Rufus Washington Weaver was elected President of Mercer University in 1918 and served until 1927. During Weaver’s tenure, there were several major endowment campaigns, including the “75 Million Campaign”, that greatly improved financial conditions at Mercer. Weaver also oversaw the completion of faculty apartments, a student union, and a new President’s home. Porter Stadium and Penfield Hall were also completed during Weaver’s term as President. The first women to graduate with degrees from the university matriculated during Weaver’s presidency.

Weaver was president during the dismissal of Biology Professor Henry Fox in 1924 for teaching the theory of evolution in his classroom. Materials related to Fox and the reaction to his dismissal are located in Folders 12a, 35, 41b, 142, 144, 225, 244, 256, and 308 of the Weaver Papers.

Weaver left Mercer in 1927 to take a position with the Education Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and remained with the Board until it was abolished in 1928. He then moved to Washington D.C., where he served in a number of positions, among them, pastor of First Baptist Church, executive secretary of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, executive director of the Luther Rice Centennial and chairman of the committee on Army and Navy Chaplains. Weaver died in Washington D.C. on January 31, 1947. He is buried in the family cemetery in Frankfurt, Kentucky.

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