MURRAY, Ky. — Family and friends said final goodbyes to Dr. Richard (Dick) Weaver on Feb. 7, 2018. However, the legacy of love and support for Murray State University that Drs. Dick and Jan Weaver personified will continue on with a planned gift through their estate.
“Dick and Jan Weaver were generous donors to Murray State University and our entire community,” said Tina Bernot, executive director of development at Murray State. “They both offered a lifetime of giving to support many programs across campus.”
In their 33 years of giving to Murray State, the Weavers gifted more than $750,000 to 63 different scholarships, athletic programs and projects on campus, including establishing four “Weaver scholarships” and two named spaces on campus: the Weaver Center in Roy Stewart Stadium and the Jan Weaver Conference Room in Alexander Hall.
“There are very few donors to Murray State who reached the extensive breadth of giving across the University that Dick and Jan did,” Bernot said. “If there was someone or something on this campus they could help and support, they stepped up to do it, and they did it often.”
The Weavers first came to Murray in 1985 when Jan accepted the position as dean of the College of Education at the University. Jan, a native of Owensboro who graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College, taught at Owensboro High School and other public schools until 1961 when she attended Indiana University to pursue her MAT and EdD.
There she met Dick Weaver of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Dick had entered the U.S. Army after high school and served during World War II and the Korean conflict, but later attended and graduated from Indiana University with an MBA. In 2001, Dick was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Murray State.
Both Jan and Dick had long, distinguished professional careers — Dick with RCA, where he helped design the controls for the lunar landing module, and then later operating his own management consulting firm specializing in industrial engineering processes; and Jan, working in higher education at Murray State and in service with the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education nationally. Jan retired from Murray State in 1997 and passed away in 2009 after an extended illness.
Although they traveled extensively and could have lived anywhere, they loved Murray. Dick was quoted as saying that the greater Murray community was “the most caring community [he’d] ever been in.” He involved himself with organizations such as Murray Civic Music Association, the Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters (now West KY Mentoring), CASA and many others.
“Dick and Jan Weaver epitomized the term service,” said Dr. David Whaley, dean of the College of Education and Human Services. “Dick and Jan were committed to providing ongoing support to the college and to so many of its students.”
Dick Weaver’s recent estate gifts, specifically to the Janice F. & Richard F. Weaver Student-Athlete Academic Scholarship and the Dr. Jan Farmer Weaver Endowed Education Scholarship, are a testament to the lifelong commitment they had to the University’s students.
The Weavers loved Racer athletics and were committed to assisting the teams reach success both in play and in the classroom.
“One of the things that made me happy was when [Murray State’s] athletic department had the highest GPA of any department on campus,” Dick said in a prior interview. “That’s one of those things where you say we made a difference.”
The scholarship they created supports student athletes in completing a degree before leaving Murray State.
“The Weavers were always visionaries,” Bernot said. “Through these legacy gifts, they will continue to have an impact for generations to come. We are honored to carry out their wishes to support the students of Murray State University.”
For more information on establishing a scholarship or fund to support Murray State students through one’s will or estate, contact the Office of Development at 270-809-3001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.