“Remembering Ray” Event to Honor the Legacy of Former Bethel College Professor

Lissa Diaz

“Remembering Ray: A Night of Reflection and Laughter,” will celebrate the legacy of former Bethel College Professor of Music and Fine Arts Ray Weaver, who impacted students from the college’s founding in 1947 to 1986. The event will be held Sept. 14, 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Everest-Rohrer Auditorium on Bethel’s campus. It is free and open to the public.

Alumni, friends and family will reminisce on the many stories of Weaver’s time at Bethel, enjoy musical selections that honor his appreciation for and dedication to music, and celebrate the Grand Opening of the Raymond Weaver Glass Collection, a gift from his family.

About Ray

Fondly remembered for his great sense of humor and eccentric, flamboyant teaching style, Weaver taught a required Fine Arts course that introduced many students to subjects they would have otherwise not learned about—theories, techniques and terms to describe architecture, sculpture, painting and music. Each year Weaver took his class to the Art Institute of Chicago and, for many of his students, this was their first trip to an art museum. After Weaver passed away in 1991, the college named its art gallery after him. The Weaver Gallery is a lasting testament to Weaver’s love of the arts, and to his students’ love for him.

About the Event

The Sept. 14 event will include former students and colleagues sharing stories, as well as a mini-documentary produced by Bethel graduate Chuck Fry. The program will also feature several selections performed by the Bethel College Voices of Triumph and Concert Choir. The choir will then be joined by members of the Children’s Choir of Michiana, mezzo soprano soloist Jamie Caporizo, and the Bethel College Chamber Orchestra, with additional professional musicians from the region, to premier an anthem written by Kay Weaver, Ray’s daughter, titled, “A Place Within Your Heart.”

Kay is a professional songwriter, documentary film and music producer. She has written three anthems, two of which have been featured on soundtracks for short films (on PBS and Bravo) broadcast in Canada, Europe, Latin and South America and performed by numerous institutions across the United States.

“I owe so much of my love of music — and subsequent success in the business — to my father,” says Kay. “He instilled in my siblings and me a great reverence for the arts. From an early age, we were taught the great transformative and therapeutic powers inherent to music and the arts. Music has the ability to cut through differences and unite us all. I think this event will be the perfect way to celebrate and remember my father.”

About the Glass Collection

The evening will conclude with the grand opening of the new Raymond Weaver Glass Exhibition. The 86-piece collection features rare examples of glass from 1828-1976. It begins with a pair of Sandwich Glass Vaseline Candlesticks (ca. 1840), which the Weavers purchased after visiting the Sandwich Glass Museum while on a family vacation to Cape Cod in the late 1950s. In all there are 13 pieces from The Boston and Sandwich Glass Company (1825-1888), and some are among the first machine pressed glass in the world. Later pieces include other examples of Early American Pattern Glass (1850-1910), American Brilliant Period Cut Lead Crystal (1876-1916), Carnival Glass (1904-1920), Depression Glass (1923-1940), and Collectibles and Commemorative Americana Glass made to honor United States presidents, the Bicentennial and the first moon landing.

The entire Raymond Weaver Glass Collection, the display cases housing the collection, and the new Weaver Gallery lighting system were all gifted to Bethel College by Weaver’s family. The glass will be the permanent collection of the Weaver Gallery at Bethel College.

“This glass collection speaks to my father’s diverse interests,” says Kay. “I will always remember him as a lifelong student, constantly in the pursuit of learning and excellence. He frequently read multiple books at a time and was enamored of so many types of art. I think his enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge were precisely what made him such a wonderful teacher, and the entire Weaver family and I are honored to help further Ray Weaver’s legacy at Bethel.”