Weare named NCAA Postgraduate Scholar
Engrave Neil Weare’s name in the record book. Make that two record books—one for top athletes and the other for top scholars.
Weare ’02 is the fastest cross country runner in College history, clocking 24:30 for 8,000 meters. He’s the College’s first cross country champion since 1968—when Weare’s coach, David Fix ’70, brought home the Northwest Conference title. In track, Weare won the conference title in the 5,000 meters and set the Guam national record over the same distance.
“He’s poised to step from college running to international running,” says Fix, who expects Weare to run in the 2004 Olympics.
Weare’s record is just as strong in the classroom as it is on the track. And it took that combination of talents to become the College’s first NCAA Postgraduate Scholar.
“To win the NCAA scholarship, you have to do extremely well in the classroom and you must participate at a very high level in sports,” Fix says. “That narrows the pool quickly.”
The $5,000 NCAA scholarship also requires a commitment to postgraduate education.
“Neil is talented,” Fix says. “But he also is disciplined, sets goals, and manages his time to achieve his goals.”
At Lewis & Clark Weare was a Presidential Scholar, a Neely Scholar, and a Pamplin Fellow. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa during his junior year while studying in Ecuador and graduated summa cum laude in inter-national affairs.
Although born in Burns, Weare grew up in Guam and, in 1999, was an intern for Robert Underwood, who represents Guam as a nonvoting delegate in Congress.
Weare returned to Washington, D.C., last summer to research his senior thesis, “The Weight of Ideas in Decolonization Reconsidered: Continued Colonialismin the United States.”
With the help of a Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB) grant, he also traveled to Cuba, shook hands with Fidel Castro, and attended the United Nations Regional Conference on Decolonization.
“American ideals of equality and government by consent aren’t being carried out in the territories,” he says. “Colonization is un-American,” he believes. “Political sovereignty should rest in the peoples of the territories, not in the halls of Congress.”
This summer, Weare worked on Underwood’s campaign for governor of Guam and trained daily for the 2002 Micronesian Games. In 1997, he won a gold medal in the 800 meters there, and in 1999 he won the bronze in the 1,500 meters at the South Pacific Games. This year, he’ll try for gold in all distances —from 800 to 10,000 meters.
His next goal is to run in the 2004 Olympics. Then it’s off to graduate school to prepare for a career in public policy, specializing in federal-territorial relations. Perhaps one day he’ll represent Guam as a voting member of Congress.
—by Jean Kempe-Ware