Dr. Donald V. Weatherman didn’t know when he left Lyon College in 1999 as a professor of political philosophy that he would return 10 years later as the College’s 17th president.
Weatherman, who previously worked managing political campaigns, had the opportunity to follow a path into politics, but he found his passion was for academics. Originally from southern California, Weatherman received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from California State University, Los Angeles. He continued his education at Claremont Graduate University where he earned his master’s degree and finally his doctorate in American government and political philosophy. He met his wife, Lynn, while he was a graduate student at Claremont.
Weatherman taught at California State University, San Bernardino before moving to Idaho where he taught for three years at the College of Idaho, a small, private liberal arts college.
“We discovered when we moved there that we like having seasons. Then we moved to Minnesota and discovered not all seasons are created equal,” Weatherman joked.
He taught in St. Paul at the College of St. Catherine, another liberal arts school, for five years. Seeking relief from the brutal winters, Weatherman said his in-laws, who planned to retire in Mountain Home, urged the couple to consider moving to Arkansas.
In 1983, Weatherman accepted a position at Lyon, then Arkansas College, as the John D. Trimble Sr. Professor of Political Philosophy. During his time as a professor, Weatherman began the College’s philosophy and politics programs, established the faculty and staff assemblies, and co-chaired the first strategic planning effort. He received the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 1986. In 1988, he spent six months in Washington, D.C., as one of the first Bradley Resident Scholars at the Heritage Foundation.
In 1999, Dr. John Griffith, a former Lyon College president who is now retired as president of Presbyterian College, nominated Weatherman when the academic dean’s position opened at Erskine College in South Carolina. Weatherman served for 10 years as Vice President and Dean of the College at Erskine, as well as teaching politics.
Weatherman has written a weekly column for both the Batesville Daily Guard and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the author of Endangered Guardians: Party Reform Within A Constitutional System. He has served as an elder and a church school teacher in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). He enjoys sailing and keeps a sailboat at Greers Ferry Lake, although he reports that “Scott Dirksen and the students in the LEAP Program use it more than I do.”
Weatherman and his wife, Lynn, will celebrate 41 years of marriage in April. They have two children, David and Andrea. David is an attorney and lives in Nashville with his wife, Kristine Fox, and their two children. Andrea is earning a Ph.D. in German at Vanderbilt University.