"THE DEAN" AS I KNEW HIM: A FORMER STUDENTíS PERSPECTIVE CONCERNING DR. FRANK E. WEYER
TOM JORGENSON, CLASS OF 1953Doctor Weyer, more affectionately known as "The Dean," became my friend when I began my freshman year at Hastings College in 1949. It was a tradition at Hastings for freshman and new students to be welcomed by a receiving line made up of Faculty, Staff members, and the President of the Student Body in attendance, at an early fall event held in the P. L. Johnson Gymnasium. It was there that I first met Dean and Mrs. Weyer. (I think that The Dean must have memorized each studentís name as he or she passed through the long line of handshaking Ė I assume this to be true as he never forgot my name after that evening!)
My next encounter with Dean Weyer came in the Freshman Orientation Class that he taught once a week in the old Chapel. We became very well acquainted with that "Sheep Shed," as it was referred to, as we were required to attend Chapel every weekday at 10:00 a.m. Church services were held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with convocation programs being scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays. All were assigned seats for these events and the "seat checkers" were required to complete and hand in a "Church Attendance Card," on which we were to indicate that we did (or did not) attend a Sunday Church Service at one of the many Hastings churches. If The Dean were to be suspicious of the verity of oneís response, one was immediately asked to visit The Deanís Office! I was called in a few times and asked to give The Dean a report on the content of the Sermon that I had heard. Although I never managed to fool him, he was kind enough to say, "Thomas, you must have marked that card in error!"
I donít think that Dean Weyer was ever really in doubt as to who was responsible for the various pranks that left their marks on the campus following midnight escapades. (There never was any malicious destruction of property so far as I know, just the removal of Chapel folding chairs from the "Sheep Shed," the painting and polka dotting of "John Deere Hall," the stuffing of newspapers into classrooms so that entry was impossible, etc. At such times The Dean would call in those whom he suspected, and in his own firm but fair manner, get the "humpty-dumpties" put back together again!
Dean Weyer was universally respected by his peers, the faculty and staff members, and by the students at the College, as well as by the townspeople. One of the greatest honors afforded him occurred when the entire male student body petitioned the College Board of Trustees to name the first permanent menís dorm residence hall for him. Dean and Mrs. Weyer were always kind and considerate to all whom they met. Furthermore, they always put the College and its students first in their lives. Frank E. Weyer was truly a "Studentís Dean" and as such he epitomized everything that was great about Hastings College.
The Dean touched deeply the lives of the thousands of students who were fortunate enough to know him. I will always be grateful for having had the privilege of knowing him as "My Dean," both as a student and an alumnus member, and as a friend in my later adult years. Memories of him are, indeed, to be treasured.