The Welsh Professorship was developed in 1992 in honor of the late George Welsh, a former UNC psychology professor, and his wife Alice, a former member of the Chapel Hill Board of Aldermen.  The professorship was established in the College of Arts and Sciences by Burlington residents David and Rebecca Pardue along with other friends and colleagues of the Welshes.

George Welsh was born in Kingston, Pa., in 1918.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in English in 1940 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he later studied experimental and clinical psychology and worked as an assistant instructor.  He served as a psychologist in the U.S. Army from 1943 until 1946 and he earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1949.  From 1949 until 1953, Welsh worked as a clinical psychologist in various capacities, including with the Veterans Administration and the Mental Hygiene Clinic in San Francisco.  In 1953, Welsh moved to North Carolina to become a professor at UNC.  He specialized in personality theory, assessment and testing, publishing more than 50 scholarly articles.  Welsh served as Visiting Fulbright Professor at the University of Florence in Italy and as a visiting professor at the University of Virginia and the University of California at Berkeley.

While at Carolina, Welsh served as a consultant for various state and federal government agencies, including the N.C. Department of Corrections and the U.S. Public Health Service.  He retired in 1985, five years before his death in 1990.

Alice Welsh was born in Indiana.  She received a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and a master’s degree from Louisiana State University.  In 1953 she moved to Chapel Hill with her husband and has since been actively involved with numerous civic and University activities.  She served on the Chapel Hill Appearance Commission and the Chapel Hill Planning Board and was an officer at the Ackland Art Museum.  In 1970, she was appointed to the Chapel Hill Board of Aldermen, where she initiated programs in human rights, open space and parks, historic preservation and recycling.

In 1996, history professor Peter Coclanis was named the first recipient of the Welsh Term Professorship. Coclanis, a specialist in U.S. economic and business history and colonial history, joined the UNC faculty in 1984.  Coclanis served as associate dean for general education in the College of Arts and Sciences from 1993 until 1998 and was history department chair for several years.

Dr. George and Alice Welsh Professors

1996-1999:  Peter Coclanis

2001-2003:  Michael T. Crimmins

2001-2006:  Mark Peifer

2005-2008:  Francisco Werner

2005-2010:  Alan Jones

2010-present:  Guang Guo