Weinman Family Pledges $250,000 to Support Access and Equity Initiatives at Marist College
December 6, 2021 — Today, President Kevin Weinman and his wife Beth have pledged $250,000 to Marist College. Their generous gift will support a number of priorities designed to make a Marist education more accessible and equitable for talented students, regardless of their financial situation.
“In my short time here, it is already abundantly clear to me that Marist is thriving, yet has the potential to achieve even greater heights,” Kevin said. “One of the ways Marist can do so is to attract, enroll, and retain a diverse group of talented students and enable them to experience the full range of curricular and co-curricular offerings once they arrive, regardless of their financial circumstances. Our pledge is intended to be one small step towards helping all of our students to reach their full potential and get the most out of their Marist experience.”
“Members of the Board are extremely pleased that Kevin and Beth have decided to provide not only their time and talents to making Marist the very best it can be, but also the generous contribution of their financial resources,” said Ross Mauri, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Their support is an early indication that they have a deep commitment to Marist College and have tremendous confidence in its future.”
Their pledge will support five distinct and important institutional priorities:
- Expand the Dennis and Marilyn Murray Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to extremely talented students who might not otherwise attend Marist. This fund, now valued at over $3 million, was established in Dennis and Marilyn’s honor in 2016. Ever since, the fund has provided significant financial support to help Marist attract and enroll students who demonstrate great potential to become leaders in their chosen fields. “With this portion of our pledge, we are thrilled to support excellent students with financial need while honoring Dennis and Marilyn Murray and their legacy in propelling Marist forward to become the institution that it is today,” Kevin and Beth noted.
- Create the “Presidential Internship Support Fund” to assist students with financial need to secure internships in fields where such experiences are often unpaid and thus create barriers for students with financial need to pursue careers in these fields. “It is essential for students to participate in internships in order to succeed in the global workplace,” said Mary Jones, Executive Director of Career Services, and Desmond Murray, Associate Director for the Employer Experience. Increasingly, successful careers begin with internships, and often these are unpaid or underpaid. “It is heartbreaking to know that some of our students forgo internship opportunities because of financial limitations. This fund will allow students to pursue the field of greatest interest to them and secure internship experiences that will position them for success,” they noted.
- Create the “Presidential Academic Travel Fund” to enable students with financial need to enroll in courses that include a travel component. “These courses enhance learning outcomes and provide unforgettable – even life-altering – experiences for students and faculty alike,” Vice President of Academic Affairs Thom Wermuth said. This new fund will cover some or all of the costs of travel, and serve to lessen financial barriers to participation, encourage more students to seek these opportunities, and provide for a greater degree of equity in accessing all elements of the Marist curriculum.
- Create the “Presidential First Year Academic Support Fund” to enhance the support that incoming students receive to assist in their successful transition to Marist. “All of our students have incredible talent and potential, yet arrive with differing levels of preparation,” Kevin noted. “Supporting the needs of students who did not benefit from the same level of pre-college preparation as some of their classmates will help them get over this initial hurdle, allow them to feel a greater degree of confidence and a sense of belonging, and make it more likely that they will complete their Marist degree,” said Kevin. This fund will assist such students in a variety of ways, including tutoring, mental health support, and writing and quantitative support.
- Contribute to the Marist Fund. This fund, which raises over $1.3 million annually, is an important means by which Marist alumni, parents, and friends provide financial support to the College. “We are pleased that President Weinman believes deeply in the significance of annual giving as a vital complement to the other thoughtful priorities he and Beth are supporting with their generous pledge,” said Chris DelGiorno, Vice President for Advancement, and Chanel Marino, Director of Annual Giving. “Gifts to the Marist Fund support all aspects of the Marist experience, and their commitment will supplement the generosity of thousands of others in the Marist community.”
With this pledge, Kevin and Beth are excited to begin a lifetime of giving to Marist. “Beth and I believe that an investment in Marist College is an excellent one. As president, I will do all I can to ensure that these and other sources of support will have the highest degree of impact on the College and its students,” Kevin noted. They invite Marist alumni, parents, and friends to consider supporting the College in ways and at amounts that are meaningful to them. “With the collective support of its community, Marist can achieve great things,” Kevin said, “and become the very best institution of higher education that it can be.”