Saturday, May 18, 2013 – Babson College President Leonard Schlesinger awarded Ashesi President, Dr. Patrick Awuah, an honourary Doctor of Laws degree for his outstanding entrepreneurial leadership in Ghana. The presentation was made during Babson's 2013 Commencement Ceremony, at which Dr. Awuah was also asked to speak to the Babson Class of 2013.
Dr. Awuah was among three honourary degree recipients honoured in Saturday's ceremonies, including Kip Tindell, CEO of the Container Store, and Saras Sarasvathy, Associate Professor at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.
(Patrick Awuah Jr. (left), founder and president of Ashesi, with Babson College President Leonard Schlesinger.)
According to Babson College, "as extraordinary leaders who are transforming the world in different and impactful ways, Dr. Awuah, Tindell, and Dr. Sarasvathy embody the mission of Babson – to educate entrepreneurial leaders who make and find opportunities that create economic and social value everywhere."
"I have loved welcoming Babson students and faculty to Ghana these past few years," said Dr. Awuah, in his address to the Babson Class of 2013. "I have taken great satisfaction reading about Babson's engagement in other African countries as well. I am really honoured to receive this award from an institution that I hold in very high esteem."
Dr. Awuah has been recognized globally for founding Ashesi, and creating an innovational educational model that is raising the bar in higher education in Africa. Established in 2002, Ashesi has become recognized for educating a new generation of leaders with strong critical thinking skills, ethical posture and entrepreneurial spirit.
"Truly great achievements require the action of a community – a team," said Dr. Awuah, to the Babson Class of 2013. "Our most significant achievements depend on the assistance of others. [...] Your families, friends, faculty and administrators of Babson College all played a part in your success today. Similarly, my wife, children, colleagues at Ashesi, and Ashesi's financial backers played a role my success."
For his inspiring accomplishment of developing and leading an institution to educate Africa's next generation of leaders, the World Economic Forum nominated him as a Global Leader in 2007. In 2009 Dr. Awuah won the John P. McNulty Prize from the Aspen Institute as an extraordinary young leader making creative, effective and lasting contributions to his or her community. In 2010, Fast Company also named him among the world's 100 Most Creative People.
In 2012, Dr. Awuah was named Ghana's 4th Most Respected CEO, up from 8th in 2010, and is the first university President to have received this recognition. Ashesi is also the first university to have been named one of Ghana's top ten most respected organisations. The Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley also presented Dr. Awuah with its 2012 Leading Through Innovation Award.
He holds Bachelor degrees in Engineering and Economics from Swarthmore College, an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, and an Honorary Doctorate from Swarthmore College.