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01 August 2012

Jennifer Weaver, retired vice president of HACC’s Gettysburg Campus, dies

Educator who served students, the community leaves big imprint

GETTYSBURG – Jennifer Weaver, under whose leadership HACC’s Gettysburg Campus was established and thrived, died Saturday, July 28, 2012.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in Christ Chapel at Gettysburg College. A reception to celebrate her life will be held immediately following the service in the Robert C. Hoffman Community Room at HACC’s Gettysburg Campus.
Weaver retired March 23, 2012, as vice president of HACC’s Gettysburg Campus due to illness.
 “For 22 years, Jennifer worked tirelessly for students and employees at the Gettysburg Campus and was a valued member of the College’s leadership team,” said HACC President J. “Ski” Sygielski, Ed.D. “Since joining the College a year ago and visiting the Gettysburg Campus regularly, I have had the privilege of listening to students and employees share their stories about Jennifer and how she singlehandedly changed many of their lives.”
He continued, “Jennifer was a collaborator, mentor, counselor and friend to those who knew her. Because of Jennifer’s dedication to the HACC and Gettysburg communities, she was a catalyst for change, creating many partnerships that will continue to benefit students, employees and area residents for years to come.”
Shannon Harvey, vice president of the Gettysburg Campus who replaced Weaver when she retired, said, “The staff, faculty and students of the Gettysburg Campus are saddened by the loss of an amazing leader. Jennifer Weaver’s entrepreneurial spirit and strong commitment to service to others over service to self grew our campus from a small operation in the basement of the Gettysburg School District administration building to the vibrant campus we have today.  She instilled in each of us a commitment to always put students and our community at the core of all we do.”
Harvey added, “The Gettysburg community has lost a great leader and we at HACC have lost a great friend and mentor.”  
In 1990, Weaver came to HACC with the vision to build a Gettysburg site that would meet the needs of people and businesses that call Adams County home. Under her leadership, the campus now attracts nearly 2,400 students and has expanded from limited courses to a wide range of associate degrees as well as a comprehensive program of workforce training courses and programs.
Weaver oversaw HACC’s Gettysburg presence from its first location with offices in the Gettysburg Area School District administration building, to the former Gettysburg Fire Department building on York Street in 1992, to its current location in 1997 at a former shopping mall on Old Harrisburg Pike. She led two major renovations and expansions that turned the site into a state-of-the-art college campus.
Last year, Weaver was awarded the Gettysburg Rotary Club’s prestigious Dwight D. Eisenhower Humanitarian Award for her promotion of community partnerships and resources in the development of innovative programs that benefitted HACC students and community business, industry and health care providers.
She also was awarded the 2011 Amigos de la Communidad Education Award from Manos Unidas, a local advocacy group, in recognition of her significant contribution to support or provide access to education for Hispanics. Examples of this include the creation of a bilingual support special position, English as a second language classes, Spanish GED classes and a bilingual/diversity club.
“One person doesn’t accomplish all these things. I see it as a group endeavor and I just happen to be the person getting the recognition,” said Weaver, who was named the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2010.
 Weaver, a self-described people person, said her favorite thing at HACC was to “walk the halls and talk with students or sit in a class and see all the skills they’re learning and then share in their success at a nurse’s pinning or at graduation.”
To support her commitment to student success, particularly for those of Hispanic origin or first-generation college students, Weaver established the Jennifer Weaver Scholarship Award Fund in 2011 through the HACC Foundation. The fund provides scholarships to students enrolled at HACC’s Gettysburg Campus who demonstrate unmet financial need.

Pamilla Saylor
Office of College Advancement, HACC

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