Billy Graham Center
Archives

Quattuordecim Anni
et
Parvulum Plus

(Fourteen Years and a Little More)

A Celebration of
Wayne Weber's Sojourn
in the Billy Graham Center Archives


Introduction

An Iconographic Chronicle
UPDATE: Wayne's part-time work in the Archives, 2010-2011
Words from People He Has Helped
    A. Messages sent to the Archives by people who heard about Wayne's retirement
    B. Select letters and e-mails from past years

Stats
Conclusion

Introduction

God has made us what we are,
and in our union with Christ Jesus
He has created us for a life of good deeds,
which He has already prepared for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10


Wayne joined the Archives in October 1994 as Archival Coordinator. In March of 2000, he was promoted to Reference Archivist. As of June 1, he is retiring from the full-time staff (although he will continue to work part-time with us.) During all those years, we have been blessed by his professionalism, his kindness, his commitment to doing his work as a servant of Jesus Christ. We have put together on this page a few images and words that we hope give an idea of the grace was transmitted to us through his good work here.

An Iconographic Chronicle
1994: Wayne's First Day (almost) 1995: Participating in the Archives' Self Study, with outside consultants Elisabeth Yakel and David Klassen
96-02a
1996: Paul and Wayne help Joshua Ericksen move the Archives' film collection
1997: Staff picture, with Mr. Roboto front and center
98-06a
99-12a
1998: With a researcher who he, Wayne, had taught as a teenager during Wayne's thirty years as a teacher in the Chicago public schools
1999: On the roof of the Billy Graham Center building
1999: Explaining to Irene Wong how new additions to the Archives are accessioned. Irene was working at the Archives as part of a 6 month internship to learn archival administration
2000: Measuring his new office when he was promoted to reference archivist
2000: Rearranging the Reading Room
2000: Conferring with Dr. Charles Weber (no relation) about the presentation Wayne would make
to the Asian History class

2000: Receiving an award from Wheaton College president,
Dr. Duane Litfin (We were all a little blurry that day)

2000: Hawaiian Shirt Day at the Archives
2001: Wayne and Christian share some archival humor
2001: Teaching a class in the old Reading Room
2002: Welcoming the new staff refrigerator
2002: The Ericksens and the Webers at the Archives' Spring Thing at Comisky Park in Chicago
02-23
2002: Making a point
2002: Lecturing about genealogical resources in the BGC Archives
2003: Processing the papers of William Deans, missionary printer
2003: Showing some of the Archives documents to a class from a local high school
2004: The Archival Monopoly tournament
2004: Busy day in the Reading Room
05-04a
2004: With the scrapbook of a missionary to the Belgian Congo. Wayne has just encapsulated the pages of the book with plastic, for their protection.
2005:Talking to a group of local home schooled students about the Archives, including introducing them to Robert Carlson, a missionary who grew up in Tibet
2006: Presiding over the temporary reading Room set up on the 4th floor, while the 3rd floor RR was being renovated.
2007: Assisting a couple that had come to the Archives to find out more about her ancestors.
08-11a
2008: Arranging and describing a collection in his office
2008: Arranging with Noel to send out archival microfilm on interlibrary loan to a researcher
2009: Teaching a class in Archival Seminar Room
2009: Explaining archival documents to members of a visiting seniors group
At his post
Update 2011 - Wayne in Semi-Retirement

Wayne retired from full-time work as Reference Archivist in 2009, but we were glad to see him back soon after as a part-time worker, performing most of the same duties. He processed and oversaw the Reading Room and taught classes. But as of December 31, 2011, he will be retiring completely. All of us here will miss him and often think fondly of the good work he did among us. Below are a few photos from 2010-2011
2010 - Refiling in the Reading Room
2010 - Staff picture
2011 - An archival outing: the staff visits a Corn Maze
2011 - Lecturing to the Cross-Cultural Research class


Words From People He Has Helped

A. Messages sent to the Archives by people who heard about Wayne's retirement

Wayne started out as office manager for the BGC Archives and this year moved up to the position of Reference Archivist. What a great guy he is and how thankful we are God brought this professional educator and dauntless amateur genealogist to our department. Thirty years as a public school teacher did not wear him out, it just wound him up. And every day at the Archives we benefit from his dedication, his humor, his insight and his goodness. He is the model of a Christian gentleman (and he plays a mean game of miniature golf).
Comment from the BGC Archives director to accompany Wayne's 2000 Five year Service Award from Wheaton College

I had the privilege of working with Wayne a couple of years ago. That experience was a real blessing. Not only did Wayne handle my request in a highly professional manner, he also treated me wonderfully. I've worked with many stock footage and photography libraries and archives throughout my career and I can honestly say that I have never had a better experience than working with Wayne and the staff of the Billy Graham Center Archives.

Dear Wayne:

We are sorry for, happy for you, that you decided to hang up your archivist's guns. We will miss you! But we also know the Lord has wide green pastures for the years ahead. Blessings my friend. - Dr. Grant Wacker


Dear Wayne,

One of the highlights of my visit to the Billy Graham Center Archives on two different occasions was having the opportunity to meet you. As you recall, my Chinese scholar friend and I would frequent the archival center every day as she did her month-long research. I discovered quickly, you were not just a reference archivist but a true ambassador to the Center. Gracing the threshold of the archival room first thing every morning, we were not only greeted by someone who had invaluable experience and knowledge but one who truly served with a loving and gracious spirit. This I will always remember. Wishing you God's best in this next phase of our life. You certainly make the positive difference in everything you do.


Wayne's patience and good cheer were inexhaustible, even in the face of irksome researcher faux pas...for example, there was the time when I requested every issue of the Wheaton Record from 1940 forward, all at once. That didn't perturb him in the slightest. Wayne is a researcher's dream archivist: deeply, encyclopedically knowledgeable about the collections, always happy to be interrupted with a silly question about a finding aid, brilliant at feigning interest in our boring, esoteric projects, and even ready with suggestions for where to grab lunch. He is one of the most thoughtful people I've had the pleasure to work with. He also struck me as the strong, silent, mysterious type--I sometimes wondered if he was secretly a masked superhero at night. It was a pleasure to see him every morning when I clocked in at the BGC, and I will miss him!


I've found all of the people at the BGCA very helpful and pleasant, but Wayne especially so. Several times he has gone the extra mile to provide me crucial information and even to provide ideas that I would not have thought of. My research has directly benefited from his help. Thanks, Wayne, for all you've done.
- Jay Learned

I have very fond memories of my visit to the archives and of the impeccable service rendered to me by Wayne. Not only did he possess the skills necessary to make the practical work of a researcher go smoothly he also possessed great knowledge of the archives. More than once he was able to shed light and make connections that I would have been otherwise ignorant of. If one has any doubts about what grace grounded in the everyday might look like, I suggest shadow Wayne for a day.

I would just like to say that Wayne was the first person that I met in the BGC Archives Dept. and he was most helpful...first of all helping 'a bush missionary from Africa' open the locker for putting in my coat and purse! He had a terrific knowledge of what was in the Archives related to the subject I was researching. I had tried to do my homework and know which folders I wanted to look at, but he had also done homework (which I don't expect was assigned to him) and pointed me toward more information that was helpful. Along with the education about how to handle the documents, he also taught me how to scan and email the documents to myself....at no extra cost to me. I felt that he went beyond the call of duty, helping me, and I really appreciated it all. So much so that I felt encouraged to return for further reading and copying. The BGC Archives Reading Room was a very friendly, helpful atmosphere, especially for those of us who are not really scholars nor up-to-date on modern technology. Thank you, Wayne.

Wayne is the kind of person who achieves the highest standards of excellence is his work. I contacted his office for information concerning Billy Graham's relationship to Martin Luther King, Jr., and was surprised at how quickly he responded. He was a great help to me, and I am sure that he will be greatly missed by others with whom he worked at the Billy Graham Center Archives. What a great guy! Thanks and God bless!
- Professor Lewis V. Baldwin, Vanderbilt University

I enjoyed my visits to the Billy Graham Center Archives in part because Wayne Weber was such a gracious presence. Wayne always provided a warm welcome, as well as professional assistance in finding the resources I needed to complete my research. I know Wayne will enjoy retirement, but I'll miss him the next time I visit.

On my first trip to the Billy Graham Center Archives, Wayne was out of town on vacation... except for the last day I was there. It was a Saturday, and I remember thinking, "Poor guy. He's been on vacation and then has to come back to work on Saturday. I bet he's going to be grouchy!" Boy was I wrong. Wayne was upbeat and super helpful in getting me the materials I needed. In addition, I had some trouble getting the copier to do what I wanted with some odd-shaped material. Wayne noticed I was having trouble and, coming over without me asking, helped out. I became suspicious that he was that kind of guy: friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. My second trip to the archives only confirmed my suspicion.
- Miles Mullin

TO WAYNE: Many thanks to you, Wayne Weber, Reference Archivist at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. Thank you for your generous gift of time and expertise and attention to detail. I wish for you God's Best and a joyous retirement to whatever endeavor God has called you to. Sorting, choosing and filing information is not an easy task. Your expertise is most appreciated. I so very much appreciate reading histories of missionaries and pastors who have pioneered in taking the Gospel to the unreached peoples of this planet. Thank you and may God bless you richly.

Thanks, Wayne, for making special arrangements so I could hear the archived audio recording at home, as I am disabled and cannot travel. Your help made a huge difference in the writing of my book. Best of luck to you!

I want to add my voice to the enthusiasm for Wayne's wonderful presence at the Archives. I've spent quite a few long days there (about 3 weeks total) and Wayne has been a great resource: he is wonderfully helpful, enthusiastic about the research, and also just a great person to have around. When I'm spending an entire day, essentially alone with my documents, Wayne has been willing to listen to me quote from letters, tell him stories from what I'm finding, and generally just provide a collegial ear. He's very knowledgeable in his own right, and has been a real treasure to me when I've been there. To Wayne: My sincere gratitude and fond appreciation, and all best wishes for your retirement. Have a great time!

Thank you so much for the help you've been to us at AIM through the years. I'm always so impressed with the quality of service and the helpful attitudes of you and the others there at the archive. May God richly bless you as you move into retirement. With appreciation
, Andy Hornberger, Public Relations Supervisor, Africa Inland Mission

Wayne made it a point to introduce himself to me during my time as a researcher at the archives. His generous offers to help in any way he could made my experience a most pleasant one. I'm happy to both congratulate him on his retirement and celebrate his extraordinary work.

I will always remember Wayne's kindness on a story I was researching on the life of Elizabeth Reifsnyder from Liverpool Pa who was a missionary to the Republic of China. He went out of his road to help me with information. I wish the best life has to offer to you Wayne! May God grant you a lifetime of happiness and joy! You have touched so many lives! God Bless You Always!

Dear Wayne Weber,
Several years ago I e-mailed you on the off-chance that you might be able to tell me something about an obscure 1907 pamphlet written by an equally obscure minister who happened to be married at the time to a woman, Sara Bard Field, who later became a suffragist and a well-known poet, and whose biography I was writing.

You not only found the booklet but to my astonishment sent me a complete photocopy of it, pointing out that it contained, among other interesting items, a poem by Sara Bard Field. The earliest she ever published, it told me a great deal about her life and artistic and intellectual development at the time.

I know that I wrote to you at the time to express my astonishment and delight at your find, and I want to thank you again now. You could just have replied, "Yes, we have the booklet; let me know if you want a photocopy"--and I might have thought, Oh, dear, I wonder if it¹s worth it? I have so many other documents to keep track of, and this is pretty obscure, so maybe I shouldn¹t bother" But you were too curious to take the easy route and let it go at that.

No one knows better than an independent scholar how vital this kind of scholarly enthusiasm is in the process of digging up the past in order to bring it to life in the present. So thank you once again for your curiosity and generosity‹and may you remember from time to time, in what I¹m sure will be an active and productive retirement, that there are legions of complete strangers toiling away out there and feeling grateful to colleagues and fellow detectives like Wayne Weber. - Dona Munker


I made contact with yourselves as I am a direct descendant of the Rev Matthew Wilks- I knew also that you had some of his writings- the Wilks -or a part of the family- if you go down down a couple of generations were also living in America- I believe by then they were bankers but certainly one Wilks married a Hetty Green-one of America's richest women and another married a Langdon whose mother was an Astor- anyway I show below the correspondence between myself and Wayne- do please pass on my very best wishes, also my gratitude for his very kind and most prompt help- what a gentleman.

I worked closely with Wayne Weber during several visits to the Billy Graham Archives and also worked with him in acquiring important pictures for my book. I found him at all times to be helpful, courteous, and highly knowledgeable. He certainly made an important contribution to my book.

Wayne was a tremendous help to me during my research time in the Archives. He had pulled all the information that I asked for ahead of time and had it ready when I arrived from Virginia. His dedication and knowledge made what would have been a Herculean task manageable and even fun.
 
B. Select letters and e-mails from past years
 

April 2000 Dear Mr. Weber: Many thanks for replying to my request in regards to Reverend Graham. The information you sent has enabled me to find exactly what I was looking for. Once again, thank you for your kindness.

October 2001 I'm writing somewhat belatedly to thank you for your help during my visit to the Billy Graham Archives. I found Ms. Vandevort's letters waiting for me when I arrived, and I was able to read and photocopy what I needed for our project. The reference librarian on duty that day, Mr. Wayne Weber, was exceptionally helpful.

February 2004 Thank you very much for the information program you presented to our group on January 8. Our members now have a much better understanding of what resources are locally available to them at the Billy Graham Center Archives and will put this knowledge to good use. From a local genealogical society to which Wayne had spoken

April 2007 Thank you so much for the "treasure box" full of memorabilia/historic stuff. What fun and blessings it has been to dig through all of the papers, photos, etc. I continue to be amazed at the breadth of their ministry as well as being made much more aware of the Lord's hand on them during the intensity of their travels and meetings. It was only by the grace of God that they were able to keep up the pace. Thank you so much for providing so much information for my family and others who will benefit from reading about their dedication to the Lord. We appreciate your diligence and proficiency in preparing this little bit of history. - Message from the daughter of a man whose papers Wayne had arranged and described, after he had sent some duplicate material to her.

April 2007 Dear Wayne D. Weber: How can I thank you enough for the information you have researched and sent to me? And you even have typed out the words to the hymn: A Missionary Cry ! I do treasure all the information you have sent and will share it with friends. My sincere thank you for all your efforts. I really appreciate this more than I can say. E-mail from researcher who was looking for the lyrics to the hymn. Wayne not only found the lyrics but also the print music.

October 2008 Thank you so much!! This is exactly what I was looking for!! Yippeee!!! From a researcher who asked for a copy of a hymn by Oswald J. Smith he had been searching for.

November 2008 Mr. Weber, Just a week ago I made a very short visit to the archives. I think it was just an hour. Yet with your help I managed to collect some very important documents for my research. I'm still amazed by the quality of service you gave me, albeit me crashing in from nowhere and am truly grateful. Hope to have another chance to use you excellent services in the future.

February 2009 Mr. Weber, What a delight for me to receive these letters! My brothers and several cousins will also enjoy reviewing the times in which my father and grandfather served the Presbyterian Church. We remember some things, but didn't ask enough questions!!...Now I have time to retrace some history and you have been very kind and warmed my heart. God bless you!


Stats:
From March 2000 until May 2009, besides overseeing the Archives reading Room for thousands of hours, Wayne gave 7 speeches, taught 65 classes, sent out materials on 196 interlibrary loan and answered 5740 reference requests that came in by e-mail, phone and letter.

 


Conclusion
Omnia bene facis.
Gratias maximus agimus, Carrifex.
(You do all things well.
All our thanks, Wayne.)

 


Return to BGC Archives Home Page

Last Revised: 12/14/11
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2011