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Giving others the gift of education

By Kari VanDerVeen
October 6, 2011

Dean Weber '60 established an endowed scholarship to ensure that future Oles have the same opportunities he did.

As a student, Dean Weber '60 was so grateful for the financial assistance he received from St. Olaf College's endowment fund that he periodically told a few of his classmates he felt lucky and fortunate to be on the Hill.

But it wasn't enough for Weber just to be grateful. He wanted to ensure that future generations of St. Olaf students have the same opportunities he did. So last year he established the Dean David Weber Endowed Scholarship Fund in conjunction with his 50th class reunion.

While he was unable to see his endowed scholarship fund come to fruition prior to his death this May, Weber — an original member of the Manitou Heights Society — left the college a substantial gift. When the endowed scholarship fund he established is fully funded, Weber will have committed 90 percent of his estate to St. Olaf.

The Dean David Weber Endowed Scholarship Fund is designed to support students who demonstrate financial need and scholastic achievement, with preference given to students who are majoring in English, literature, or any field of study classified as the humanities.

A successful high school athlete, Weber arrived at St. Olaf in 1956 with the intent of becoming a teacher. While majoring in English and studying other fields in the humanities, he also competed on both the track and field and cross country teams. Weber was a proud member of the cross country team that won the Midwest Conference (St. Olaf's athletic conference before the school joined the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) Championship in the fall of 1959. He formed a bond with his teammates that remained intact throughout his lifetime.

After graduating from St. Olaf, Weber went on to earn his master's degree in English literature and education at the University of Minnesota. He started his teaching career at St. Francis High School in rural Minnesota, but ultimately moved on to Minnetonka High School in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. He taught English, literature, and film studies there until he retired in the late 1990s.

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or