Paul J. Weber (1937 - 2005)
During his 30-year career at the University of Louisville, Dr. Paul J. Weber influenced countless students as a mentor, scholar, and award-winning teacher. He was known for his dedication to people and his positive effect on the lives of students and colleagues alike.
Dr. Weber received his B.A., Ph.L., M.A. and M.Div. from St. Louis University and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He taught at St. Louis University and Marquette University before joining the A&S faculty in 1976. At UofL, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in religion and politics, American government, constitutional and administrative law, civil liberties and judicial process. He also mentored hundreds of pre-law students.
Dr. Weber was recognized as an outstanding teacher, winning prestigious honors at UofL, including the Alumni Association's Red Apple Award in 1995, the University Distinguished Teaching Professor Award in 1986, and the Grawemeyer Instructional Development Award in 1984. In 1990 Dr. Weber received the UofL Trustees Award to honor his extraordinary impact on students.
As author or co-author of six books and dozens of book chapters and articles, Dr. Weber was known for his cutting edge research in religion and politics. He was especially proud of co-authoring articles and books with his students.
Dr. Weber was also known for the breadth of his leadership roles at UofL. He served as political science chair from 1988 to 1997. In 1990, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and the University turned to Dr. Weber to help create a scholarship program at UofL for young leaders. Thus was born the McConnell Center for Political Leadership of which he was Director from 1991 to 2000. In 2000, he was named the McConnell Center's first Senior Fellow. Dr. Weber also served as Executive Director of the Grawemeyer Awards from 2000 to 2004.
Dr. Weber’s legacy lives on as the UofL community continues to celebrate his exemplary scholarship, teaching and service. In October 2005, the University established the Paul Weber Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching which recognizes outstanding departmental teaching or curriculum design at UofL. In December 2005, a group of political science graduates created the Paul J. Weber Fellowship for Mentoring Excellence to provide graduate scholarships in law or public policy to students who demonstrate a strong commitment to mentoring. Also in December 2005, Dr. Weber received the University’s highest honor, the Minerva Award. In February 2006, the Paul Weber Student Research Room in the McConnell Center was dedicated in his memory.