travieso Felloswhip and worked at the office of Alumni Relations with Christine Meng, whom she remembers fondly. “Christine was a very special person; not only did she give me the foundation for understanding networking, but we often reflected upon a business’s purpose: create value, care for people, and show it. She also invited us to her house for Christmas and gave me Halloween insight, sending me home with kid’s makeup when she found me working that afternoon.”
After graduating in 1996, Alicia went on to a successful career as entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and angel investor, all the while maintaining her connection to Babson. Just a few months after graduation she attended Price Babson, a training program for teaching entrepreneurship; and a couple of decades later, she joined the doctoral consortium to explore how to develop new theories.
Giving back to Babson is only one of the many ways she supports the College, and she encourages others to do the same. “No gift is undervalued or unappreciated at Babson.”
She has decided to turn her support of Babson into a meaningful and lasting legacy through a planned gift. “At almost 60, I’m still very active and my estate keeps growing. I’m now an angel investor in Silicon Valley and run an exclusive Investment Club, the Wealthing VC Club; so to maximize my gift, I gave Babson a percentage of my estate in my will. It will continue to grow, and I can play with my investments and enjoy the impact it has on other entrepreneurs and socioeconomic development at large. As we navigate through this fascinating journey we call life, I continue to support Babson and its legacy in any way I can. This support is so meaningful to me and my heirs that I trust others will consider how to make a contribution as well.”
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