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04-07-2008

Clarkson University Trustee Emeritus Jack Welch Passes Away

Former Chair of the Clarkson University Board of Trustees John S. "Jack" Welch Jr. '54 passed away today in North Carolina. Welch was a summer resident of Little Round Island in Clayton, N.Y.

"We shall miss the advice and consul of our very dear friend and fellow trustee Jack Welch," said Rett Foster, chair of the Clarkson board of trustees. "He dedicated more than a decade of his time and efforts toward the governance and growth of the University. During his term as chair, the Campaign for Clarkson was brought to a successful close, providing for consolidation of our academic programs on the hill campus and financial resources critical to the University."

A Clarkson trustee from 1992 to 2006, Welch served as chair from 2002-2005. He chaired several key committees, including academic affairs and budget and finance, and served on a number of other subcommittees and committees, including the executive committee. From 1994-1995, he chaired the presidential search committee.

"The entire Clarkson Community is saddened by the passing of John S. Welch and wishes to express its sympathies to Jack's entire family," said Clarkson President Tony Collins. "Jack Welch exemplified the Clarkson experience, rising through the corporate ranks to lead a major global corporation, serving his fellow alumni with honor and foresight, and dedicating himself to his family and community. He and his wife, Norma, who preceded him in death, were respected and loved by all whose lives they touched. His presence and counsel in the affairs of the University will be sorely missed."

He was active in the Clarkson Alumni Association as a member of the board of governors, served as president of the Alumni Association in 1978-79, and received the Golden Knight Award, the University's highest alumni honor, in recognition of his service and achievements.

After joining Ingersoll-Rand Company in 1957 as an engineer, he subsequently rose to become chief engineer, manager of Marketing and Operations, and general manager of the Process Compressor Division at Painted Post, N.Y. In 1980 he was named vice president. With the formation of Dresser Rand Company in 1987, he was named division president, a position he held until his retirement. During his career he was responsible for the operation of several manufacturing plants in the United States, South America, and Europe.

He earned a master of business administration degree from Syracuse University and in 1978 at Clarkson was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society. In 2001, Welch was honored by Clarkson with an honorary doctor of science degree.

Known for his commitment to community service, Welch served as a trustee and mayor of the Village of Painted Post. For many years he served on the board of directors of Corning Hospital, and on the board of directors and as chairman of the board of the College Center of the Finger Lakes. He also served on the local Boy Scout Council and its executive committee, and on the board of the Greater Corning Area Chamber of Commerce. He was honored in 1989 as Citizen of the Year by the Painted Post Board of Trade.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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