Spotlight on 2013 California graduates

California commencement is Sunday, July 14, 2013 in Sacramento. To celebrate, we are highlighting a few of the upcoming graduates. Each participant was asked to write a response, in their own words, to the question “How has your Union Institute & University experience changed your life?”

Lieutenant John Weaver

B.S. Criminal Justice Management, 2012
Placer County, California
Deputy Sheriff’s Office

I was a busy single parent, balancing my career with raising my son during his high school years. (I am proud to say that he now serves in the US Army, as I once did.) When I felt comfortable that my son was on a stable career path, I finally had the opportunity to focus on my lifelong dream of continuing my education. At the age of 48, I decided that I wanted to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management through Union’s Sacramento academic center.

Last year was finally the right time to do it! I had heard great things from many Union Institute & University graduates and was convinced to move forward. I opted for the criminal justice management on-ground site in Placer County because I could study among my peers in the county where I am employed.

As a working person, Union Institute & University met my educational needs and schedule in a convenient location. The educational focus on criminal justice management matched up with my personal focus and I was able to infuse my “real life experience” to meet many of the educational requirements. Most importantly, Union Institute & University was an accredited university.

Earning my bachelor’s degree is the achievement of a lifelong dream. It has made me a stronger positive role model for my son and those I work with. I have been able to apply the things I learned in my classes directly to my job. I am confident that my bachelor’s degree will open doors for future opportunities for me.


John Weaver has been a lieutenant with the Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Office since 1992. He has 22 years of experience serving in numerous military assignments, as part of the US Army and as a reservist with the Air National Guard, in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later transitioned his military skills into a career in law enforcement, working in corrections, patrol, community service officer, search and rescue, dive team, and special enforcement. When he is not working, Lt. Weaver enjoys riding his motorcycle and reading R.A. Salvatore.