LU business alumnus endows entrepreneurship lecture series
Business students at Lamar University will have new opportunities to be inspired to create new businesses thanks to the generosity of LU alumnus Michael Weinert.
Weinert, who holds two graduate degrees from Lamar University, established The Michael G. Weinert Entrepreneurship Lecture Series Endowment to provide funds to bring dynamic, high-profile entrepreneurs to the university for lectures in entrepreneurship.
"Mike Weinert is passionate about the role that individual potential plays in our economic system,” said Henry Venta, dean of the College of Business. “His gift is a tangible statement of that passion and how we can foster it at Lamar University."
"Appropriate role models are most important in helping students find their path in life,” Venta said. “Mike's gift will enable the College of Business to bring to campus outstanding entrepreneurs so that future generations of Lamar University students can truly see the importance that entrepreneurship can play in our economy and on their own personal lives."
Weinert is a decorated military officer with more than 30 years of service in the US Army and US Coast Guard. During his career, he accumulated more than 2,200 flight hours in numerous types of helicopters and holds a commercial instrument rotary wing license. In his civilian career, he held real estate sales and brokers licenses and was licensed by the National Association of Securities Dealers.
Weinert created the endowment “to inspire LU students to embrace the spirit of entrepreneurship and to reach their true potential in life” with an initial gift of $200,000 and a commitment to bring the total endowment to $500,000. At that point, the dean of Lamar’s business college will use the proceeds generated by the endowment to bring nationally recognized speakers to campus.
A sixth-generation Texan, Weinert, the son of Army career officer Col. Charles M. Weinert, lived throughout the U.S. and abroad during his formative years. His mother, Dolores Belzons, is a descendant of Samuel and Celia McCarley, settlers of Stephen F. Austin’s second colony. She was also the great-great granddaughter of Theodore Lee, who served in the Texas Army at the Battle of San Jacinto.
Weinert graduated with a degree in management from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1979, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Regular Army after completing the Army ROTC program at UT-Arlington and the US Army Airborne training.
Weinert graduated first in his class from the Transportation Corps Officer Basic Course, then attended and graduated from the US Army’s Flight School, the Army’s Aircraft Maintenance Officer’s Course and the US Army Maintenance Test Pilot course for OH-58 Kiowa helicopters. He served with the US Army’s Air Cavalry in Korea for one year and then served several years with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Ft. Campbell, Ky.
After receiving a direct commission in the US Coast Guard in 1984, Weinert began flying search and rescue missions from Corpus Christi and later transferred to New Jersey. Initially he flew Sikorsky HH-52 amphibious helicopters, but soon began flying the Coast Guard’s newer Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin helicopters.
In 1988, Weinert left active duty and returned to the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he worked for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and other employers while continuing to serve in the Coast Guard Reserve in Corpus Christi. In 2000, he began flying helicopters to oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico. One week after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Coast Guard recalled him to active duty. He transferred to the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Port Arthur in July 2002 and began attending evening classes at Lamar University.
Weinert earned a Master of Public Administration from LU in 2007, then continued his education, earning an M.B.A. from Lamar in 2009. While a student, Weinert was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society and Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society.