Third of three sibs graduates from HTC
June 18, 2007
By George Mauzy
Last week's undergraduate commencement ceremony at Ohio University marked the end of an era. That was when Anna Weed became the third remarkable sister in three years to graduate summa cum laude from Ohio University's Honors Tutorial College. They join as alumni their late paternal grandfather Ithamar Weed, who graduated in 1938.
When Anna walked across the stage to accept her bachelor of business administration degree, it was the culmination of a long and challenging road.
Enrolling in college was anything but routine for Anna because of a concussion she suffered shortly before receiving her high school diploma. The mishap, which followed a previous head injury suffered as a child, caused her to lose some of her memory as well as her ability to read. She could not retain information even for a few seconds, nor correctly interpret images from her eyes.
"We didn't know when or if her memory would come back or how it would affect her in the future," said Anna's mother, Patricia, who home schooled Anna and her two sisters. "It took about a year for her to be able to read and keep her thoughts, and it took a few more years before she was back to normal. Interestingly, she never lost her artistic flair, which she applied to fabric arts and designing and creating clothing."
During that time, Anna started her own clothing business, Anna's Clothing and Design. The business, which she still owns, specializes in the design and production of custom-made clothes.
Anna's business was doing fine after four years, but she eventually felt that she needed another dose of education in order to elevate the business to a higher level. That led her to Ohio University's HTC program.
"I love the fact that the HTC program allows for a specialized curriculum, and the tutorial aspect allows you to really pursue in-depth your interests as you work one-on-one with your professors," said Anna, whose business education included an emphasis in accounting and entrepreneurship.
Anna went on to accumulate numerous academic honors. She became the second Ohio University student to win the Ohio Society of CPAs' state scholarship competition last year, beating out 11 regional finalists for the $3,000 award. The award competition is held each year to identify the student with the best accounting skills and knowledge. And she recently wrapped up her academic career by being named the College of Business' Outstanding Graduate in Business Administration.
Now that she has a degree, she will begin taking the state's four-part CPA exam this summer. And in August, she is set to begin work as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Columbus.
"I'm excited about my job at PricewaterhouseCoopers because it will give me opportunities to be challenged (and) constantly learn and work with people every day -- three things that I love," Anna said. "Working as an auditor is like putting together a puzzle. It will allow me to be a problem solver and never do the same thing twice."
Doing things the unconventional way is a trademark for the Weed sisters.
Anna's older sister, Rachel, graduated from the HTC program in spring 2006 with a bachelor's degree in social work. She accomplished this feat in just two years by taking an accelerated curriculum and came within a whisker of a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA.
Rachel also was not a traditional HTC freshman - she was a law school graduate. After receiving her high school diploma, she was admitted to Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy in Fresno, Calif., by virtue of passing a college-degree equivalency test in California. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in social work at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
"I want to use the skills I learned from both professions one day and help people with them," Rachel said. "My immediate goal is to begin working toward a license for private practice in mental health therapy after I graduate in July."
In spring 2005, Sarah Grace, despite being the youngest Weed, became the first to graduate from Ohio University. She was the university's highest-ranked student after compiling a perfect 4.0 GPA in biological sciences. She is now a second-year medical student at Duke University and hopes to practice emergency medicine.
"The Weeds have been a real inspiration for me," said Ann Fidler, dean of the Honors Tutorial College. "They have been a part of the college for all of my five years as dean, and while they are very talented and passionate about excellence they have never exhibited any arrogance about their accomplishments."
The admiration, says Sarah Grace, is mutual.
"All three of us love the Honors Tutorial College, Dean Fidler and her staff," she said. "They regularly go above and beyond to help all of the students."
In addition to being accomplished in the classroom, the Weeds are talented musicians who perform in a gospel quartet with their mother. Anna and Rachel also play violin, and Sarah Grace and Rachel play piano. All three are gifted horse trainers, having gotten plenty of practice on the family's 200-acre farm in the Hocking Hills.
When asked how she raised three such high-achieving daughters, Patricia Weed said, "The girls gave their life to God at about three years of age. When your life is in God's hands, he makes it very interesting, never boring. He made them capable of doing great things, and even when seemingly bad things happened, we knew God was in control and learned to roll with it. They are three gracious, kind and loving ladies and my husband, Charles, and I are privileged to know them."