Investing in the future of CMC
Since graduating from CMC more than 30 years ago, Marc Birenbaum ’91 P’25 still considers his college friends to be among his strongest and most important relationships. As a student, he immersed himself in the full CMC experience—Birenbaum regularly attended CMS games, developed close student-professor relationships, and took full advantage of the Ath and 5C events.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, today Birenbaum lives in Charlotte, North Carolina where he is a managing director for Wells Fargo Securities in its Leveraged Finance Group. He is excited that his daughter Megan ’25 is a CMCer, experiencing many of the same traditions he enjoyed as a student.
Birenbaum recently shared his reflections on his time at CMC.
How did your time at CMC prepare you for your career?
I think more than anything, my professors at CMC helped me develop critical thinking skills that allow me to analyze and evaluate information in almost any facet of life. This provides me the best chance of making good decisions by developing a framework to question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value.
What were some of your favorite experiences while at CMC?
Some of my best friends at school were athletes, so attending football, soccer, and basketball games were always a lot of fun—both on campus and off. A few of us would bring along our official mascot for soccer games—a turtle adorned with a “Stag Flag” to help motivate the crowd.
Of course, 5-college parties were always a great time, and you can’t attend CMC without mentioning the great food and lectures at the Ath. I recall speakers such as Ray Bradbury, Jesse Jackson, Ed Rollins, and Elie Wiesel who provided us a wide range of experiences and viewpoints from some of the most outspoken political and/or social activists of the time.
Who are your mentors from your time at CMC?
I viewed both of my primary professors in each of my majors as mentors, Clark Kucheman in Philosophy and Religion, as well as Ross Eckert in Economics. Both taught classes that were challenging, but their doors were always open, and they helped me develop skills important for both personal and professional success.
How would you describe the CMC community?
CMC continues to be a tight-knit community that inspires collaboration and trust. Students and alums are supportive of one another and celebrate each other’s successes. That’s one reason why alumni weekends continue to be a great forum for classmates to reconnect and renew relationships.
Why is it important for you to be involved at CMC and/or give back?
Even 30 years after graduation, some of my strongest friendships and relationships are with my classmates from CMC. I have always enjoyed providing current CMC students networking and career advice when they reach out, and now my daughter Megan ’25 is also a member of the CMC community. For that reason, I have also made investing in the future of CMC a priority and helping more students get access to its education, small class sizes and relationships with faculty. The Marc and Jana Birenbaum Endowed Scholarship in honor of Professor Ross Eckert was a way I could honor one of my mentors at the school and provide additional support for students.