It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Jack Welch, one of our most prominent and honored alumni. Jack and his wife, Suzy, have been great friends of the university, providing extraordinary support to our community and creating life-changing opportunities for students.
For decades, Jack has been an inspiration to anyone who strives for excellence and for all who believe in the power of public higher education. He drew upon his UMass undergraduate education in chemical engineering to forge a legendary career as a business leader, serving for two decades as chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric.
With a deep recognition of how UMass Amherst transformed his life, Jack was determined to give back. Through his generosity, the John and Grace Welch Endowed Scholarship has provided vital support for students from his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts who go on to attend UMass Amherst. He named the scholarship after his parents, whom he credited with instilling in him a strong work ethic, values and ideals. Jack was also instrumental in establishing the Welch Scholars, a merit scholarship funded by the GE Foundation.
Jack was one of our most honored alumni. He received the campus’s Engineering Award in 1974, the President’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1981, and an honorary degree in 1982. He was awarded the President’s Medal in 1997.
On behalf of UMass Amherst, we send our deepest condolences to Suzy, as well as Jack’s family and many friends.