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Volume 24, Number 10 — October 2017

Dogwood Sculpture donated to King University in memory of alumnus Max Weaver

A scilpture depicting a dogwood blossom was donated by King board of trustees member Dr. William (Bill) Heizer ('58) and his wife Linda ('64), as a gift to King University in memory of fellow alumnus Dr. Max Weaver ('58).
A scilpture depicting a dogwood blossom was donated by King board of trustees member Dr. William (Bill) Heizer ('58) and his wife Linda ('64), as a gift to King University in memory of fellow alumnus Dr. Max Weaver ('58).

November 04, 2014

BRISTOL, Tenn. With a chill in the air, family members of the late Max Weaver gathered at Nicewonder Hall on the main campus of King University for the installation of a sculpture with special meaning. The sculpture, a depiction of a dogwood blossom, was donated by King board of trustees member Dr. William (Bill) Heizer ('58) and his wife Linda ('64), as a gift to King University in memory of fellow alumnus Dr. Max Weaver ('58).

"Max Weaver was a classmate of mine," said Dr. Heizer. "Max tragically developed ALS and passed away in 2012. He was both a dedicated Christian and a brilliant scientist. We were looking for something as a memorial to honor him. My wife and I went to an art show where our friend Jeff Hackney was showing some of his sculptures. When we saw the dogwood piece, we thought [donating the sculpture] would be a wonderful thing to do for King, with the school's annual Dogwood festival, and for Max. We approached [King] and asked if they would accept the donation [of the sculpture]; they said they would."

The artist, Hackney, created the sculpture now set in place at King. Hackney, who has been sculpting full-time for the past 10 years, said his inspiration for the sculpture was, "spring in North Carolina when the dogwoods are in bloom." The sculpture, created in 2011, took approximately two to three months to create and is made of marble, river stones, steel and bronze. All of Hackney's sculptures are designed on a grand scale. "The smallest piece I've created is about four feet and largest is about 22 feet [in height]. I have a sculpture in Sandy Springs, Ga., which runs about 100 feet long." For Hackney, "creating artwork becomes a conversation."

"Max Weaver was a beloved alumnus of King University. He touched so many lives with his work at Eastman as well as his good work throughout the region," said John King, vice president of development and enrollment management at King University. "This is a fitting tribute to him, and we are more than happy to display this in his memory."

Weaver was a native of Ashe County, N.C. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry "magna cum laude" from King College (now King University) in 1958. He then received his master's degree in chemistry from East Tennessee State University in 1963.

After leaving King, Weaver joined Eastman Chemical Company in 1958 as a chemist in their research laboratories. He spent the next 29 years in research and development work on textiles. Following his retirement in 1987, Weaver served as an assistant professor of chemistry at King for seven years and as a consultant for Eastman Kodak Co. in Rochester, N.C., Milliken & Co. in Spartanburg, S.C., and Eastman Chemical Co., in Kingsport, Tenn. He contributed articles to numerous science journals and chapters to books. Weaver received many awards throughout his career. In 1991, his alma mater, King University, awarded him with an honorary Doctor of Science degree, and in 2007, he was awarded King's Distinguished Alumni of the Year.

Over the course of his career, Weaver received 268 patents.

The plaque for the sculpture includes two QR codes one for an online video honoring Max (https://animoto.com/play/CGbRAL5NiGpf7HBESDJdsw), and a second which leads to the artist's website (www.jeffhackneydesign.com).