John McMillin Babson College MBA'76
Sometimes a professor is so memorable, so charismatic, that they leave a long-standing impression on students. That was the case for John McMillin III, MBA '76, who recently established a named scholarship in memory of Professor Jack Hornaday and also documented a bequest intention to continue funding scholarship. Dr. Hornaday was one of the first faculty members to teach entrepreneurship at the college. McMillin believes that Hornaday's foresight laid the groundwork for Babson's current distinction in the field.
McMillin, now an equity analyst partner at investment firm Lord Abbett in Jersey City, N.J. refers to Professor Hornaday as "a ball of energy."
"He just had a bounce to him. There's no other way to say it. Half of life is showing up, and he not only showed up, but he showed up with a high energy level. That's what I remember most, and I've tried to copy it."
McMillin entered Babson after graduating from Bucknell University. Having difficulty in a tough job market, he sharpened his skills with an MBA. "Babson was a year of maturity for me, and Dr. Hornaday helped in it," McMillin recalls. "A year at Babson helped me find myself." John got to know Dr. Hornaday well due in large part to his friendship with the professor's son who was also a Babson MBA student.
McMillin graduated from Babson and segued into a career on Wall Street, first as a sell-side food analyst at Prudential Securities and, later, on the buying side at Lord Abbett, also dealing with food and beverage companies. Even as McMillin nears retirement, he recalls Hornaday's entrepreneurial spirit and how it influenced his own career.
"Stock-picking isn't much different than sports-picking," he says. "I can identify people who start businesses and have the characteristics to enable them to grow. So much of my job is identifying companies on the upswing and people skills, where there's vision at the top."
Just like his favorite professor.
"Hornaday had that entrepreneurial streak himself, which helped to create a vision for the college," says McMillin. "He's a professor that Babson needs to remember. He wasn't the only person at Babson who had a vision for the college, but I remember his voice being the loudest."