Read the College’s message to the Jones Professor Emeritus of History
Professor Robert I. Weiner, the College community is grateful for the knowledge and compassion you have brought to Lafayette. You received your Ph.D. from Rutgers University. You joined the College in 1969; you were tenured in 1975 and promoted to professor in 1989. In 2001, you were named the Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of History.
Professor Weiner, you created a compelling learning environment for your students where you taught about European history, Jewish history, French history, and the Holocaust. In all of your classes, students appreciated the knowledge and passion that you brought to your subjects and the quality of the discussions you led.
Professor Weiner, your scholarly contributions were significant and have a broad audience. In addition to your many contributions to conferences and proceedings, you published a series of lectures titled The Long Nineteenth Century with The Teaching Company. You also co-wrote an oral history titled An Uncertain Future: Voices of a French Jewish Community, 1940-2012, The Jews of Dijon published in 2012. You, Professor Weiner, have built a YouTube following as well; your online lectures have generated about 150,000 views, and your most popular one, “The Origins of World War II” has been watched more than 115,000 times.
Professor Weiner, in addition to serving the department, you have been an integral figure in the development of the College’s Hillel Society throughout your 50 years, serving as both a director and the Jewish chaplain for the society. In September 2009, you and your wife established the Bob and Sandy Weiner Jewish Life Gift Fund; and since 2016, you have been a leader in helping to raise over $2 million for an endowed chair to support Jewish studies and an endowment to support Hillel and Jewish life at Lafayette. Your other College activities, Professor Weiner, include serving as a member of both the Retirement Committee and Diversity Committee, and as a member of the Jewish Studies and the International Affairs Program Advisory Committees. You are a frequent reviewer for University of Toronto Press and a member of the Association for Israel Studies, French Historical Studies Society, and Western Society for French History.
As a seven-time recipient of the Student Government Association Superior Teaching Award, Professor Weiner, you were also the recipient of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1974; the Marquis Distinguished Teaching Award in 1997; the Dean of Studies Faculty Recognition Award, Student Government Faculty Adviser Award, and Daniel L. Golden ’34 Alumni Association Faculty Service Award in 2002; and the James E. Lennertz Prize for Exceptional Teaching and Mentoring in 2009.
Professor Weiner, you are inspiring and passionate, and you point out and amplify what is best in others. Your students—of every political persuasion, gender, and nationality—have praised you for having brought them to a new appreciation of history and the life of the mind. You are the kind of intellect who can make other intellects blossom, and this speaks volumes to not only your intelligence, but also to your dedication to the craft. Since your retirement, your colleagues have missed your intellectual generosity, your largeness of spirit, and your zeal for the department and the College.