Why We Give Back: The Kane Family
When Kevin and Kristin Kane brought their son Daniel to campus for an admitted students day in 2019, they had no idea Widener would soon be a daily part of all their lives. Dan had been on many local college tours, and Kevin, who worked at St. Joseph’s University, loved his job and had no intention of leaving.
One year later, Dan was finishing his first year as a Widener civil engineering student, Kevin was Widener's new executive director of facilities management and real estate, and Kristin was making rounds to volunteer at every Widener event she could.
That first campus visit made quite an impact.
“We attended a presentation by Dr. Vicki Brown, and the interaction between her and the students blew our whole family away,” Kevin said. “You could tell how much this group knew and cared about each other in a really intimate and supportive environment, much different from other schools we’d been to.
“Dan left smiling ear to ear.”
Kristin added, “That presentation made me want to go to school here!”
For Kevin, that day stuck with him enough that when he was approached for the Widener facilities management position, he knew he had to take it. His days are now spent managing the campus housekeeping, maintenance, and construction teams. Providing exceptional campus spaces and support services for students and faculty is a priority for Kevin.
Kristin is a fertility nurse and feels similarly about providing the best care possible in her work.
Holding the Door Open
The youngest of eight children and the first in his family to graduate college, Kevin notes that a significant scholarship helped to make higher education possible for him. Paying that generosity forward by supporting scholarships for future generations of Widener students means the world to the Kanes.
Though Kevin’s job requires his presence at many campus events, the Kane family will opt in to just about anything they can. Kevin describes Kristin as a “super volunteer,” ready to step up and do whatever is needed to help out.
“I’ve been given lots of opportunities in my life, so if I can take some time to give back to others who didn’t get those chances, I’ll do my part,” Kristin said. Homecoming is her favorite Widener event of the year, where she gets to mingle with her extended Widener family at the Tailgate Village, made possible by Kevin’s team.
“That first day we came to campus, the energy was so inviting and engaging,” she reflected. “I’m happy to now pass that along as a Widener parent and give my time talking to others and welcoming them into this family.”
As the Kane family prepared for Dan’s graduation this past spring, they reflected on his time at Widener and all that has changed in the past four years.
Kristin sees this change most in their family group chat where “all her boys” are now debating current issues and discussing their perspectives on what’s happening in the world. She’s been happy to host weekend dinners for Dan and his friends who are now Widener family, too.
For Kevin, interactions with students through Student Government Association committees reflect just how much growth can happen in one’s college career.
“It’s rewarding to work in an atmosphere where you’re supporting the future leaders in many different kinds of industries,” he said.
He’s seen “transformational intellectual growth” in Dan and was proud to watch his son graduate with the same civil engineering degree he did.
Kevin and Kristin will continue giving back in any way they can, and though they won’t technically share alumni status with their son, they’re just about as Widener as you can get.