Safeguarding Canisius History

November 13, 2018


Kevin Marmion ’75 has worked for William S. Hein & Co. Inc. – the world’s largest distributor of legal periodicals – for nearly half a century, most recently stepping back from duties as president while remaining CEO. His long tenure is testimony to the high value the company places on loyalty to its hard-working employees.

Marmion showed that same kind of loyalty to Canisius College when he offered Hein’s services to digitize the school’s student newspaper, The Griffin.

The Canisius Archives began digitizing The Griffin several years ago with support from the Western New York Legacy Project.  When funding ran out, however, the project came to a halt. Marmion’s gift resurrected the project, enabling the college to permanently preserve the unique history of Canisius and campus life. Marmion estimates the value of his gift-in-kind at approximately $5,000 but its impact is immeasurable. 

“The Griffin is an important part of our history and we are happy to have it preserved,” says Kristine E. Kasbohm, director of the Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library. “The real value of this gift, however, is the joy that students, alumni and families of alumni have found in browsing the old issues. There is no way to quantify that.”

Marmion began working at William S. Hein in high school and put in as many as 40 hours a week as he studied for a business degree at Canisius. While he earned money to pay his tuition, Marmion notes that the company paid for his books each semester and encouraged him to keep studying. That culture at the family-owned business combined with what he was learning about business ethics in the classroom formed the leadership philosophy he carries out at Hein.

“Dr. Donald Calvert, one of my favorite professors at Canisius, had a style of teaching in which he compared business to life, telling real stories to make his point,” Marmion recalls. “What I learned from him parallels with how Hein operates – treat others how you want to be treated, whether an employee, customer or co-worker.”

After graduation from Canisius, Marmion worked his way up in the company and became president in 1996. Throughout his tenure, he played an instrumental role in Hein’s evolution from distributing printed books, to converting publications to microfilm, to digitizing pages for internet access. Today, William S. Hein & Co. and HeinOnline operates a leading online database that houses more than 158 million pages of legal, historical and government documents, including The Griffin, used by researchers, scholars and educators around the world.

Marmion is a member of the Canisius Leadership Society and has generously supported the school for many years. “Canisius had an impact on me, and I am who I am in large part because of my education there,” Marmion concludes. “In my family, in school, and in business, I was taught to make the world a better place. That is why I give back