Marist 100 World Tour Brings Together Six Decades of Alumni at NYC Stop
October 9, 2023 — Alumni of classes ranging from 1963 to 2023 gathered with President Kevin Weinman in Manhattan for the fourth stop on the world tour of Marist 100, the College’s ambitious new strategic plan.
“How many other institutions have such a deep degree of devotion and care across literally all generations?” remarked Weinman to the assembled group, which included renowned sportswriter Ian O’Connor '86 and executive producer at CBS News Alvin Patrick '86, both of whom helped lead the event.
O’Connor sat down with President Weinman for a “fireside chat,” to reflect on the College’s first century and generate excitement for Marist’s vision of improving the world through education.
“I think our current students see where we’re going, and they have a lot of energy and enthusiasm that they chose well and that Marist is going to continue to get even better while they’re still students and beyond,” Weinman said.
Best-selling author and sportswriter Ian O'Connor speaks at the Marist 100 event in Manhattan. Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College.
This sentiment was echoed by the many alumni present, including O’Connor.
“It’s amazing the journey that the College has taken us all on,” said the New York Times best-selling author. “The value of our degree has ascended every year, and to see the school in the position it’s in now with a chance for amazing growth in the future has made us all very proud and happy we made the decision we made.”
The event took place at Marist’s 420 Fifth Avenue location, in the heart of New York City, where there is an engaged alumni network. Also in attendance were parents, Board of Trustees members, and other friends of Marist.
The Marist 100 World Tour began with the launch of the plan at the Poughkeepsie campus on Sept. 6, then continued with stops in Florence, Italy, where Marist has a branch campus, and Dublin, Ireland. Philadelphia, Denver, and Madrid will be the next stops in the coming weeks.
The three pillars of Marist 100—Academic Vibrancy, Student Centrality, and Expansive Community—were on full display as the gathered alumni reflected on their time at the College.
“The thing about Marist that I always talk about is the family atmosphere that I felt there, and I still do feel. To me, that’s what sets us apart. The people you meet, the people you get to talk with. Those are the real connections,” said Patrick.
Marist alumni and other guests gather in Manhattan to celebrate Marist 100. Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College.
Those connections continued to be made over the course of the evening, as attendees chatted over light refreshments ahead of the main event.
“What a special time we had in those four years, being able to grow up on the Marist campus,” recalled Laci Beckett '97, a supervisor in healthcare management at Centene Corporation. “It was all part of development as a human being, a person, a professional. My experience meant a lot to me, and I appreciate every bit of it.”
Julie Lavin '09, President of the Marist Alumni Association’s New York City Metro chapter, shared how Marist impacted her personal journey, from a career in events, marketing, and sales to the launch of her own chocolate chip cookie business, A Slice of Julieanne.
“Marist gave me that confidence that I was already a well-rounded student,” she said. “I had an 11-year career that I built off the foundations from Marist and learned through my classes and professors that I could do something like this on my own.”
Nicholas Esposito '19, associate manager of financial planning and analysis at Regeneron, echoed Lavin’s sentiment, citing the invaluable skills he gained through the liberal arts curriculum and dedicated professors.
“I definitely look upon those days fondly,” he said. “Marist taught me to think critically and have different perspectives. It all really helped round me out and prepare me for my career.”
Attendees symbolically underscored the sense of community by signing the event poster, a tradition that started in Florence and has continued as Marist 100 travels the globe. Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College.
Speaking to the alumni, President Weinman emphasized that the connections forged at Marist continue to be reinforced among current and former students alike. “Students love connecting with you and they draw so much from it,” Weinman said. “Whether it’s resume help, or asking, ‘How did you get to where you are?’ or, ‘What should I do for an internship?’ These things are really, really helpful and necessary.”
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