Judson Mourns the Passing of Dr. Harm A. Weber - Updated
(Elgin, Ill. UPDATED April 30, 2010) On Tuesday, April 27, Judson University’s chancellor and former president, Dr. Harm A. Weber of Bradenton, Fla., passed away due to complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 83.
A founding member of Judson’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Weber served as president of Judson from 1969 through December 1991. When he became president of Judson in 1969, the university was experiencing tight financial conditions, a situation that he turned around. During his tenure as president, he oversaw several new buildings on the campus. When he retired as president in 1991, he was named chancellor of Judson, a title he held until his death. Since his retirement, Dr. Weber and his wife, Arlie, split their time each year between homes in Minnesota and Florida. In 2007, Judson’s newest building, the Harm A. Weber Academic Center, was dedicated to the former president.
An article in the April 29 issue of the Daily Herald reflects on Dr. Weber's life and his relationship to Judson University. In the article, Judson's current President, Dr. Jerry B. Cain, described Dr. Weber as stateman and notes, "He could dream dreams that nobody else saw and make them become a reality. Those earliest years you incur debt to build buildings, yet he saw through all those debts. Kept the faculty paid and students happy."
Dr. Weber is survived by his wife of 61 years, Arlie, and children Harm A. (Lynda) Weber, III of Danbury, Wisc., Matthew Karl Weber of Des Plaines, Ill., and Jan Christine (Steve Buttress) Weber of Kearney, Neb. To read more about Dr. Weber's life, view the following obituary.
Upcoming Memorial Events
A memorial service will be held in Bradenton, Fla., at 2 p.m. Saturday May 1. The service will be held at Bethel Baptist Church, 1805 30th Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205.
At the request of the family, a memorial service will be held at Judson University this fall to honor Dr. Weber's life and service to so many. This service will be open for community members, students, alumni, faculty and church members in Illinois area.
The Weber family invites those of you who wish to make a contribution to Judson University in memory of Dr. Weber, to use the following Memorial Giving form for Judson.
Share Your Remembrances
Many Judson alumni are posting remembrances about Dr. Weber on Judson's Alumni Facebook pages. To view these comments and post your own notes, please visit Judson's alumni group on Facebook.
Please keep Arlie and the entire family in your prayers. Cards for the family may be sent to the following address:
3611 100 Street West
Bradenton, FL 34210
Remembrance from Dr. James Didier
Dr. James Didier, retired president of Judson, served as Dean of Student Affairs and Executive Vice President during the years of Dr. Weber’s presidency. Dr. Didier shared the following reflections on Dr. Harm Weber:
My knowledge of Dr. Weber began in a meeting in Chicago six months before Judson college was formally begun, at which a small group planned to open the college. Six years later Judson’s founder, Dr. Benjamin P. Browne, chose Dr. Weber to be the third president of this struggling young school.
Upon his arrival to Elgin, the new president was confronted by a leading trustee who informed him that, because of the college’s desperate financial condition, it was necessary that he find a way to close the school with the least cost and trauma to all involved in it. When Dr. Weber announced his intention to see the college survive and thrive, a number of trustees resigned rather than face financial ruin. At that point, the very existence of Judson was in peril.
Dr. Weber, with conviction and determination, led the new school through those most difficult early days. After 22 more years, he handed over to his successor an institution recognized as a leading evangelical college in the Midwest, truly thriving and strong. I believe that without Harm Weber having served as its president, Judson would not likely exist today.
This is a story of a pioneer leader who set his jaw to see this institution through to health and vitality. This intrepid leader spent most of his time traveling across the country to tell the story of Judson, recruit supporters to pray for its success and invest in its future.
It was my privilege to stand with and support Harm as his closest associate by investing myself in the inside work of administration, administering the affairs of the college, developing the campus, and establishing its policies and programs.