Sophomore noted for activism dies

GW student Tom Weaver, known by family and friends for his love of politics, government and campus life, died July 1 after losing a battle with cancer.

A former freshman representative and co-director of political affairs for the GW College Republicans, Weaver was active with the CRs for more than a year and a half, before leaving school shortly before Thanksgiving in 1999.

A funeral was held July 6 in Weaver’s hometown of Foxboro, Mass.

Bill Eldridge, chair of the CRs, said the organization is planning a fundraiser in honor of Tom next fall. Eldridge said details of the fundraiser have not yet been worked out, but they are thinking about hosting a basketball tournament.

Close friends of Weaver said he enjoyed playing basketball in his free time.

He played high school basketball and did a lot of coaching for little kids, Weaver’s father said. He was trying to find some time to do that in D.C.

Weaver said his son, a political science major, had a passion for government and politics. He worked with John McCain’s campaign as director of youth activities.

While he was sick, all he was talking about was going back to D.C., Weaver said.

Weaver recalled picking his son up from school.

I asked on a scale from one to ten how do you like school, Weaver said. He said, `it’s a ten, dad.’

Junior Kelly Pearson was a friend of Tom’s since freshman year.

Pearson, who joined Tom as co-director of political affairs for the CRs, said she was always amazed at Tom’s ability meet his goals and set higher ones.

Whatever he said he was going to do, he got done, Pearson said. He was always able to pull off events.

He looked at stuff as always moving up, you could always do better, she said.

Weaver said his son developed a love for politics and government during in fifth grade. For his birthday present that year, Weaver said his son told him he wanted to take a trip to Washington, D.C.

Weaver played a central role in planning many events, including Rep. Bob Barr’s address at GW Sept. 29. One of the group’s most popular events, it was attended by over 150 students, Eldridge said.

Above all, Pearson said Tom’s friends will remember his unique charm.

He was pretty much one of the most amazing people I knew, she said. He was charming and had best smile in the entire world.

Donations in Weaver’s name can be sent to Massachusetts General Hospital, Ewings Sarcoma Fund, 55 Fruit St., Boston, Mass. 02114.

-Rich Murphy and Russ Rizzo contributed to this report.

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