Alumni Weekend Spotlight: Kadeine and Joshua Peterson, Class of 2009
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - Josh Peterson remembers the moment he saw his future wife Kadeine Campbell walk into Professor Joe Bettencourt’s biology class freshman year. “Wow, she’s beautiful,” thought the football player from upstate New York. Then the petite girl from Brooklyn began to answer the professor’s questions, and Josh had to revise his opinion: “She’s smart, too! She’s my dream girl.” The two wouldn’t begin dating until their senior year, but an enduring bond had formed.
Josh and Kadeine had the opportunity to reminisce about their Marist days while on campus to see Kadeine receive the Marist College Young Alumni Award on October 7. The College honored Kadeine, along with Tom Ward ’69, who received the Dr. Linus Richard Foy ’50 Outstanding Alumnus Award, and Jim Daly ’72, who was presented with the Dr. Dennis J. Murray Distinguished Service Award.
The College’s Annual Alumni Awards were established six years ago to recognize alumni who have achieved professional distinction; provided outstanding service to the College and/or community; and exemplified the Marist ideals of excellence in education, a sense of community, and commitment to service. Tom Ward, the treasurer of Marist’s Board of Trustees, was honored for an extraordinarily successful career in the garment industry, having served as president, CEO, and chairman of Maidenform Brands. Tom was also recognized for the generous support he and his wife Mary have given Marist, as well as for lending his expertise to the College’s Fashion Advisory Board. Jim Daly, senior vice president at Stifel Financial Corp. and past president of the Marist Alumni Association Executive Board, was lauded for his exceptional contributions to the life of the College and the local community. Jim, his wife Chris, and two of their children are Marist graduates, and he and his wife Chris ’08M have been strong advocates of the College’s Alumni Legacy Scholarship and football program.
Young Alumni Award recipient Kadeine Campbell Peterson ’09 represents a new generation of Marist alumni now taking its place as leaders in society. After graduating from the College with a degree in biology, Kadeine earned her master’s in genetics at Cornell University, and she is currently pursuing a doctorate in science education at Teachers College of Columbia University. She is a biology and science research instructor at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, where Josh, who majored in business marketing at Marist, also works. They are parents to three-year-old Jack Maverick. Ironically, in Dr. Ray Kepner’s biology class, Kadeine and Josh were paired up to work on a project involving a Punnett square, a diagram used to predict what genetic traits children will have. KJ, the “offspring” of this project, became a running joke between the two until they actually became romantically involved senior year.
Asked what Marist means to them, both Josh and Kadeine had the same answer: community. At one point during her college career, Kadeine had to leave school for financial reasons. Dr. Eddie Summers ’04/’06M, then a senior member of the administration, heard about her situation and intervened, arranging a meeting with Student Financial Services and ultimately making it possible for Kadeine to complete her studies. Said Kadeine, “I saw the selflessness and concern of the Marist community and wanted to emulate that in my own life.”
For Josh, the power of the Marist community could be felt in the academic support he received. “I struggled academically, but I wanted to be able to play football, so the biggest thing for me was the tutoring and extra help I received. People really invested in me, and the hard work I put in paid off.”
Josh and Kadeine both said that Marist felt like home the minute they set foot on campus, and they are proud of the College’s success and recognition. Added Kadeine, “We speak to everyone about how much we love this school.” Will Jack Maverick be a member of Marist’s Class of 2036? “We hope so!”