Getting to Know Marist’s President Kevin Weinman
September 22, 2022 – Kevin Weinman arrived at Marist last fall as the College’s fifth President. Since then, he’s been a very visible presence on campus. On any day, you can see him holding student office hours, attending campus lectures, sporting events, musical and theatrical performances and cultural celebrations. He’s also visited Marist students abroad in Italy and connected with alumni across the country.
At the Marist Florence Commencement ceremonies in May 2022
While the Marist community has learned quite a bit about President Weinman, including about his career in higher education and his vision for Marist, there are some things you still may not know about him. We sat down with him with the intent of listing ten things about his life that the Marist community may not know, but almost as if inspired by Nigel Tufnel in the classic film This is Spinal Tap, this list had to go to 11.
Taking a photo with the Marist Women’s Lacrosse team at the 2021 Hunger Walk
So, Marist community, here are 11 things you may not have known about President Kevin Weinman:
- By the age of 25, Kevin had been to all 50 states, despite never visiting a state that didn’t border the Atlantic Ocean before college. Incessant road-tripping to Notre Dame away football games, camping in national parks all across the country, and always taking back roads, and roads less traveled, led to this “accomplishment.” State 50 was, appropriately, Hawaii, for his honeymoon after marrying Beth. Thankfully Kevin hit Oklahoma as state #49 a few months prior, which meant they could avoid a layover in Tulsa on their way to Hawaii.
- Despite his extended riff (pun intended) on his beloved Death Cab for Cutie in his commencement speech to the class of 2022, Kevin reports that his favorite kind of music is “anything loud from the 1990s” with a special affinity for Smashing Pumpkins and Jane’s Addiction. He’ll neither confirm nor deny attending a good many jam band concerts over the decades by Phish, Widespread Panic, Dispatch, and the like. His answer to the question “which album would you want with you if stranded on a deserted island?” is The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. Because he spent 9 years researching and writing a Ph.D. dissertation about suburbanization, so of course it is.
- Speaking of, Kevin is a scholar of suburbanization and wrote his Ph.D. Dissertation about the growth and development of Douglas County, Colorado, the nation’s fastest growing county in the 1980s and 1990s out of 3,000 counties nationwide. His idea for “Invisible Suburbs” came from the many days he spent on I-25 driving from Colorado Springs to his job on the south side of Denver, stuck in traffic where the map suggested there should be no traffic. His discovery: Highlands Ranch, an ‘invisible suburb’ of 110,000 people that remains unincorporated to this day (and thus not on most maps). He acknowledges that it would have been much easier just asking someone.
- Kevin has a twin sister, Karin, who was born 12 minutes after him (a fact he never lets her forget: he frequently positions himself as her “big brother”). They grew up in a small New Jersey suburb and went to a tiny public high school where Karin was senior class president and Kevin was senior class vice president, because if Kevin tried to run against Karin in the election, he says he would have lost in a landslide.
Alex and Brooke Weinman on the pond, a familiar sight
- Kevin and Beth are proud and committed hockey parents. Both of his children Alex (21) and Brooke (17) have been on skates since age three. The Weinman family has spent thousands of hours traveling to hockey rinks throughout New England and more far-flung places like Nova Scotia, Montreal, and Philadelphia. They believe they have been to every single ice rink in New England, and can rate each by how cold they are (the scale ranges from merely “really freaking cold” to “will this game ever end please so we can dethaw our toes.”)
After the 2021 Pike’s Peak Ascent in Colorado in 2021
- Kevin has been an endurance athlete at times in his life, completing 7 marathons (Chicago, Washington, Des Moines, Dallas, Duluth, Sugarloaf, Maine, and Kiawah Island, South Carolina), 9 half-ironman triathlons (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13-mile run – races in Montreal, Boulder, Lake Winnipesaukee, and the Finger Lakes), and three Pike’s Peak Ascents. “Finishing does not mean I did any of them well,” Kevin clarifies.
Rudy was filmed on Notre Dame’s campus during Weinman’s senior year in South Bend
- Kevin appears as an extra in the 1993 movie Rudy, filmed on the Notre Dame campus when he was a senior. His acting career lasted all of about 2 ½ seconds, as his screen time, about an hour and eighteen minutes in, is limited to a brief shot of the left side of his face while the main character, played by Sean Astin, serves food to him and other extras playing seminary students at a dining hall. For this work, he earned $3.35 an hour, though the award for “best extra in a feature film” went to someone else that year.
- Kevin loves spreadsheets. He has tracked and recorded everything in his life on the same spreadsheet since the late 1990s, including daily workouts, weight, personal finances, and so on. Yes, he understands how lame this is. But he so, so loves spreadsheets, with their endless rows, columns, and tabs…formulas, VLOOKUP’s, pivot tables, etc.
- Kevin is a lifelong lover of dogs, especially West Highland White Terriers (also known as “Westies”). Kevin grew up with multiple Westies in the house from his amazing and dog-loving mother Dolores. Beth and Kevin have been Westie parents to Oliver (lived to age 15), and now Abbe (13 years-old and counting). Westies are totally known for having no idea how small they are, and for taking complete charge of the situation. As a result, Beth and Kevin are perpetually scared of a being that weighs less than 20 pounds.
Abbe is the Weinman’s 13-year-old Westie and a big Marist fan
- As a native New Yorker, Kevin is a lover of (certain) New York sports teams. Favorites: Mets, Giants (he absolutely loved living in New England when the Giants beat the Patriots for not one but two Super Bowl titles), and most of all, the New Jersey Devils and their three Stanley Cups. While New York Rangers hockey fans are far more numerous in this part of the country, Kevin enjoys noting they have but one Stanley Cup since the Roosevelt administration (Franklin, not Teddy, as that would be even more embarrassing to them than it already should be.)
- Kevin reports that he is a spectacularly bad golfer. If one measures ‘value’ for a round of golf based on how many strokes one gets to hit before getting the ball in the hole, Kevin is doing great! Even the faculty in our excellent School of Science cannot explain how some of his shots end up where they do, as the laws of physics simply do not apply when Kevin has a 7-iron in his hand. No one is safe when he is on the course, including members of the Marist board of trustees. Kevin recently hit a golf ball that slammed into the golf cart that a trustee was driving at the time, on a totally different hole.