Dr. Patricia Campbell addresses members of the Weiner family and Beacon President George Hagerty during Robert & Jane Weiner writing center dedication.
The Beacon College community Saturday saluted a pair of benefactors and celebrated their generous legacy — one that each year writes new chapters of success — during the dedication of the Robert & Jane Weiner Writing Center.
Staged during the college’s annual Parent’s Weekend, Beacon staffers, students, and members of the Weiner family joined together to reflect on the generosity of the couple whom family members described as “warm, caring, loving and generous” and the tangible results of their gift.
Beacon alums Scott Diamond and Talia (Kohan) Diamond attended the ceremony with family members Allen M. Kohan and the Weiner’s children, Marilyn Weiner Kohan and Jerome Bookin-Weiner.
Conceived as a support to help students develop their critical thinking skills through the focus on a student-centered, process-driven model, the Robert and Jane Weiner Writing Center has a well-traveled history.
“We ultimately want students to be more confident with their writing as they head into the world,” said Richard Davidson, director of the writing center.
Launched during the tenure of Beacon College President Deborah Brodbeck, what the college originally called simply the Writing Center was born out of the need to provide additional support to Beacon students — many who struggled with writing because of writing disorders.
While the space was small — it occupied the office now held by Dr. Richard Perrone — it proved effective in boosting students’ writing aptitude, teaching research paper writing, and how to properly cite sources using APA, MLA, Chicago, and other citation styles.
The second move landed the writing center in the space now occupied by the college’s math lab.
In August 2005, the Robert & Jane Weiner Writing center formally opened in the college’s education building housed in the area now occupied by the anthrozoology department.
Favorable reviews of the college from their granddaughter, Talia (Kohan) Diamond, class of 2009, stoked their generosity.
“It gives me a lot of gratitude when I come to visit the writing center and I see the students work so hard with our staff,” said Dr. Shelly Chandler, Beacon provost. “I see that name on the wall (Robert and Jane Weiner) and I think of Talia often.”
Today, the Robert & Jane Weiner Writing Center is ensconced in its fourth home, inside the Compass Center.
The Weiners benevolence extended beyond Beacon College. The couple endowed the annual Jane L. and Robert H. Weiner Lecture in the Fine Arts for visiting lectureships in 1984 at Dickinson College, their children’s alma mater. In addition, they couple endowed the Robert H. Weiner Fund for Staff Training or the Jane L. and Robert H. Weiner Museum Endowment, both at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, where Mr. Weiner was executive director emeritus.
The Weiners were married 66 years until Jane Lasner Weiner’s death in 2008. Mr. Weiner passed in 2016.
“They have been able to help students at a college that specializes in helping students,” Jerome said.