Origins: Matthew Weaver
By Alaister McFarren
Of Grace’s many students, one of the most low-key but highly involved is Matthew Weaver. A sports business major from Noblesville, Ind., Weaver is highly involved on campus. In his time at Grace, he has been able to experience a little bit of everything and learn valuable lessons along the way.
“Originally, I planned to go to Pensacola College to play soccer,” said Weaver. “Then, when I found out that they didn’t plan to have a soccer program for four years, I decided to come to Grace and play JV soccer. The minute I decided to come here, though, Pensacola called and said they were planning to start the soccer program ahead of time. In hindsight, it was definitely God telling me to come here, and I’m very thankful for that.”
Once he arrived, Weaver played JV soccer for two years and became involved with both GIP and the ultimate Frisbee team.
“Both are great,” said Weaver. “Both programs forced me to meet new people. Once freshman year is done, it’s easy to only know the upperclassmen. GIP and Frisbee let me meet just about everyone on campus in a really cool setting. Sports may bring out the worst in people, but you also get to see some of the best.” He continued on to say that the two positions taught him what it looks like to be a real leader.
On top of getting actively involved on campus and becoming a leader, Weaver has also learned a lot at Grace, both from God and from his peers.
“Empathy has been the biggest thing I’ve learned,” Weaver said. “Before I came here, I didn’t know the difference between empathy and sympathy. Now, I feel like I know how to go through a struggle with someone. I can ‘weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn.’”
Weaver said that his favorite part of Grace was “not the community – because that’s what everyone says – but the people. People don’t come to Grace because of the night life or the facilities; they come here because of the people they meet and the sincerity they exude.”
Weaver has created some unforgettable memories at Grace. In addition to winning the Joust ultimate frisbee event twice, his favorite memory comes from his freshman year when he and a friend tried to prank his roommate with a live lobster.
“The guy at the store said it would stay alive long enough for the prank if we left it in front of the refrigerator,” said Weaver with a smile. “We tried, but he looked kind of sick, so we thought we’d be nice and put him in some water. We thought we were brilliant at first; it perked up immediately, but then a few minutes later it just keeled over and died! Turns out, we forgot lobsters are saltwater creatures; essentially, we did the impossible and drowned a lobster. But it was okay; we put it in our friend’s bed anyway.”
Image above: In his years at Grace, Matthew Weaver learned two main things: that empathy is important, and that it is actually possible to drown a lobster.