A historian by trade and at heart, Dr. Eddie Weller has secured his own place in history within the honors world.
Working for San Jacinto College since 1989, Weller is currently the honors program director and a history professor. At the recent National Collegiate Honors Council annual meeting, he was named the organization's new vice president.
According to Weller, this will be only the fourth time a community college representative has headed the NCHC in its 56-year history. He ran unopposed and will automatically move up to the titles of president-elect and conference chair in November 2022, to president in November 2023, and to past president in November 2024. He has also served on NCHC's board of directors since December 2019.
"This means my colleagues around the country, from community colleges to Tier 1 research universities, trust my experience and expertise in leading the premier honors organization in the country," Weller said about becoming vice president.
The new role comes with a lengthy list of responsibilities, such as serving on the executive committee with the other officers, chairing the annual conference planning committee as president-elect, and working with the student affairs and finance committees. Weller will also represent the NCHC as its goodwill ambassador, serve on task forces, and work closely with the national office. He plans to make the most of his new opportunity.
"First, I hope to work on transfer and articulation agreements between community colleges and universities," Weller said. "Second, to continue the diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda we have already started. Community college students could help many universities improve their diversity levels. San Jacinto College has prepared me, and most community college directors, for this work. Third, to complete a new five-year plan. And fourth, to finish updating NCHC's governing documents, which I have been working on for nearly two years."
Weller looks forward to working with "outstanding friends and colleagues associated with honors" — many of whom he has known for nearly 25 years.
"I like working with even more honors educators, making new friends, and helping new directors, especially from community colleges," he said. "I also enjoy working with the dedicated staff at the national office at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. They do outstanding work, and I want to support them in their day-to-day affairs. I also like to find opportunities for students whether at San Jacinto College or elsewhere. At heart, we are all professors first, which means we love students."
On a personal note
Weller sits in an office full of memorabilia spanning his career, life experiences, and many travels. A former class and student body president at Texas Christian University, he "bleeds purple." He also authored a biography of the first modern majority leader of the U.S. Senate, "Joe T. Robinson: Always a Loyal Democrat" (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1998). For the past 33 years, he has taught Sunday school and currently sings in the University Baptist Church choir in Clear Lake.
To add to his list of accomplishments, Weller has served on the board of directors of the Texas State Historical Association for six years, then as secretary for one year. He is the only community college person to serve as a TSHA officer and only the fourth community college faculty member in its 120-year history.
Weller loves to travel, and before the pandemic, he accompanied San Jac honors students to Paris, Dublin, Berlin, Munich, Nuremberg, London, Prague, Vienna, Munich, Salzburg, and the Battlefields of WWI on the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement. He has traveled to the lower 48 states and visited the Florida Everglades and Key West for his 60th birthday. Weller is also a collector.
"I am a hoarder in waiting," he said. "I have a large shot glass collection, yet I don't drink. I also have a salt and pepper shaker collection, most from my grandmother who died in 1972, so they are fairly old. I collect coffee mugs and Christmas ornaments from places I visit. I have a WWII vintage typewriter in my office that I used in high school."
To learn more about the honors program, visit sanjac.edu/programs/honors.