To continue his parents’ legacy and love for Troy University, Monroe County Judge Jack Weaver and his wife, Barbara Marthe Weaver, have established the Joseph Barnett Weaver, Jr. and Joyce Booker Weaver Endowed Scholarship for students from Monroe, Escambia and Conecuh counties.
A 1985 alum, Weaver comes from a long line of TROY graduates beginning with his parents who attended then-named Troy State Teacher’s College. To date, 11 members of the Weaver family boast TROY degrees.
“TROY’s been the Weaver Family lifeblood,” he said. “We’ve all enjoyed getting our education there, and it’s led us to where we all are today.”
The senior Weaver enlisted in the Navy at age 18 and was sent to Pearl Harbor during World War II. After the war ended, he returned home to Conecuh County to finish high school.
After graduating from TROY in 1953, he began his teaching career at Excel High School in Excel, Alabama while simultaneously teaching fellow veterans in Conecuh County. Later, he served as Dean of Students, Dean of Business Affairs and as the yearbook and newspaper sponsor at Jeff Davis Junior College in Escambia County. He retired in 1989 after 23 years at Jeff Davis.
He and Joyce married on June 1, 1956, and had four children and eight grandchildren.
When his father passed, Weaver and Marthe searched for a way to honor his memory in a meaningful way. Eventually, the pair decided to partner with TROY and created the Joseph Barnett Weaver, Jr. Endowed Scholarship.
“Being that my dad was a lifelong educator, we wanted to set up a scholarship in honor of his name so that some young deserving students would have an educational opportunity. He’d be honored that some young person was having an opportunity to get an education,” he said. “I’ve heard my parents say you can take away a lot of things in life, but you can’t take away someone’s salvation or their education.”
The initial $25,000 scholarship was created in 2020 but was renamed this year after another $25,000 gift in honor of Weaver’s mother’s 90th birthday on Sept. 4.
As her husband taught high schoolers, Joyce specialized in educating younger children, teaching at elementary schools in Excel, Monroeville, Frisco City and Brewton, all located in Alabama.
Her education career lasted for 30 years.
“She was really surprised. It made a great 90th birthday present,” he said. “My parents have preached that education opens the doors to so many worlds, and without education, those doors are closed.”
The scholarship is intended for students from Monroe, Conecuh and Escambia counties who will be attending the Troy Campus. The requirements are: applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and must write an essay explaining why they are applying, if they will have student loans, how it will benefit their future plans, why they chose TROY and a description of their leadership roles or service to their community.
The Weavers said the scholarship was created with a particular type of student in mind.
“I’ve been to class nights where I see so many scholarships awarded to the valedictorian and salutatorian. That’s great, and they worked hard, and they deserve it, but they’re only going to accept one,” he said. “There are other students that really have a need who are working as hard as they can, and they may be a C student. If they’re giving it their all and that’s what it is, they should be rewarded too, and they should be given a chance for an education as well.”
Because of the drive and determination passed down from his parents, the couple started the Monroe County Chapter of the TROY Alumni Association. Since then, they have worked to help raise scholarship money for students in need and to support TROY in any way they can.
“It is extremely important that we give back to the things that have been given to us, and TROY is a wonderful University. You’re not just a number. You’re a person,” Weaver said. “They know you by name, and if you walk on campus, people still know who you are. I want to see TROY succeed in every way.
“It’s a great University and a gem to this state. I would like to see it continue to grow. It’s a beautiful campus, and it just makes you proud to be an alumnus.”