Ed Weis is a native Nashvillian who traded the streets of Bellevue for Wall Street. After a career in investment banking for Merrill Lynch, he now serves as Dean of the School of Business at Mercy College in New York City. He took time this week to speak with Lipscombsports.com about his time at Lipscomb on Coach Lynn Griffith’s tennis team.
What years did you compete for Lipscomb?
I played tennis for Coach Lynn Griffith in the 1987-88 season, my second year at Lipscomb. I wanted to play as a freshman, but I delayed joining the team to make sure my college academic career got a good start.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to dual-credit courses in high school and a compressed college class schedule, Ed Weis graduated from Lipscomb in just over two years.)
Tell us about your education
I grew up in Bellevue and graduated from Hume-Fogg High School, an academic magnet school in downtown Nashville. I earned my undergraduate degree in Accounting from Lipscomb, a J.D. and joint Masters in Accounting from University of Tennessee, and a PhD in Finance from University of Georgia.
Why did you attend Lipscomb?
The strongest influence was my father, an alumnus who had a really good experience at Lipscomb. Two of his brothers, my uncles, had also gone to Lipscomb. They all did well in accounting, and I noticed the pattern in my extended family – the ones who went to Lipscomb and studied accounting all had set up great lives for themselves. So I studied accounting as well.
I got my first look at Lipscomb much earlier when I attended several of Coach Don Meyer’s Bison Basketball summer camps.
What is your favorite athletic memory at Lipscomb?
One memory stands out above the others – I lost a tennis match early in the season to a rival player at his home court, and I didn’t think the guy played with particularly great character. I circled on my schedule the return match and resigned myself to beat him when his team played on our home courts at Lipscomb. Unfortunately, I woke up the day of the rematch very sick with bad asthma symptoms. I was determined to play, however, so I played, won, and afterward made a trip to the hospital for adrenaline shots to help my lungs. I won’t say playing that day was the smartest decision I ever made, but the experience taught me a lot about myself and our human ability to put mind over matter when properly inspired.
Who influenced your athletic career at Lipscomb?
The greatest influence in my tennis experience was Coach Lynn Griffith.
I appreciated and admired Coach Griffith’s ability to keep tennis in perspective. He created great team camaraderie. We worked hard, but he kept it fun so we didn’t get burned out. I admired his sense of humor and his ability to see his players as individuals and college students, not future tennis professionals.
What’s your favorite non-athletic memory from your time here?
I lived at home and commuted to campus, so I don’t have lots of dorm memories. But I do remember an off-campus house where many of us – including my younger brother – would spend time playing video games and jumping on a trampoline. Interestingly, that and walking across Granny White Pike to Pizza Perfect were enough to make us feel engaged and entertained.
What did you learn in your time on campus?
In my time at Lipscomb, I think having Bible and chapel every day forced me to think about not only being successful, but being fulfilled and putting character first. And I’d say, now that I’m older, that I realize those two go together – they’re not mutually exclusive. Usually people with good character over the long run are both successful and fulfilled.
I graduated from college, even as a young 17-year-old, knowing it’s ultimately not enough to simply earn money my entire working life. Those few years helped form my philosophy that we should spend our:
- 20’s building skills and being an apprentice in a hard profession,
- 30’s acquiring financial freedom (not enough to do nothing, but to do anything,)
- 40’s leading and working to enact our own vision,
- 50’s being of public service.
Who were your favorite professors?
I studied accounting, so I was inspired by Dr. Axel Swang, Dr. Perry Moore and Charles Frasier – three of the best educators I can imagine.
Tell us about your family:
I have a wonderful wife and three incredible children: Claire (15), Lindsey (13), and William (11).
- Favorite food: Chicken
- Favorite scripture: I love the book of Proverbs, and I count several as favorites.
- Favorite TV show or movie: The Shawshank Redemption
- Favorite sports team: Unfortunately right now, the New York Jets
- Favorite season: Fall
- Pick one – salad or dessert: Dessert
- Dream vacation spot: Australia
- Early morning or late night person? Definitely late night
If you want to contact Ed, you may reach him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org