Dr. John D. Welty, president of California State University, Fresno, is among 50 college and university presidents recognized for their leadership in the field of student character development in "The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development," a guidebook released nationwide today.
Designed for students, parents and educators, "The Templeton Guide" contains profiles of hundreds of exemplary college programs as well as the profiles of 50 college presidents who have exercised leadership in student character development.
"I am proud to be on the Templeton Foundation's Presidential Leadership list and proud of what Fresno State is accomplishing," said Welty. "Our faculty and staff established and expanded many programs that help students build the strong values that will serve them well beyond their college years. Character development is a lifelong process, and public universities like ours have a very critical role to play."
Established in 1987, the John Templeton Foundation works to encourage character development in schools and colleges.
"'The Templeton Guide' identifies colleges and leaders that encourage students to understand the importance of personal and civic responsibility, which will help them succeed in college and beyond," said Dr. Arthur J. Schwartz, director of the Character Development Programs at the John Templeton Foundation. "President Welty's work in this area is most impressive."
In the nomination letter to the foundation, Dr. J. Michael Ortiz, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fresno State, cited several projects Welty either participates in or has stimulated on both a personal and professional level.
"Dr. Welty is a higher education leader who exemplifies both personal and civic responsibility on a day-to-day basis in both his personal and professional life," Ortiz said. "He recognizes the enormous stake we have in graduating students who are informed, engaged and responsible members of society."
Welty, who served as president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania for six years prior to taking the helm at Fresno State in 1991, has promoted values education throughout his career.
Among the programs he has supported and encouraged at Fresno State is "Students for Community Service," which provides students with quality volunteer experiences that cultivate a lifelong service ethic and enhance education at all levels. During 1997-98, the university enrolled 822 students in its Community Service 101 class who contributed more than 30,000 hours of service with more than 200 community-based agencies.
Other projects include Fresno Reads involving tutors for local elementary schools; Stone Soup in nearby El Dorado Park, which received the President's Service Award from the White House two years ago; a Community Services Opportunities Fair; and a scholarship program that allows students to receive a $1,000 scholarship and three units of academic credit for performing 100 to 200 hours of community service with a non-profit agency.
On the national level, President Welty has also assumed leadership on several key organizations related to the development of values education and civic participation in students' lives.
The offices he has held, or currently holds, include: chair, Network of Colleges and Universities Committed to the Elimination of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (1990-93); co-chair, National Forum on Elimination of Drug and Alcohol Abuse on College Campuses (1989, 1990, 1994); vice chair of the board, BACCHUS of the United States (1997 - present); co-founder and chair, Pennsylvania Campus compact (1988-90); member, California Campus Compact Executive Committee (1993 - present); member, Society of Values in Higher Education; board member, American Humanics.
Additional information about the John Templeton Foundation can be found on its College and Character website www.collegeandcharacter.org.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News