Dr. Sidney E. L. Weatherford, Jr.
Dr. Sidney E. L. Weatherford, Jr., age 91, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, September 19, 2021, in Hattiesburg, MS. He was born March 14, 1930, in Petal, MS.
Sidney is survived by his wife of 66 years, Martha Pentecost Weatherford of Gadsden, AL, a son, Sidney Edward Lee Weatherford, III, from Little Rock, AR; a daughter, Carol Weatherford Standland and her husband James E. Standland of Hattiesburg, four grandchildren, Ray Weatherford of Bentenville, AR, Drew Standland, Tyler Standland and his wife Taylor Townsend Standland, Laura Lee Standland all of Hattiesburg, and a host of loving nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Sidney Edward Lee Weatherford, Sr. and Lela Estelle Cagle of Petal and Hattiesburg, two sisters, Mary Dell Weatherford Slack and husband Robert R. Slack, Betty Ruth Weatherford McKenzie and husband Dewey R. McKenzie, and one brother, Leland Cagle Weatherford and wife Lucretia “Kish” Mae Wester Weatherford.
Sidney will be remembered for his incredible wisdom and integrity. He loved his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to whom he committed his life when he was just a boy. He treasured and loved his family, church (First Baptist Church, Hattiesburg, and University Baptist Church, Hattiesburg) friends, and career as an educator and administrator.
Dr. Weatherford was Assistant to the President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership and Research at The University of Southern Mississippi. He retired from the University in June 1993 with more than 32 years of service. Dr. Weatherford holds the B.S. and M.A. degrees from The University of Southern Mississippi and the Ed. D. degree from the University of Florida.
During his employment at the University, Dr. Weatherford served in several administrative positions, including Director of Student Counseling, Dean of the Basic College, Director of Institutional Research and Planning, and Assistant to the President. He also held academic rank and taught graduate classes in Student Personnel Administration and Higher Education Administration. He treasured his time in the classroom and took pride in having taught or worked with over fifty doctoral students who became top-level college administrators throughout the nation.
Dr. Weatherford directed self-studies for the reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and became known as the University’s resource person for accreditation issues. He also served as Chairman of the Accreditation Study Committee of the Mississippi Association of Colleges and played a leadership role in the accreditation of several colleges in the state. He served on the Committee of the Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning that designed and implemented the first statewide computerized student information system for the public universities. As a member of that committee, he also participated in an evaluation and refinement of the Board’s formula for the allocation of funds to the universities.
Dr. Weatherford is remembered at the University for his longtime membership and his ten-year chairmanship of the Faculty Athletic Committee. As such, he was the Faculty Athletics Representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the University’s voting delegate at its annual meetings. He was a member of the Faculty Committee of the American Football Association and served as Vice President, President-Elect, and President of the Metro Athletic Conference.
At the University he is credited with establishing a counseling program for athletes, establishing a study hall program for athletes, establishing an athletic compliance program, and creating a full-time position of Director of Women’s Athletics. He served as Interim Athletic Director for approximately two months. In 1990 he concentrated solely on his position as Assistant to the President. In 1993 he was named to the University’s Alumni Hall of Fame, and in 2002 he was awarded membership in the All-American Football Foundation, the first Faculty Representative to be so honored in all of college football.
Besides work, Sidney loved to restore antique clocks, teach Sunday School, spend time with family and friends, and travel.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home, Hattiesburg, MS, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Thursday, September 23, 2021 followed by a procession to Roseland Park Cemetery for a graveside Celebration of Life service at 11:30 a.m. Reverend Amy Roller and Dr. Aubrey Lucas will be officiating.