Talented Dillard Professor Passes Away

Students and faculty will miss the smile of Dr. Lucius R. Weathersby that brightened the halls of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center everyday.


Weathersby, associate professor of music and African World Studies, died unexpectedly on March 17 of a heart attack. He was 37. He is survived by his son, six-year-old Lucius Jr.; his wife Diane; his parents Curtis and Melba Richardson of Dallas, Texas; a brother and a host of other family members.


Weathersby was a visiting professor at Amherst College in Massachusetts, after Hurricane Katrina displaced many Dillard faculty and staff members, but his presence was still felt within the Dillard family.


“He will live in that great store of memories, in that world of deep and lasting impressions that make him so real for us all,” said Violet G. Bowers, associate professor of music at Dillard. “We have suffered a great loss individually and collectively.”


Bowers said she met Weathersby when he transferred to Dillard in 1987 from Texas A&M University. He received the first Presidential Scholarship to study music under the revered Dr. Herman Taylor, the University’s organist at the time. Bowers said he was a great student who was always practiced and played in local churches.


Weathersby was an artist, composer, teacher and performer. He served as musical director for churches in New Orleans, Springfield, Mass., Iowa and Arizona. His lectures included focuses on African American culture and music, the Baroque period and keyboard techniques.


Bianca Ross, senior business management and music major, was shocked her professor’s untimely death at a young age. Ross said that he was always positive and really made an effort to motivate all of his students to excel and encouraged them. “He motivated us to have the same passion for music as he had,” she said.


A memorial service was held for Weathersby in Springfield, Mass., and then his funeral services were held later in Many, La.


“The helping hand, (his) friendly smile and encouraging words will not be forgotten,” said Bowers.