21st Century Memorial Dedication Wren Hall
Remarks by Donn Weaver
21st Century Memorial Dedication
November 8, 2014
Donn A. Weaver
Comments by a Gold Star Dad
Jeanne and I first walked into Wren Hall in October of 1970 as newlyweds about to begin a life of more than 44 years of military and federal government service. We loved this college then and now. But, how could we know that William and Mary would become so special to our family. By 2008 five of our children and spouse children were William and Mary Graduates. They all rang the Wren Hall Bell. One, our youngest, Todd, even broke the rope in his exuberance. We have 10 grandchildren and we have no doubt more than a few of them who will join the “Tribe”.
Before the slogan became popular, the Weaver family was “One Tribe, One family” and there is a brick at the alumni house to prove it. On September 11, 2010, we knew we were all a member of another family as William and Mary reacted to the combat death only two days earlier of one of its citizen soldiers. Todd loved this College and his country. Like Ryan McGlothlin, and like all who graduate from this historic college and walk these sacred halls, Todd took his understanding of Service, Leadership and Honor honed on this campus into his life as a combat soldier. When he died William and Mary rallied behind him and us, just as they have with the sons and daughters and their families listed in Wren Hall to which the names Todd and Ryan are now added.
Air Force General John Jumper as Air Force Chief of Staff put one of William and Mary’s values like this:
“Service before self is that virtue within us all which elevates human spirit, compels us to reach beyond our meager selves to attach our spirit to something bigger than we are.”