Close to nature A permanent tribute to State Sen. Stanley B. Weaver and his late wife, Mary Smith Weaver, was unveiled in Illini Grove. The Weavers were honored for their efforts in environmental preservation and public service.
Photo by Bill Wiegand
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State Sen. Stanley B. Weaver of Urbana and his late wife, Mary Smith Weaver, were honored Oct. 12 for their lifelong dedication to preserving nature and for Sen. Weaver’s many years of public service
A bronze-finish plaque, permanently affixed to a limestone boulder, was unveiled during a pre-game brunch beginning at the home of UI President James J. Stukel. Stukel and Nancy Cantor, the chancellor of the Urbana campus, presented the plaque.
"This commemorative marker is perfectly suited to Sen. Stan Weaver and Mary, who was so central to his life and work," Stukel said. "Simplicity and understatement characterize both the monument and the couple. We hope that Stan, a long-time loyalist of this great university as well as a lover of nature, takes special pleasure in having his name associated with Illini Grove, where he played as a child."
The plaque was permanently affixed to the boulder, which is located at the northwest corner of Lincoln and Pennsylvania avenues in Urbana, in Illini Grove. The grove is home to a variety of trees, some as old as 130 years.
The Illinois Legislature passed a resolution in May honoring the Weavers, urging the university and state Department of Natural Resources to keep the grove forever open and recommending that a plaque be placed at the site recognizing the Weavers’ commitment to nature.
Weaver, mayor of Urbana from 1957 to 1969, has been a member of the Illinois Senate since 1970. He was named majority leader in 1997 after 22 years as assistant senate leader. Among his main priorities as a legislator have been quality education, agriculture and economic development.