Weaver bequest among largest single gifts in Eastern Mennonite University history


‘A remarkable and beautiful legacy’

by Ryan Cornell for EMU and available here

Samuel and Helen Weaver were significant supporters of EMU and the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. A $1.54 million bequest to CJP to establish the Samuel H. and Helen W. Weaver Family Peacebuilding Endowment will go a long way in supporting its vision and mission.

Samuel and Helen Weaver lived to serve others. They gave generously of their time to the churches they attended and the communities they were a part of in St. Clairsville, Ohio, and later Harrisonburg, Virginia. Helen, known to many as an excellent cook, arrived early to church gatherings to prepare meals. Afterward, she and her husband Samuel stayed late to stack chairs and wash dishes.

For more than a decade, the couple volunteered at Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit fair-trade shop in Harrisonburg. While Helen worked inside the store, Samuel lent his accounting skills to the business. 

“Service was always a big part of their lives, recalls their son, Matt Weaver, “and often, that service wasn’t anything glamorous or anything they mentioned to other people. It was them doing the most trivial jobs that other people didn’t want to do. But, they did it because that’s the kind of people they were.”

Helen and Samuel died in July 2012 and February 2023, respectively, but their legacy of service and generosity lives on. A $1.54 million bequest to establish the Samuel H. and Helen W. Weaver Family Peacebuilding Endowment will go a long way in supporting the vision and mission of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. It ranks among the top three largest endowments to EMU in its 106-year history. […]

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