Dr. John B. Weaver stepped into his role as Florida College president beginning June 1. Weaver is the sixth president to lead Florida College.
Why are you invested in the Florida College mission?
I know what it is to be given a spark of faith from family and church and to have it flamed into a light of my own through a Florida College education. I want every student to know the experience of a college that emphasizes the effect of daily soul-work on your schoolwork and life’s work. I know a lot of people who are invested in the FC mission for the same reason, and in my new role I want to help others see the value of FC as an investment that both enriches and outlives your life.
What do you hope to accomplish in your first year at FC?
I want to help our faculty and staff to ignite the light of each of our students. Every one of our students has so much to offer in God’s kingdom, and this year we’re creating a strategic plan for the College that captures the collective vision and energy of our FC family and broader community so that we can best serve the needs and realize the potential of our students and their families for the foreseeable future.
What are some of your long-term goals?
We want Florida College to be the destination school for New Testament Christians, with a national reputation and a level of financial assistance that compels attention and attendance among those seeking an academically challenging and Christ-centered college. In addition, we’ll seek to be widely recognized as Tampa Bay’s Christian college, with a regional reputation and impact that points our neighbors to Jesus and seeks to garner their appreciation and support in principled ways. Longer term, one goal is to support our growth as a hospitable and global college that actively seeks to include the full diversity of God’s people and that fosters student learning experiences and alumni service around the world.
How do you plan to interact with students?
I’ve loved exploring the Bible and church history with students in the classroom at FC, and I’ll continue to teach a course each semester. It’s also a joy to build deeper relationships with students at campus events and at meals that Vivi and I regularly host in our home. I view all our students as friends, whom I can mentor and from whom I can learn. The young men and women who come to FC are a constant source of new insight and inspiration to me!
Last book you read?
This summer I read the second edition of From the Pen of Paul: An Introduction to the Pauline Epistles, edited by FC’s own Dr. Nathan Ward and authored by several of our Bible faculty. It’s the sort of accessible and insightful work that I hope we continue to publish out of the bookstore and the Florida College Press.
A person who was very influential in your life?
My paternal grandfather, Lester Weaver. I use his personal Bible regularly and read his study and sermon notes. They remind me how much my grandfather’s regular preaching from the Old Testament prophets influenced me. He was a WWII veteran who had gone on to live the “American dream” as a preacher who also worked successfully in several businesses. He taught me how to love and seek the welfare of our country – especially its ideals of common sense and individual liberty – but also to prioritize citizenship in God’s kingdom and to resist the idols that can plague our American lives.
During your free time, what are a few of your hobbies you enjoy doing?
What’s this free time you speak of? I enjoy dinner and conversation with my family, hitting the occasional ball, and catching the all-too-infrequent fish with my son. You probably wouldn’t consider preaching and writing to be hobbies, but that’s how I spend much of my “extra” time and I’m grateful for such moments!