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A Home Run Experience
This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
1982, Fenway Park: Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and Dwight Evans lead the Red Sox, as former Triple Crown winner Carl Yastrzemski begins his penultimate season with the team. Mark Balaban ’84, P ’20, then a Bentley sophomore, takes the “T” from Waltham to Yawkey Way more than 30 times from April to September. His seat in the sunshine costs $7.50.
More than 30 years later, Balaban keeps this Bentley tradition alive as a partial season ticket holder — paying upwards of $100 for a box seat — with a thriving law practice in Middletown, Conn., and three college-age sons. His youngest, Jordan, is a Bentley freshman.
Balaban’s extracurricular education included stopovers in the office of Professor William Kimball, for lively exchanges on government, law and politics.
“I tell Jordan that I learned just as much outside of class, from Bentley professors and activities I was involved in, as I did inside the classroom,” says the former Management major. “That was a huge segment of my education.”
Inspired to enroll after visiting a friend on campus, Balaban made quick work of getting involved. He joined the Academic Affairs Board, became a resident assistant and pledged the Kappa Pi Alpha (KPA) fraternity.
“They required a 3.0 GPA for membership. I’m not embarrassed to say I had to obtain a waiver my first semester in order to join,” he says with a laugh.
Long before Dunkin’ Donuts came to campus, the KPA brothers sold coffee and donuts to evening students to raise funds for local charities and their own social events. The caffeinated enterprise — a simple cart on wheels located in the former Classroom Building — brought in more than $500 per week.
Weekends were lively, he says. “I remember the campus being very active, and enjoying events every Friday night. Organizations were always bringing in entertainment and speakers.”
Balaban’s extracurricular education included stopovers in the office of Professor William Kimball, for lively exchanges on government, law and politics. He also describes an impromptu lesson on the stock market, delivered by Professor of Economics Claudio Krauss — at Thackery’s Bar & Grill.
“There were paper tablecloths you could write on,” he remembers. “Over two beers I learned all about calls and puts. It was fascinating.”
This year Balaban adds another dimension to his Bentley experience: “I’m proud to be a legacy parent. As much fun as I had, I hope my son can exceed it.”
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.