Dr. Fred L. Mathews, second from left, accepts a $5,000 endowment from Daniel Weaver, second from right, on behalf of the Weaver family. Also pictured are Gary Weaver, far left, and David Weaver, far right. The brothers made the endowment on behalf of their parents, Pete and the late Marion Weaver. SMC will match the endowment, which will provide scholarship opportunities for students attending the college.
Dr. Fred L. Mathews, second from left, accepts a $5,000 endowment from Daniel Weaver, second from right, on behalf of the Weaver family. Also pictured are Gary Weaver, far left, and David Weaver, far right. The brothers made the endowment on behalf of their parents, Pete and the late Marion Weaver. SMC will match the endowment, which will provide scholarship opportunities for students attending the college.

Archived Story

SMC accepts $5,000 Weaver endowment

Published 10:15am Thursday, December 24, 2009

Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees accepted a $5,000 endowment from the Weaver family of Dowagiac.

The money will be matched by the college to establish a scholarship for students who need financial assistance paying for tuition.

“My dad has been a supporter of education his whole life,” said Gary Weaver of his father Wilbur “Pete” Weaver, who turned 94 Dec. 20.

“My mother attended every play at Southwestern Michigan College. We believe in SMC and we know the money will truly help students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend the college.”

The Weaver Family Scholarship is named in honor of Pete and his late wife, Marion, who passed away last February.

The surviving sons, Gary and his brothers, David and Daniel, attended the SMC Board of Trustees December meeting.

Pete and Marion were longtime business owners in Dowagiac.

Pete established Weaver Insurance, which is currently located at 214 Commercial St. in Dowagiac.

The business is now owned by Daniel Weaver.

Before that Pete and Marion opened Wil-Mar Fashion, a beauty and clothing store.
Pete, a U.S. Army Signal Corps inspector during the war, met Marion in 1941.

They married in 1943 and became local business owners who loved Dowagiac, according to family members.

“My dad was the kind of person who got things done,” said Gary, who graduated from SMC with an associate in arts degree in 1972. “If someone needed help or anything, my dad was there.”

According to Gary, Pete sang in the SMC community choir.

In addition, Marion was very active in the community, volunteering at Lee Memorial Hospital, a supporter of the performing arts, including Beckwith Theatre, where she was a board member, to name a few activities.

“Even with our community college tuition, this will make a huge difference on whether a student attends Southwestern Michigan College or not,” said SMC President Dr. David Mathews. “The college matches endowments with funds to be able to award scholarships to a greater number of students.”

Gary, who is an artist, owns Dream Weaver Painting in Dowagiac and is a real estate broker with Weaver Realty.

David, who lives in Bloomfield Hills, is chairman of Great Lakes Angels, a Detroit-based organization which mentors and provides start-up money to entrepreneurial companies in the region.

He also owns Aimattech Consulting LLC, which is a multi-discipline management firm specializing in strategic planning and business development, including global sales and marketing.

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