Asked about how he would describe his University of Lynchburg experience, Wyatt Weaver, who graduates Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in biology, said, “I would redo my four years here in a heartbeat, no questions asked.”
When he came to Lynchburg, Weaver said he knew he’d be involved on campus, but not exactly what that would mean. His first on-campus job was with Dr. Sally Selden — Weaver calls her “Dean Sally” — who is Lynchburg’s vice president and dean for academic affairs. This led to other opportunities, including serving as the student representative on the faculty committee that developed the new DELL general education curriculum, which takes effect in 2019.
Weaver also joined the student judicial board and then the Student Government Association, where he currently serves as one of the organization’s two vice presidents. “I’m very, very fortunate, for going to a small school, being in those organizations, having the opportunities I had, and making the connections I’ve made,” he said.
Asked about people who stand out from his four years at Lynchburg, Weaver was ready with a list. In addition to Dr. Selden, who he said has been “instrumental to my professional growth,” Weaver formed a tight relationship with Dr. Selden’s executive assistant, Wendy Martin.
“She’s my Mom No. 2,” Weaver said. “I absolutely love her to death. … She just keeps my head on my shoulders for me and tells me what I need to hear, which I love about her. When ‘The Bachelor’ is on, we’re texting every Monday.”
Weaver credits B.J. Keefer, director of student activities, with encouraging him to stay involved in student government. He added that she, like Martin, is someone he can go to with both good news and bad.
In the classroom, there’s Dr. Allison Jablonksi, professor of biology and biomedical science. “I’ve never had a more wonderful professor in my entire life than her,” Weaver said. “She’s interested in the material. She makes the material interesting. … She kind of sees the demographic of the class and sees what her students want to do and relates everything to that.”
Weaver said his advisor, Dr. Christine Terry in the Biology Department, “has just been such a great advisor. If I have anything that’s a scheduling problem, or a biology problem, if I have any issue in class, she just doesn’t hesitate to go that extra mile.”
And then there are his friends, some of which hailed from unexpected corners of campus. “In high school, you have your cliques, and if you’re not in the right one, it’s devastating for four years — the whole typical high school movie experience,” he said. “But in college, you have those cliques, but they all mesh together, which I think is awesome.
“I never knew I would be literally best friends with people who are in Greek life, and I have best friends that are on the lacrosse team. My finger is not athletic! You’re basically kind of forced to interact with everybody and that brings a lot of open dialogue, which I like.”
After a summer spent supervising lifeguards at a resort near Williamsburg, Virginia, Weaver will head to High Point University’s Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy. There he’ll pursue a doctorate in pharmacy with the goal of becoming a hospital pharmacist.