“White Pony Express is built on the understanding that, in this beautiful world we share, love knows all, does all, and is the most powerful force in the universe.”
Dr. Carol Weyland Conner
Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, 80, the founder of White Pony Express, passed away peacefully at her home in Walnut Creek, California on April 22, 2023. In recent years Dr. Conner won national prominence and numerous civic awards for the vital volunteer service program she seeded nearly ten years ago, which has inspired so many of us and embraced the entire community as members of our one human family.
“There is a simple solution that can end the problems of hunger and marginalization for good—a new paradigm: voluntary shared abundance,” she explained. “In this model of life, responsibility for helping the family of man is assumed by everyone, or in the phrase White Pony Express often uses, all of us taking care of all of us. The idea of shared abundance has caught on like wildfire and the program has never stopped growing.”
The daughter of Rudolph Harry Weyland, a musician and educator, and LaJune Arletta Wendt Weyland, an elementary school teacher, Dr. Conner studied English literature at the University of California in Berkeley, French literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, and medieval studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The sudden grave mental illness of her older brother caused her to switch her field to psychology in hope that she could aid him and others so afflicted. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Catholic University in Washington, DC, in 1976.
Dr. Conner went into private practice as a therapist, practicing for twenty-five years in Walnut Creek, California, during which time she was also a volunteer counselor with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in nearby San Francisco. In the mid-1970s, Dr. Conner learned about Meher Baba and joined Sufism Reoriented in 1979. In 2001, she was appointed as the spiritual director of the group, a position she held until her passing.
An important part of her life’s work has been to develop new models of volunteer community service. Programs she started on a small scale have been enthusiastically adopted by the wider community. White Pony Express, formed in 2013, is now one of California’s largest food rescue programs and has expanded to include redistribution of unsold new clothing and other goods. Her pioneering program provides fresh, high quality food and clothing to 90 local nonprofit organizations and responds to emergencies far and wide, recently sending non-perishable food, clothing, and medical supplies to Ukrainian refugees in Europe.
“Dr. Conner’s record of achievement, service, and commitment provides an extraordinary example of the difference that volunteerism can make in the lives of individuals and in the well-being and vitality of a community,” stated Nancy McPherson, AARP California State Director, in presenting her with the AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, one of many accolades she has received, including the Jefferson Award and the Soroptimists’ Ruby Award.
According to Dr. Conner, “We have reached a point in universal history where mankind, as a whole, can begin to realize the fundamental truth that we all share one life. Human brotherhood is not something to aspire to—it is the central fact of our existence.”
Please join us as we celebrate Dr. Conner’s remarkable legacy of loving service to our community!