FRANK ELMER WEYER: A PROFESSIONAL VITA
(Reconstructed from the Presentation of the Nebraska School Master’s Distinguished Service Award of May 1977)
[Frank Elmer Weyer (born January 14. 1890), began his schooling in a one- room schoolhouse near Ainsworth, Nebraska. Graduating from the Long Pine Nebraska High School in 1906, he entered the Doane College Academy in the fall of 1906 in preparation for his matriculation as a college freshman at Hastings College in 1907. He was graduated from Hastings College in the spring of 1911.1]
Frank Weyer’s teaching career was launched as Principal of the High School at Newport, Nebraska; from there he went to Atkinson, Nebraska as Superintendent of Schools. For one year he served as Professor of Education and Psychology at Henry Kendall College, now the University of Tulsa. In 1918 he returned to Hastings College as Professor of Education and College Dean.
During so-called "vacation periods" and on occasional "leaves of absence," he earned the Master of Arts degree and in 1940 a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Nebraska, with additional resident study at Columbia and Stanford Universities.
In 1944 and 1945, the College allowed him "leave" to act as Student Counselor and Professor of Educational Psychology at the American Army University in Biarritz, France.
When he retired from Hastings College in 1960, he had served his Alma Mater faithfully for a period of 42 years, the longest time anyone had served in that capacity. To have served as a dean – any dean, anywhere – for 42 years is simply staggering. Three times during his tenure: in 1934, 1943, and 1957 – he also served as "Acting President" of the College.
Most men would be glad to retire after that period of service, but Frank Weyer, accompanied by Mrs. Weyer, went on to serve as a Fulbright Lecturer for the academic year 1960-61, in Pakistan. His assignment took him into all sections of the country to aid Pakistani teachers in improving their curricula and teaching methods at the elementary and secondary school levels.
After the year in Pakistan, he took on an assignment of helping Campbell College in Buies Creek, North Carolina, make the transition from a junior to a senior liberal arts college. What he thought might be a two-year term turned into ten. During those ten years Professor Weyer organized a Teacher Education Department that now provides 250 or more new teachers a year for the schools of the South.
In 1970 he was nominated for the honor of North Carolina Teacher of the Year. The staff of the College’s annual dedicated its 1971 edition to him, and in 1973 the Campbell College Chapter of the Student National Education Association was named the Frank E. Weyer Chapter.
One would expect a person of Frank Weyer’s ability to hold offices of state and national significance. He was Vice-President of the National Education Association, President, District 4 of the Nebraska State Education Association, President of the North Central Association, President of the North Central Association of College and University Deans, President of the Nebraska Council for Teacher Education, and President of the Nebraska School Master’s Club. But these are not all of his honors. When he was a senior at Hastings College he was founder and editor of the College’s first yearbook, The Bronco. Since that time the College yearbook was dedicated to him in 1936, 1944, and 1957.
Finally, the students of Hastings College signed a petition and presented it to the Trustees, asking that a new dormitory be named for him – a living monument to a living man.2
Hastings College awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to him in 1950 and an alumni citation was presented to him in 1975.
Frank Weyer also found time to publish four books and several book reviews in the journal School and Society.
Besides his college and college-related duties, The Dean found time to serve his community as a member of the Adams County Selective Service Board for 20 years (part of that time as chairman), the Board of the Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, as a member of the local Kiwanis Club, and as an elder of the First Presbyterian Church, in addition to his various social activities.
Frank and Maybelle Weyer reared three daughters who are prominent in educational circles: Mary Elizabeth in Abington, Pennsylvania; Phyllis in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Dorothy who was a member of the Nebraska State School Board.
Looking backward, Dean Weyer doesn’t think the college pranks of the "good old days" were as bad as they are remembered by alumni. The alumni, he said, exaggerate their collegiate cussedness. "They ought to be ashamed of themselves if their pranks were as bad as they make them sound in retrospect…. Most young people in colleges are basically good and honest. When we have a student who acts up, my policy has never been to send him home at the drop of a hat. That would be the easy way. Some of our most spirited students have become great leaders in their communities. It’s my job to get the student to see the importance of his own self-direction."
I have studied Frank Weyer’s record of many achievements and honors and I am sure the School Master’s Club made a wise choice in picking him as the recipient of its Distinguished Service Award for 1977. To know him is a great experience. From a horseback cattleherder to one of the outstanding educators in the United States is a great step made only by great men, and I feel that Dean Frank Weyer is one of those persons.
Elmer Weyer's College activities were many and varied, and he took them all
seriously. During his four years at Hastings College he served as
Secretary, Vice-President, and President of the Y.M.C.A., President of the
Ionian Literary Society (1910-11), President of the Collegian
Association (1910-11), Editor-in-Chief of the Collegian (1910-11),
and Editor of the1911 Bronco.
2 More information concerning this petition is included in the article, "THE DEAN" RECEIVES A "LIVING MONUMENT."