Southwestern inducted Ruth Gantz-Weis (’45) into the Alumni Hall of Fame in 1982. But the Weis legacy in Keene began even earlier, when Ruby Weis attended in 1926. On June 27, 1953, Ruth and Vialo Weis wed in Amarillo, Texas. Four future Southwestern alums were soon on their way: Vialo Jr. (’77); Ella Johnston (’81); and Alan (’84). Money was tight through the years of sending four children through Seventh-day Adventist schools and college. Hard work, determination, and a belief in Christian education saw them through lean times. They believed Southwestern to be the best college, and they were determined that their children attend there, and they worked hard to extend the legacy to the next generation.
Vialo Jr. married Esther Tanksley (’78) and produced the first Weis grandchild to attend Southwestern, David Weis (’06). In 1986 Sharon Leach (’71) matched Alan with her PR writing assistant, Chrissie Cummings (’89), and helped her husband, Benjie Leach (’69), perform the 1988 ceremony. This produced twins, Nikki and Kilory Weis, who were Southwestern donors before they entered pre-kindergarten. To honor Ruth and Vialo Sr., Chrissie and Alan established this scholarship to encourage Weis grandchildren to join the Southwestern tradition. Supporting contributors also included Ella and Carl Johnston and Viola Weis Stevens.
Scholarship award requirements
This scholarship is awarded to a diligent campus worker, nominated by their supervisor, who reflects Ruth and Vialo’s work ethic.
2019-2020 -Kathryn Lounds
2018-2019 -Kilory Weis, Tara Thompson
2016-2017 - Marty Dixon
2015-2016 - Calderon Ordonez
2014-2015 - Abel Mims
2013-2014 - Pedro Choque
2011-2012 - Dasintee Duncan
2010-2011 - Kimmy Borja