Mama Weaver lives out nickname given to her by students

KNOXVILLE—For Jerilyn Weaver, hearing someone calling Mama Weaver from down a hallway would be a usual turn of events.

Weaver is the Student Services Coordinator in the Student Life office, and is the wife of Brent Weaver, Tour Choir director and the Director of Worship program at JUTN.

Her job may be in the Student Life office, but her connection to students is in the choir. She sings and travels as part of the choir, and everyone who is a part of the choir knows her as Mama Weaver.

“There were a couple students one year that started it, and I don’t know if it was out of love or because I was nagging them on what to wear, but once it started it never stopped,” she said.

Whatever the origin was, it has long since become a staple term of endearment for those in the choir. It means a lot to Weaver that the students continue to call her Mama Weaver.

“Its funny when the new people come into choir to see how long it actually takes them before they catch on and start,”Weaver said. “It isn’t something I gave myself, but it came from the students.”

And to Mama Weaver, her involvement in the choir is how she connects to students rather than through her work in the office.

She said it makes every graduation sad as she has to say goodbye to students who she has become close to, but she looks forward to seeing them all at homecoming.

Jerilyn and Brent Weaver moved to Johnson in 1994 when Brent Weaver was hired as a music faculty member. Jerilyn Weaver began working for JU in 2002, and during the past 15 years has worked in teacher Ed, the Financial Aid office and the Student Life office.

While Jerilyn Weaver is known for singing, she is also passionate about other forms of artistic expression.

For Jerilyn Weaver gymnastics has been a constant, on and off, throughout her life. At the age of 3 she was in a dance class, but the very next year she moved into a tumbling class, a precursor to gymnastics for her.

When she turned 9 she joined a gymnastics studio. In high school she was on the school’s gymnastics team.Later in life, when she started her daughter at a gymnastics studio, she became involved as a coach at the studio.

Outside of her time in the office or in choir she enjoys hiking and photography. She said she finds both to help her slow down and see the wonder of God’s creation that is so easily looked over in every day life.

Even after her children moved out the echoes for Mama Weaver are still heard on campus by students who know her well.


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