Anne Cobb Smith Weatherford, First Lady: 1967-1984

Summarized by Daniela I. Pirela Manares ’20Leave a Comment

Portrait of Anne WeatherfordOne could say Anne Cobb Smith was an exemplary teacher and Christian. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Swarthmore College, where she met her husband, Willis D. Weatherford Jr., who was to become the sixth president of Berea College. While serving as first lady, her passion for teaching became more evident as she taught basic math to first-year students. Her interest in race relations and the peace movement led her to serve as vice president for the Kentucky Human Rights Commission and as board member of Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Ky.

Anne and Willis D. Weatherford Jr. walking on campus

Anne and Willis D. Weatherford Jr.

An active member of Union Church, she also earned a master’s degree in religion from Lexington Theological Seminary. Upon retirement from the College in 1984, she moved to North Carolina, where she worked as the director of Christian Education at Grace Church in Asheville for 10 years until her health failed. Anne Weatherford is remembered fondly as a powerful prayer partner, a gracious southern gentlewoman and as not only a teacher, but a lifelong learner.

In 1984, Anne Weatherford gave the commencement address at Berea College’s graduation. Listen above as she reflects on her 17 years at the College and the beauty she remembers.

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