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Dean Welch | Paying it Forward

Dean Welch

For Dean Welch '50, earning his bachelor's degree in business was challenging. His time at the University required dedication to classes and studies, but he, like many students, also needed to work to support himself.

"During my time at the University of Idaho, I was absolutely broke," he said. "I was a cook at Willis Sweet Hall."

After earning his degree, Dean worked briefly for Idaho Power, then joined Boeing Co., where he worked in the testing and experimental group on the company's 707 aircraft. A successful career followed in materials development and manufacturing, where Dean worked in leadership roles for companies that provide products for the aerospace and defense industries.

A lifetime of driving his companies to perform at a high level resulted in the personal prosperity that Welch said allows him to give back so generously to his alma mater. He and his late wife, Gay, who, according to Dean contributed much to the heights he achieved during his career, founded the L. Dean and Gay Welch University of Idaho Scholarship Endowment in the College of Business and Economics to help students get a start on their career goals.

This is the largest endowment within the college for scholarship support, and it has helped students from Idaho since its inception in 1996.

Welch said it is personally gratifying to see the many ways the scholarship has helped students, and he enjoys hearing directly from the scholars about the difference it has made in their lives.

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