William Lee Bill Welch, Jr November 23, 1941 – September 4, 2009 was a US politician and former mayor of State College, Pennsylvania, most recently reelected in 2007 He had been the mayor since he was first elected in 1994, before which he was a member of the borough council Mayor Welch died on September 4, 2009 at the Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, after suffering complications from leg surgery He was 67 years old
Welch was born in Philadelphia, but spent most of his life in State College and is a graduate of State College High School in 1959 and of Penn State University in 1964 He formerly worked as editor of the Centre Daily Times newspaper for over 25 years and then of the American Philatelist, a magazine published by the American Philatelic Society
As mayor, he annually welcomed first-year students at Penn State held at the new student Convocation and the Arts Festival, Welch also took part in Penn State's Homecoming activities, taught students about local government, met regularly with international students, gave tours of the State College Borough building and frequently attended building dedications and other events on campus such Take Back the Night, Veteran's Day ceremonies and celebrations honoring Martin Luther King Jr — often giving remarks and providing history about town-gown relations Welch also served as co-chairman of the Campus and Community Partnership United Against Dangerous Drinking, where he was involved in efforts to help curb dangerous drinking
In the surrounding community of State College Borough and the Centre Region, Welch was known for his leadership within local and regional governments Active in many local interest groups, he served on the board of Central Pennsylvania 4 July Inc and the Discovery Children's Museum planning board
"Bill Welch was one of Pennsylvania's greatest leaders," said Former Penn State President Graham Spanier "He was a dedicated public servant and community leader Bill was proud of his university and the town that surrounded and nourished it The University and community were in turn proud of Bill, a great humanitarian and ambassador Penn State deeply mourns his passing "
A local community pool in State College is named after his father, William Welch, Sr, a local doctor who led the fundraising effort in the 1960s to build the first community pool in State College It is located next to State College Area High School on Westerly Parkway and was recently redeveloped in 2010 at a cost of 52 million USD
- 1 Stamp collecting
- 2 On the issue of same-sex marriage
- 3 References
- 4 External links
An active and dedicated philatelist, Welch specialized in the postal history of Latin America and ship mail of Austria-Hungary Welch was elected to the American Philatelic Society's Hall of Fame in 2010 for significant contributions to philately during his lifetime
In his free time, Welch penned a monthly column for Town and Gown magazine with his wife, Nadine Kofman He informally presided over weekly meetings of Young Writers of America, a group of community residents active in local affairs and writing, and he enjoyed rooting for the Super Bowl XL champion Pittsburgh Steelers
On the issue of same-sex marriage
Bill Welch presided over a same-sex commitment ceremony at Penn State University, and has stated that "It's not illegal or immoral"
- ^ Borough of State College – Mayor's Welcome Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Walbert, Mike 10 December 2002 "From fourth estate to local politics, Welch excels" Daily Collegian Retrieved 2 March 2016
- ^ MPenn State Intercom, August 29, 2002 Mayor is Renaissance Man
- ^ "In State College Ride The Slides!" Onward State Retrieved 2015-09-20
- ^ "APS Hall of Fame 2010-2014" American Philatelic Society 2014 Retrieved 2 March 2016
- ^ Bressler, Ashley 31 March 2008 "Couples unite in ceremony" Daily Collegian Retrieved 2 March 2016
- Bill Welch tribute
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