University of Charleston President Ed Welch recently was given the Francis Asbury Award by the United Methodist Church June 8 at its West Virginia Annual Conference.
The conference took place on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College.
The Francis Asbury Award recognizes outstanding leadership in supporting, strengthening and promoting the church's higher education ministries, according to information from UC.
Welch has led UC's efforts throughout the past year to replace the now-defunct Mountain State University and to provide a teach-out opportunity for more than 500 students. Welch also was recognized for the leadership he has provided for higher education in West Virginia throughout the past 24 years.
But Welch did not accept the honor single-handedly.
"This recognition is due to the University of Charleston team that has grown the university and that undertook the significant effort to expand into Beckley, Martinsburg and online education," Welch said in a news release. "I am very grateful for the leadership of vice presidents, administrators, faculty and staff members who have made UC successful."
Welch arrived at UC in 1989, and he has spearheaded the school's highest levels of fundraising, the expansion of full-time student enrollment, a redefining of the school's mission and the transformation of its academic programs to add graduate programs in pharmacy, physician's assistant and business. Seven of the 11 buildings on campus have been constructed on Welch's watch, along with national recognition for UC's leadership in outcomes-based learning and student assessment.
Welch serves on the BB&T Corporate Board of Directors, he is chairman of the Quality Committee for Charleston Area Medical Center Health Systems, he is a member of the Association of Governing Board's Council of Presidents, he is a member of the West Virginia Financial Education Foundation Board and also BB&T-West Virginia's Advisory Board.