When the Weir family lost their matriarch suddenly in October 2022, they quickly determined how to share her legacy with others in an impactful way — by establishing a scholarship at Newman University in her honor.
Glenna Weir was an educator through and through.
After moving to Wichita with the love of her life, John, in 1970, Glenna earned her elementary education degree from Wichita State University. Glenna loved her years as a preschool teacher at East Heights United Methodist Church, St. Thomas Aquinas and Blessed Sacrament Catholic School. In the mid-1990s she received the Teacher of the Year award — an honor that didn’t surprise her fellow teachers or family members. She retired in 2006.
Her impact was widespread, and yet she never received an academic scholarship, explained Glenna’s daughter Angie (Weir) McCoy, assistant dean of the School of Business & Technology and Master of Business Administration program director. “But she was phenomenal at spreading children’s literature in her classes where she taught kindergarten, preschool, second grade and under.”
The Weir family recognized how special the Newman campus was through their friendships with Father Tom Welk, several sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and Sunday Masses with their four children: Jenny, Angie, Jessie and Scotty.
“Newman has always been a part of our life,” Angie said. “I think it’s very special that we can continue our mother’s legacy here.”
Regardless of their GPA, current education students at Newman directly benefit from Glenna’s impact through the Weir Education Award, established by John and Angie.
“GPA doesn’t define you as a teacher and it doesn’t really define you as a student,” Angie said. “If you graduate, you can go out and make all kinds of differences. It’s nice to know my mom’s legacy is helping them achieve that.”
John and Angie have received several thank you notes from student recipients of the Weir Education Award, which has been “beyond special.”
“Everybody needs a helping hand in life,” Angie said. “And if we’re able to provide that for somebody when they need it, hopefully in the future they’ll pay it back as well.”
Glenna was a loving teacher, grandmother, mother and wife of 55 years, and for the Weir family, “It’s a blessing to share her memory with others.”
To learn more about how you can set up an endowed scholarship, contact the University Advancement Office at 316-942-4291 ext. 2471.