By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
When Professor William Welch retired at 92 from Bowie State University (BSU) in the winter, he was the oldest full-time faculty member. In his three decades at the historically Black university, Welch played a key role in developing the school’s human resource development program.
Although his days of lecturing in classrooms have come to an end, Welch is not ready to stop teaching. Rather than laze about his days in retirement, he will continue doing human resource consulting.
Outside of executive coaching with firms, Welch intends to engage with influential organizations, like churches, and leverage his human resource development expertise to mentor individuals.
“I’m sure there are a couple of people in your life that you thought had something to say, and they grew old and disappeared,” said Welch. “
[In my retirement,
] I’m going to do some coaching with organizations and individuals and get paid for it, but most of the work I will do I will not get paid for.”
When Welch came to Bowie State in 1992 as an adjunct professor, he was a doctoral candidate in human resource development at George Washington University.
At the time, Professor Henry Raymond invited him to come to the school and help him develop a new human resource development program.
Although Welch did not become a full-time faculty member until 2004, he is credited with creating several of the classes that compose the program today.
As a professor, Welch believed that his role was to facilitate growth and instill critical thinking skills in his students that came through the program. His favorite thing to say to them was, “figure it out.”
Growing up, Welch never imagined becoming a professor. He said there were only a few select jobs Black men could aspire to have, and once you got one, it became your lifetime profession.
Before transitioning into education, he held various jobs in housing and local government. Notably, Welch headed a housing initiative targeting impoverished, particularly Black, residents for the Southern Maryland Tri County Community Action Committee
In his career, Welch has racked up accolades from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Association of Counties and the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission.
But, this next step is about carrying on the social conscience that his grandfather and forebears had before him. They wanted each generation to be better, and Welch shares their wish.
“There are pockets of people that can be found that have things still yet to give. How can you use what you’ve been given to sharpen what they have?” said Welch.
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