Sterling College: When did you graduate from Sterling?
Steve Kinney: 1968
SC: What were your major and minor?
Kinney: I was a psychology major and had minors in sociology, Bible and philosophy, and maybe political science. I can’t remember that last one for sure. I know I had a lot of hours in it, but maybe didn't quite get a minor.
SC: What activities were you involved with while on campus?
Kinney: I was involved with student government a great deal. I never ran for office, but I got people elected.
SC: What residence hall did you live in?
Kinney: Campbell, for the three years I was there. I had just gotten out of the service, so I went to school year-round for three years to graduate.
SC: What are you doing now?
Kinney: I am a pollster. I’m with one of the largest public opinion research firms in the nation. We do survey research. I draft the questionnaires and interpret the results. I actually took some classes on survey research at Sterling in the sixties. When my wife died in ’72, I went to California. I’ve been in politics full-time since ’74. I’ve been in full-time polling since 1991. When you do what I do, you’re truly in the middle of the political fight.
SC: What kind of a family do you have?
Kinney: My first wife, Miriam (Read ’69), who was also a graduate of Sterling College, died in a miscarriage in 1972. I married my current wife, Cynthia Durham Kinney, in 1991.
SC: Where do you live?
Kinney: Redondo Beach, California. When I left Kansas, I swore I wasn’t going to live more than a half-mile from the ocean and I never have. I’m about six blocks from the water. I love to run next to the ocean. I’ve run two marathons and a lot of 10Ks.
SC: How did your experience and time at Sterling College shape you?
Kinney: It had a lot to do with strengthening my faith. The classes were great, but the Christian attitude on the campus was even better. One of the great things about SC besides being a Christian college is that it is also a liberal arts college. It gave me exposure that has been invaluable in the polling world, because I got exposed to a lot of different academic fields.
SC: What did you enjoy or appreciate most about Sterling College?
Kinney: The faculty. There were some really great people there. They made such an impact on my life. They were a wonderful bunch. Simpson, one of my profs, was great. Art Gathman was head of the education department, and I did all of his audiovisual stuff. I became very close friends with them. Mr. Gathman did the funeral for my wife Miriam. I knew the Klings because they were there when I was there. The humanities teacher, Brownlee, was a friend as well. I worked for Bob McCreery in the development department later.
SC: Do you have any children or relatives who attend or work at the College now?
Kinney: I have known Don Reed ’68 since college; we were classmates. I know the Klings. I worked for the College for a couple of years after I graduated. I was in admissions for part of a year, but then I got switched over to alumni affairs.
SC: How are you remaining involved on the campus?
Kinney: I am on the National Advisory Council.
SC: Do you mind if we include an email address so people can get a hold of you?