Like many of our alumni, Luke Weaver, MHRIR 08, employment relations was not the career path he thought he would take. After being on the equipment staff for the football team during undergraduate, he intended to transition into a graduate assistant role, where the university would pay for his schooling. Instead, he came up with an entirely different plan – attend the School of Labor and Employment Relations. He stated, “I had a fine opportunity to start my career, but it was nothing compared to what LER could potentially offer.”

Luke and Rachel Weaver with their two children

Growing up, Luke was part of a generous household – specifically his parent and grandparents showed him the importance of being active in their community. He and his wife, Rachel, who also graduated from the university in the iMBA program, want to continue this legacy at their alma mater. Like the positive role models Rachel and Luke experienced, they hope to expose their children to a life of generosity. Luke wants to provide future LER students the opportunity he had so they can start on the right foot and hopefully return the favor to students after them.

During his time at LER, Luke made lifelong friendships and created relationships with faculty and staff who supported him and helped create a strong HR network. To name a few, Gentzy Franz and Professor Ariel Avgar assisted him and provided him a framework to leverage during the recruiting process. After applying for numerous roles, it was a connection made at LER that helped land an opportunity with Pepsico. “After graduating from LER and starting with PepsiCo, I never dreamed that I would have the career experience that I have had to date,” he says.

Through LER’s donor-friendly process, the Weaver family set up a $20,000 endowed scholarship, and PepsiCo generously matched their donation, bringing the scholarship to $40,000. They have agreed to make pledge payments to fulfill the balance. Once the balance is fulfilled, they will continue to grow the endowment level with annual gifts to increase the scholarship amount awarded. The Weaver Family Scholarship will be earmarked for students who have demonstrated dedication to their community and visible support of charitable causes.

“The process to give back to the University has been simple and I would encourage those who are interested to consider it. The foundation offers multiple giving options and timeframes that will allow you to create a plan that is perfect for you.”

Luke Weaver, MHRIR 08, Senior Director, Human Resources at PepsiCo

After almost 15 years, Luke partners with business leaders to continue making PepsiCo a great workplace. Since her time at the university, Rachel has led finance teams, most recently with PepsiCo’s supply chain organization. Outside of work, the Weaver Family focuses their time and resources on charitable causes within their community. Specifically, engagement in Big Brothers Big Sisters, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Salvation Army, and their local church.

The School is proud of Luke and his accomplishments, and we thank him, his family, and PepsiCo for their generosity to our current and future students.

To learn more about supporting student scholarship opportunities, please contact Cory Hatfield at or 217-300-2056.