(Posted March 1, 2001)

Donna Weimer, professor of communication at Juniata College and a resident of State College, was named the Col. Sedgley and Elizabeth Bailey Thornbury Professor of communication in a surprise ceremony during Juniata's Bailey Oratorical Contest last night.

The Thornbury professorship supports a Juniata faculty member from any field of endeavor who "is an outstanding scholar, a compassionate teacher and a visionary individual." The nomination of Weimer, who oversees the Bailey contest, is particularly apt because Elizabeth Bailey Thornbury was the daughter of Thomas F. Bailey, who served as president judge of Huntingdon County from 1916 to 1936 and endowed the Bailey Oratorical Contest.

Weimer joined the Juniata faculty at Juniata in 1990. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1974, a master's degree in speech communication in 1983, and a doctorate in speech communication in 1990, all from Penn State University. She currently is chair of the Department of English, Communication, and Theatre Arts at Juniata.

She created Juniata's communication curriculum and a designated program of emphasis in communication in 1990. She also is a member of the Information Technology Department and has participated in the development of teaching learning technologies on campus. She received the Lindback Teaching Award in 1993 and Juniata's Woman of the Year Award in 1994.

She is the faculty advisor to the Alfarata yearbook and Power93, WKVR, the college radio station. In addition, she has been a member of the executive council of the Speech Communication Association of Pennsylvania since 1992. Dr. Weimer is on the Board of Representatives to WPSX/WPSU, public radio and television, for Huntingdon.

Elizabeth Bailey Thornbury, a 1929 graduate of Juniata, married Sedgley Thornbury in 1935. The couple met when Sedgley, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, was assigned as administrative officer to the Diamond Valley Civilian Conservation Camp in Huntingdon. After working at the camp, Sedgley attended Harvard Business School and returned to Huntingdon to pursue business opportunities. Sedgely was recalled to active duty in 1940 and participated in the invasions of the Pacific islands of Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, Guam and the Philippines. He had reached the rank of colonel by the end of the war in 1945.

Sedgley later worked as an executive in various national insurance companies. After retirement, the couple moved to Florida, where Sedgley helped develop the Ormond Beach National Bank.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.