UPDATE: Mentor, administrator dies

UPDATE: Funeral times and date are now included.

Northern Kentucky University’s Associate Provost for Student Success died Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007 at St. Luke Hospital in Fort Thomas, Ky.

Dennis Weatherby, 47, of Alexandria, Ky. died from what doctors speculate was a blood clot that had traveled to his brain. After struggling with high blood pressure most of his life, his kidneys sustained severe damage. Dr.Weatherby spent a week in the hospital and a week at home on medication to lower his blood pressure.

According to one of his daughters, Audrey Weatherby, during his time at home he hit his foot on a bedpost. Doctors believe a clot formed and eventually caused his death. By request of the family, no autopsy will be performed.

He was born Dece. 4, 1959 in Brighton, Ala. the son of Willie and Flossie Mae Weatherby.

Dr.Weatherby is survived by his wife of 23 years, Marpessa D. (Nee Huguely) Weatherby; four daughters, Audrey, Elaine, Rachel and Antoneah; two sons, Ryan and Stephen; five brothers and six sisters.

In his position at NKU, he was responsible for providing leadership to “cultivate an environment to optimize student success across organizational boundaries,” according to his office’s Web site. He also fostered multiculturalism at the university and led and managed efforts to increase the diversity and retention of students and staff.

Students began their Monday by grieving the loss of someone who was their provost, mentor and friend.

Joshua A. Harris, senior public relations major, spoke during the monthly church service at Norse Commons Sunday, Sept. 14 about the impact Dr.Weatherby had on students.

“He was kind of a father away from home,” Harris said. “He was very reserved, but a very engaged person.”

After being hired in 2006 for his provost position, Dr.Weatherby used his time at NKU to reach out to black students at NKU through organizations such as Black United Students, Black Women’s Organization and Black Men’s Organization.

Harris, who is also the president of the BMO, worked closely with Dr.Weatherby through a mentoring program the two were collaborating on.

“He was about showing action,” Harris said. “Love is a verb. He had love for his students and family.”

Dr.Weatherby was a father figure not only to Harris, but also to several other students.

“He was definitely like a father figure in the black community,” said Kanita House, a third year management student.

She said Dr.Weatherby also brought unity to black organizations through encouraging students to work together.

“He was a mentor to all of us,” House said. “He stepped out of his provost role to be there for us. If you needed him, he was there.”

Students will remember him as a person who never put himself above his students, House said.

“Our organizations will never be the same,” House said.

Students aren’t the only ones at the university grieving over the loss. Administrators throughout NKU are comforting students and remembering the impact Dr.Weatherby made in his year and a half.

“Dennis Weatherby was a man deeply committed to students and their success,” said NKU President James Votruba in a university-wide e-mail Sept. 17. “In his brief time