UMobile founding president dies: William K. Weaver Jr. comment (0)
January 23, 2014
The University of Mobile’s (UMobile) founding president William K. Weaver Jr. died Jan. 13. He was 95.
Weaver served as president of UMobile (formerly Mobile College) from 1961 to 1984 and was most recently chancellor of the school.
Mark Foley, president of UMobile, said it took courage and determination for Weaver and other leaders such as J.L. Bedsole and T.T. Martin to start a college.
“To start a college from scratch — I can’t imagine a more daunting task, yet that is what Dr. Weaver did. To build a college from the early days when it was little more than a cut off mound in the middle of a pine forest to a university with more than 1,600 students on 880 acres is amazing,” Foley said. “I know Bill was proud of Mobile College and the University of Mobile and all that it has become. I will miss his humor, grace, smile and encouragement.”
Born in Oxford and a 1936 graduate of Talladega High School, Weaver graduated in 1940 with a bachelor of arts from Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham and in 1943 with a master of theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He was awarded the honorary doctor of divinity from Samford and the honorary doctor of law from UMobile.
He was ordained to the ministry by First Baptist Church, Talladega, in 1942 and served in World War II as a chaplain for the U.S. Navy. He served as pastor of First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, from 1950 to 1961 as well as in state denominational work in Alabama and Kentucky and in various national denominational roles. He served as chairman of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and chairman of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission. He also was the first director of religious activities at Howard College and was a deacon and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church, Mobile.
He was extremely active in community roles including being a Rotarian since 1950. He was selected as Mobilian of the Year 1983.
Weaver was preceded in death by his wife, Annie. He is survived by one daughter, three grandsons and one great-granddaughter.