Weathers had been awarded the bachelor's degree at Wake Forest in
1922 and his law degree a year later. As a student he was editor of
Old Gold and Black, an outstanding debater, and president of Kappa
Alpha social fraternity. In Raleigh, where he practiced law for twenty-
seven years, he was active in civic, religious, and political affairs. He
had represented Wake County in the State Senate and had been
chairman of North Carolina Civil Service Commission.
His acceptance of the Law School post implied that he had made
his peace with the impending removal of the college. It was with
understandable regret that he left his established practice in Raleigh,
but from the first he was enthusiastic about working with law
students. In a letter to a long-time friend, James F. Hoge, on the day
of his appointment he said, "If I can stimulate those boys, when they
become lawyers, to seek justice, to walk humbly, and set the tone and
character of their communities in that fashion, then I am sure I will
find satisfaction to compensate for the loss of leaving my home."
His aspirations for the school never wavered, and he embodied
them in his first annual report to President Tribble: "The Law
School," he wrote, "has three major objectives: first, to offer excel-
lence in instruction, and thoroughly to train our students in legal
principles and doctrines; secondly (and even more important), to
inculcate in the student a profound sense of integrity and a high
concept of his responsibility to seek justice and perform a worthwhile
service to society; and thirdly, to develop a close contact between this
Law School and various forces in our state."
Weathers took over as dean at a time of declining enrollment, the
result in part of the onset of the Korean War. As noted earlier, the
peak of 183 students had been reached in the fall of 1949, and then
began a sharp decline. In the fall of 1950 there were 151 students, in
1951 there were 93 and in the fall of 1953 the number dropped to 75,
the smallest student body since the end of World War II. But by the
fall of 1954 enrollment climbed back to 97, and it was up to 118 for
1956-57. It would never drop below a hundred again during the
Tribble administration, and significant increases in applications
during the sixties doubled the Law School registration.
The rise was attributable in part to the initiation of scholarship aid
to selected law students. In response to a request by Dean Weathers
the trustees in 1959 established ten two-hundred-dollar
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