By Rachel Chiang | Reporter
“I’m the bobblehead man,” Dr. Doug Weaver, professor and chair of Baylor’s Department of Religion, said.
Weaver’s office is located in Tidwell Bible Building and features a series of famous sports and religious figures in bobblehead form. Since coming to Baylor in 2003, Weaver has been filling his office with various bobbleheads he has bought and collected, as well as ones he has been gifted over the years.
“I started collecting bobbleheads in the early 1960s as a little boy,” Weaver said. “I started collecting religious bobbleheads probably about 20 years ago.”
Weaver said he started collecting sports bobbleheads because his dad, who was a Baptist pastor, would go to Baptist conventions across the country and buy bobbleheads from various baseball stadiums to bring home.
Weaver began collecting religious bobbleheads as a passion after he came to Baylor. He said he now has about 50 to 60 bobbleheads total, but he keeps his most valuable ones at home.
Among the ones he has displayed in his office, Weaver said his favorites include bobbleheads of Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther and Luther’s wife, Katharina von Bora. He even has a custom-made bobblehead of himself that was gifted to him by a graduate student after she finished her dissertation.
Featured on a bookshelf in the back of his office is a series of Catholic popes. He also said one of his rarest finds is a bobblehead of Phineas F. Breese, who was the founder of the Church of Nazarene.
“They give a little color to the office, you know,” Weaver said. “Offices can be dread and boring, so I’m not a fashion designer, so that is my fashion design.”
Weaver has since extended his hobby past himself, starting a tradition that features retired faculty within the Department of Religion.
“So when someone retires from the religion department, it’s been our pattern to have a party at the end, and we’ll give them a bobblehead and we’ll keep one ourselves,” Weaver said. “And it’s custom-made, so you can laugh. We can think our colleagues are worth at least a couple hundred bucks; it might be $125 apiece. As to whether the retiring colleagues like the bobbleheads or not, I think some of them liked it a lot.”
Weaver said he started the tradition about a decade ago as a fun joke, although it is also nice to have something to remember retired faculty by. He said certain buildings have portraits of some retired faculty or department chairs, but there is not really evidence of other people. The bobbleheads of retired faculty are displayed in a glass case just outside his office.
“It’s always been an interest of his, these bobbleheads,” Dr. Derek Dodson, senior lecturer in the Department of Religion, said. “It’s just sort of the fun things about him, and how he shares that with his department and how he shares that with his students.”