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When Lin Welch came to Central in 1956, there were three professors in the speech department, one taught speech, a second drama, and the third speech pathology. At that time, Central was one of only a few colleges in the state and nation to offer courses in this new field. Since 1956, speech pathology and audiology has become a separate department with 10 staff members, a nationally recognized program, and clinic facilities that are the envy of many other programs in the country. Welch, professor emeritus of speech pathology and audiology, served as program director until a separate department was formed in 1969 and as chair from 1969 to 1993.
During his tenure, Central became the first regional university in the nation to receive national accreditation in speech pathology and audiology, and it remains the only program in the state that is accredited both areas. The program has greatly benefitted from Welch’s success in obtaining $1.5 million in federal grants. Most recent innovations include an alliance with the University of Helsinki, where Welch had an opportunity to teach.
Welch has been active in numerous professional organizations, including the Missouri Speech and Health Association, which he helped found. He was awarded the Honors of the Association in 1988. This is in addition to receiving campus recognition, including Central’s highest honor, the Byler Distinguished Faculty Award.
A native of Texas, Welch received his bachelor’s degree from West Texas State University, his master’s from Baylor University, and his doctorate from the University of Missouri.
He and his wife, Jeanette, have two daughters, Debbie and Nancy, and one son, Richard.