In Memoriam: Barry Weinman

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a photo of barry and virginia weinman

A true titan of generosity and spirit, Barry Weinman died peacefully at the age of 85 on April 15, 2024, surrounded by family and friends. His passing, almost a year after Virginia, his beloved wife of 60 years, leaves a void in the hearts of those touched by his unwavering commitment to the advancement of medicine and education.

Weinman’s legacy is intertwined with the story of Virginia, his partner in life and philanthropy. He believed that all people should have control over their bodies and health throughout life’s journey. Together, he and Virginia dedicated themselves to supporting the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and the UH Cancer Center, leaving a lasting mark on both institutions.

As co-founders of the Weinman Foundation, Barry and Virginia blazed a trail of generosity, providing countless opportunities for aspiring medical students and researchers at JABSOM and the UH Cancer Center, including:

  • Paving the way for 10 aspiring physicians by providing full medical school scholarships in 2007.
  • Establishing of the Weinman Dean’s Chair in 2008 ensuring that the leadership of JABSOM had the resources needed to drive innovation and excellence in medical education and research.
  • Matching donations in 2018 from Hawaiʻi Pacific Health and the Queen’s Health System resulting in a transformative gift which provided 23 four year, full-ride scholarships and opening doors for future generations of medical students at JABSOM.
  • The funding of the Weinman Scholars in 2020, a cohort of 10 students to help them become medical doctors and serve their communities in Hawaiʻi.
  • Hosting the Weinman Symposium for 14 years, a premier conference co-founded with UH Cancer Center researcher Michele Carbone, which brought together international experts in science and medicine to tackle the challenges of cancer research.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Weinman’s journey took him across continents and oceans, from his service in the U.S. Navy to his endeavors in venture capital.

In lieu of services, memorials may be directed to the UH Foundation, Barry & Virginia Weinman Dean’s Chair in Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, 651 Ilalo Street, Honolulu, HI 96813.

The Weinmans’ generosity has made a profound impact across multiple sectors within UH. Colleagues who had the privilege of working closely with Barry and Virginia reflect on their cherished memories of their generosity.

Lee Buenconsejo-Lum, JABSOM interim dean

“We are grateful for Barry’s and Virginia’s aloha for JABSOM over these many years. They understood the need to grow our own physicians who would stay or return home to serve the communities in which they were raised. They also understood the importance of having a funding source for the school’s priority areas, which has included support for our medical student research, growth of research and educational programs in several departments, and many more initiatives. I had the opportunity to share our gratitude with Barry before he departed and assured him that his and Virginia’s legacy will live on in the daily work we do to achieve lasting optimal health for all—within the JABSOM ʻohana and with the communities we serve.”

Michele Carbone, UH Cancer Center researcher and former director

“Barry was a different person, and so was Virginia, and the two of them found each other and that was their luck. They gave without wanting recognition and generously supported our research in BAP1 and mesothelioma. When they made a gift to launch the Weinman Symposium they did not want any acknowledgement and we only added their name to the symposium after the first one. Barry and Virginia did not make donations to see their name on a wall, to get recognition, or to be influential. They gave to projects and research they believed were important. Barry and Virginia cared about the world, I am sure they helped many more people I know of, they did so because they were generous, they did not expect or ask for anything in return, what a wonderful couple!”

Jerris Hedges, JABSOM professor and dean emeritus

“Barry and Virginia Weinman made some key contributions to JABSOM during a critical time in the evolution of the medical school. Their generous support and creation of the Weinman Dean’s Endowment provided the essential resources I needed, as a new dean to begin to address these challenges. The Weinmans also invested heavily in medical student scholarships which created matching opportunities leading to a greater retention of JABSOM graduates in Hawaiʻi, a lasting legacy for all who call Hawaiʻi home.”

Jun Hernandez, UH Women’s Tennis head coach

“Barry and Virginia have been incredibly kind to my family, our program, and me. Their impact has been profound, shaping the lives of countless student athletes we’ve had the privilege to coach. Without their belief in me, I couldn’t have been part of the many championships and successes in our program. I can’t thank Barry and Virginia enough. Barry was a wonderful person and a great friend. He was always there with kindness and support. I’ll miss playing tennis with him, seeing him cheer for our team on competition days, and chatting about tennis. I’ll also miss talking story with him about stocks and investments, and the life lessons he shared. Barry was a generous and thoughtful friend, and I miss him dearly.”