George Weckman headshot

WOUB Member Spotlight: George Weckman

Posted on:

< < Back to

Weckman has been a WOUB member for 38 years

ATHENS, OH – George Weckman has been living in one of two private residences on Ohio University’s Athens campus, located right across the street from Alden Library, for 45 years. He hasn’t been a supporter of WOUB Public Media for quite that long, but it’s close. The professor emeritus started making annual donations to WOUB in 1984.

“I find there is a great deal of value in public media. The newspaper is going away, and there are a lot of things that are missed as people don’t read the printed paper. Online information can be polluted with bias and misinformation,” said Weckman.

Weckman grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He got his undergraduate degree at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania and did his graduate work at the University of Chicago. After completing his doctorate in 1968, Weckman moved to Athens to accept a faculty position at Ohio University.

“One of the faculty members at the University of Chicago had a friend at Ohio University and told me there was a position open,” said Weckman. “Athens was a little closer to home for me, and it seemed like a nice place. It had an international feeling to it.”

Weckman was instrumental in the creation of Ohio University’s world religions program, which joined the Classics Department in 2003 to become the Department of Classics and World Religions, which is now called Classics and Religious Studies. In 2004, Weckman became an Associate Professor Emeritus. He fully retired from teaching in 2012 but enjoyed the variety of courses he was able to teach throughout his tenure at Ohio University.

“Under the quarter system, I could teach six to nine classes a year and did everything from Hinduism to Islam,” said Weckman. “I also taught about things like the Old Testament and myth and symbolism. It meant things never got stale.”

In addition to his expertise in world religions, Weckman has many other talents and interests. He’s been the organist and choir director at Christ Lutheran Church on Mill Street for 50 years. Weckman also writes guest editorials for the Athens Messenger on a range of topics that interest him.

“I’ve written an article about what I call the ‘social contract,’ which is the expectations and responsibilities we assume everyone understands in order to contribute to society,” said Weckman. “With the Russian-Ukrainian conflict underway, I also recently wrote a piece about why people go to war.”

Weckman said he’s been listening to public radio since All Things Considered began.

“I actually bought a radio just so I could listen to it,” said Weckman.

Weckman now enjoys many of the national and local programs he consumes on both WOUB radio and television. He thinks it’s important to support WOUB to give the station the staffing and resources it needs to provide quality programming to the public.

“I call myself a ‘radio active’ person,” Weckman said laughing. “Listening to the radio is something I’m always doing. I listen in the kitchen while preparing meals. I listen all the time. I also watch PBS NewsHour, Antiques Roadshow and Great Performances on TV, and I enjoy the WOUB Our Town documentaries. WOUB is a big part of my life.”