Faculty, students, community members and close friends of President Wight gathered April 13 to honor Wight as he prepares for his newest journey as president of Salisbury University this upcoming 2018-2019 academic year.
Rather than focus on the loss of Wight and his wife Victoria, the farewell showcased the impact and positivity the pair left during their five years at the school.
Known for being actively involved in all, if not most, WSU activities, performances and athletic events, Wight had apparently done so as he saw the WSU community not as a collection of students and faculty but as his own children.
Ogden city Mayor Mike Caldwell waxed lyrical as he said, “(His) willingness to say ‘these are my kids’ really impacted me, and I understand the deep sense of responsibility of that.”
Mayor Caldwell praised Wight’s ability to work with Ogden City in establishing better relationships between the community and the school. It is due to this dynamic that the town was awarded the 2015 Larry Abernathy award, given by the International Town & Gown Association, for having strong college-town relationships.
Wight, known for his chemistry background, served as a faculty member, spending time in Tracy Hall teaching a chemistry class each semester.
Professor of economics Doris Geide-Stevenson spoke of Wight’s involvement in student academics, from the classes he taught to his in-class drop-ins and his willingness to speak with students about research projects.
“As a faculty member, I could honestly tell students ‘the university president might stop by and chat with you about your research,’” Stevenson said. “Chuck has modeled and supported academic freedom, and with his serious street cred grounded in chemistry, he has helped to foster Weber pride.”
WSU student Parker Burrows has worked with President Wight in the past when Burrows was a part of the Institute club and organization. Burrows said Wight was always excited to meet and talk with strangers, particularly students, as they arranged meeting times and conceived new ways to help one another.
“He’s been really great at trying to attend Weber State clubs and orgs functions that wouldn’t normally draw a lot of attention,” Burrows said. He and his club would invite President Wight, who would often attend his wife.
“I’m really impressed with how much time he makes for the little people and things that might be small but still important to Weber State, and that shows how important it is to him,” Burrows said.
As President Wight leaves to make his way across the country to Maryland, shedding the purple and white of WSU to don the maroon and gold of Salisbury, his friends and colleagues could not let him leave without a final parting gift.
Shane Farver, chief of staff for the president’s office, has worked alongside Wight for almost the entirety of his time at Weber. Proclaiming himself as being known for “giving Chuck a hard time,” Farver presented a maroon necktie with Weber State purple underneath. On the back of the tie read, “Go ahead and wear maroon, just bleed purple. Love, WSU.”