Photo Courtesy of the Yellens

Following the big announcement that David Yellen would succeed President Murray, the thought on everyone’s mind has been, “Who is David Yellen?” We spoke with the president-elect and his wife, Leslie Richards-Yellen, to get better acquainted with Marist’s newest president and his first lady.


1. They love to travel


Whether it’s by plane or by boat, the Yellens are always excited to embark on a new journey. They have traveled around the United States, Europe, and Africa. These worldly travelers still have more places to go. They hope to visit South Africa, Bolivia and Australia at some point.

“We enjoy exploring new things together,” said Mrs. Richards-Yellen. “We enjoy our annual vacation to the Jersey Shore, but  my favorite places that I’ve traveled to are Turkey, Egypt and Italy.”

Mr. Yellen added, “The best family vacation would have to be our car trip through Italy.”


2. The more toppings on a pizza, the better


The Yellen’s enjoy pizza just as much as the next Marist red fox! While Yellen usually opts for onions, olives and sausage on his pizza, Mrs. Richards-Yellen’s go-to order includes black olives and red peppers. Giacomo’s you think you can handle that?



3. If you could eat lunch with anyone in the world (living or dead), who would it be?

David Yellen: “I would have to say either President Lincoln or President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or Bruce Springsteen. I have been to about 20 Bruce Springsteen concerts.”

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Leslie Richards-Yellen: “Famous people I’d have lunch with would be Jesus Christ, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. However, if I really had to pick someone, I’d have one last lunch with my mother, LaClaire Richards.”

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4. They binge-watch shows on Netflix too


Like most of us, the Yellens enjoy kicking back and watching some quality shows and movies on Netflix. Yellen recently watched the hit AMC series Better Call Saul, a spin-off of the Emmy-winning show Breaking Bad. Mrs. Richards-Yellen, on the other hand, prefers to watch movies about her favorite fictional worlds, with that most recently being viewings of the Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

5. If you were stuck on a desert island, what are three items you’d want?


David Yellen: “I would want a well-stocked Kindle, some golf clubs with golf balls, and a picture of my family.”

Leslie Richards-Yellen: “I’d bring hot sauce, lots of music, and wine.”


6. They have a Marist bucket list, too

Although the Yellen’s will begin their residency in New York when Yellen takes office on July 1st, like all students, they are excited for the most wonderful time of the year: fall in the Hudson Valley.

David Yellen: “I’m excited to get to know the Marist Community first of all, as well as visit family and friends in the Northeast and explore the region’s natural beauty.”


Leslie Richards-Yellen: “I can’t wait to meet the students and attend the big sporting events here at Marist. And when it gets colder, I’m excited to go snowshoeing.”



Bonus fun facts that you’d never guess about the Yellens: 

Did you know… David Yellen has been parasailing with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Nice, France?


Meanwhile, Leslie Richards-Yellen has quite the encounters with lightning–two times actually?!

“I have twice been in the same room when lightning has also entered the room. The first time it looked like the lightning in the first Indiana Jones movie.” Similarly, Richards-Yellen shared with us that her great, great grandmother, who was born in slavery, had the same experiences and seeked refuge from the lightning in a tree, which was then struck by the same lightning.


All photos courtesy of Creative Commons.

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  1. Great Job! You captured the essence of our Next FIRST COUPLE beautifully,
    WELCOME to the Yellens!

  2. Marist College Rocks!

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