May 31, 2012
Fort Wayne, Ind.--Muncie attorney Eric C. Welch has endowed the first scholarship for the new Indiana Tech Law School, which will open in the fall of 2013 in Fort Wayne. Welch, the owner of Welch & Company, LLC, has pledged $20,000 to the university to establish the endowment.
The scholarship, which is yet to be named, will be awarded to one or two incoming first-year law students whose LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs indicate that they are capable of success in law school, but whose undergraduate careers are noteworthy because of their participation in the full range of undergraduate experiences and not just because of their grades.
“The recipients of this scholarship should be students who are truly well-rounded individuals because of their involvement in extra-curricular activities, athletics, community service, and part-time employment,” Welch said.
Welch attended Utah State University and the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He chose to support the new law program at Indiana Tech because of its unique approach to legal education. “I am very impressed with Indiana Tech Law School’s emphasis on ethics and professionalism and its focus on experiential learning to blend theory and practice.”
Law School Dean Peter Alexander said, “The school intends to include judges and lawyers in more than half of the classes offered to bring a real world perspective as a regular part of the students’ education. In addition, we will have unlimited opportunities for students to practice law in legal clinics, externships, and semester-in-practice opportunities.”
A semester-in-practice allows qualified third-year students to work full-time in a law setting for one semester prior to graduation. A few law schools offer this option but, according to Alexander, none offer the opportunity in connection with a comprehensive experiential learning emphasis as Indiana Tech Law School will.
Mary Slafkosky, associate vice president for institutional advancement at Indiana Tech, said Welch’s gift will have a significant impact on the lives of law students for many years to come.
“Because Attorney Welch created an endowed scholarship, students will receive financial assistancefrom his scholarship in perpetuity,” she explained. “In addition, Indiana Tech is in the final days of a matching campaign called the Momentum Multiplier that will double Mr. Welch’s gift.” As a result of this multiplier, Welch’s endowment will automatically be doubled to $40,000.
Alexander hopes that Welch’s gift is just the beginning of many endowed scholarships to benefit Indiana Tech Law School students. “We hope that other law firms and attorneys take note of Mr. Welch’s leadership and will create their own endowments for our students.”
Welch agrees. “I am proud to take the lead and support Indiana Tech Law School’s dynamic curriculum and innovation, and I hope that other members of our profession will stand with me,” he said.
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