Fund set up in professor’s honor

A new scholarship has been established in honor of retired UH professor Wilford Weber, who died in his home on June 28.

A total of $10,000 was raised for the scholarship through donations so far, although the goal is $20,000. At the memorial, his family asked that people donate to the Wilford Weber Memorial Scholarship instead of buying flowers.

"He loved children," Cheryl Weber, his widow, told the Houston Chronicle. "He had a very gentle heart and believed in education. He was a wonderful father to all his children and a wonderful husband. His students adored him."

Two of Weber’s close colleagues were working with his wife to start the scholarship fund, said Donna Jares, development coordinator for the College of Education.

"We do not have criteria yet," Director of Development for the College of Education Daintee Jones said. "It will benefit students in curriculum and instruction because that is where he taught."

The Alumni College of Education Board donated $3,500, and the rest came from students and those who loved Weber, Jones said.

"We wanted his scholarship at $30,000, and right now it is at $10,000," Jones said. "We are still trying to raise the $20,000."

The scholarship is not yet available to students but should be within the next two years from the College of Education.

Scholarship coordinators are working to endow the money that has been raised, Jones said.

"As soon as it reaches $10,000 it will be able to be endowed," Jones said. "What the University does is put the money we have raised into an account, and we give away the money that the interest earns every year."

Although future students will not receive the opportunity to be taught by Weber, they can benefit from his scholarship.

"He understood that what came easy to us as teachers did not come as easily to students, and he instilled that into us and always kept that in mind," former student Jeff Waller said.

Weber had a unique way of teaching and a great desire to see his pupils succeed, his former students said.

"He was there for all of us. His students were important to him, and he cared about their lives," said Julie Vowell, a doctoral student specializing in science education.

For more information about the scholarship, contact Jones at 713-743-8653.

Additional reporting by Roshan Bhatt.

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