Education Lab

Fresno State’s leadership institute to be named after former president Welty

Fresno State President Emeritus Dr. John Welty
Fresno State President Emeritus Dr. John Welty Fresno Bee Staff Photo

The Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute at Fresno State will become the John D. Welty Center for Educational Policy and Leadership.

The California State University board of trustees will vote Wednesday to honor former Fresno State president Welty with the name change of the center, which was built in 2002. Welty spent more than 20 years as Fresno State president before retiring in 2013. He was later named president emeritus.

Fresno State President Joseph Castro said in a statement Tuesday that the center will honor Welty’s decades of work “and continue to improve the San Joaquin Valley region.”

“(Welty) championed the role of higher education as a catalyst for educational and economic growth in the San Joaquin Valley, which is among California’s poorest regions and which suffers from a historically low college-going rate,” Castro said.

The CSU Committee on Institutional Advancement approved the naming Tuesday and sent the item to the full board for action.

The naming recognizes the contributions of several donors in the amount of $1.1 million to Fresno State’s Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute in honor of Welty. These funds will be used to establish a permanent endowment to build the center into a national model for policy, leadership training and professional development.