College dedicates tree to Weaver

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November 16, 2010

1:14 AM

The packed room grew silent as the color guard marched in and took its place at the front of the Wren Building’s Great Hall. The room was filled with Todd Weaver’s ’08 closest family and friends, who were there to honor the life of the soldier and alumnus.

After the color guard raised the colors, those closest to Weaver gathered their courage and took to the podium to speak about the love and legacy of the fallen soldier.

The Veterans Society of William and Mary planted an American Beech tree and placed a memorial plaque near the Brafferton to honor Weaver.

Todd’s sister Adrianna Weaver ’96 said that an American Beech was chosen to memorialize her brother because of its strong foundation and perennial nature. The tree keeps its leaves throughout the winter, only to turn in the spring.

“Whether or not you believe the tree represents Todd, I believe we are the leaves that remember Todd, and his existence, only to let go when a new generation fully takes hold,” Adrianna said.

Weaver came to the College of William and Mary after finishing his deployment in Iraq in 2005. On campus, he was well known as a bright student, a kind person, a strong leader and an ROTC cadet. He studied government and international relations, and studied abroad in Russia during his time at the College.

After graduation, Weaver became a member of the 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division Air Assault, based out of Fort Campbell, Ky. He was killed Sept. 9 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, after suffering wounds from explosives after an insurgent attack on his unit.

Psychology professor Danielle Dallaire became emotional when speaking of her experiences with Weaver as a student. She recalled his exceptional contributions to the classroom environment, as well as his ability to bring out the best in others.

Adrianna said that Todd always felt at home at the College. Coming from a military family that was always moving around, a sense of permanence and stability was extremely valuable to him.

All of those who spoke at the dedication said they were proud that the College continues to do the right thing by honoring Weaver.

“I can’t tell you how important it is to me that, in twenty or thirty years, not only will I be able to bring my children to Arlington to see my brother, but I’ll also be able to bring them to my alma mater,” Glen Weaver ’95, Todd’s brother, said.

Another common theme among all speakers was the legacy Todd left behind in those he loved.

“A man is not dead until he is forgotten,” Todd’s close friend Steven Popps ’06 said. “After today’s events, I know Todd will never be forgotten.”

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