In July of 1890 Judson Perry Welsh became the second graduate of Bloomsburg to become principal of the school, the first being his predecessor, David Waller. He was born on August 13, 1857 in a stone house near Orangeville, and after graduating from the Bloomsburg State Normal School in 1876 Welsh went on to receive a BA from Lafayette College in 1882. That same year took a faculty position at West Chester State Normal School, where he taught and served as vice-principal of the school. He continued his own education however, and earned his master's degree at Lafayette in 1887 and a PhD from there in 1891. But it was in April 1890 after David Waller announced his intention of leaving Bloomsburg that Welsh was offered and accepted the post as its new principal.
During his tenure at Bloomsburg Dr. Welsh implemented the first course in manual training, as well as adding additional commercial and advanced methods courses. In November of 1895 he oversaw the creation of a student government as Bloomsburg became the first school of its kind to develop a form of student government. Welsh, in conjunction with the Board of Trustees, was also active in promoting expansion in the size of the school campus and creating room for a growing student population. In February of 1894 the dormitory addition and gymnasium were dedicated. The gymnasium was very advanced for its time and was one of the finest facilities in this part of the state. It was used by the physical education classes for gymnastic exhibitions and hosted the newly organized basketball team, which enjoyed great success during these years. Other changes to the campus included the constuction of an employee's dormitory in 1895, and the building of a boiler house and remodeling of Institute Hall and its auditorium in 1900. In 1904 Welsh and his family moved into the recently purchased Buckalew Place, beginning a tradition that continues to the present. The finest building accomplishment during his tenure however, was Science Hall, which was completed his last year at Bloomsburg and was state-of-the-art for its day.
In July of 1906 Dr. Welsh was offered the vice presidency of Pennsylvania
State College, and the following month submitted his resignation.
His time at Penn State however, was not nearly as successful as his tenure
at Bloomsburg has been. He served under an interim president who
allowed him full control of the daily operations of the college, but in
an attempt to show his abilities to become the next permanent president
Welsh only succeeded in alienating the faculty and students. The
faculty especially believed he exercised too much authority and resented
that fact, even though some of the policies he instituted did benefit the
school. By the time a new president was brought in in 1908 Welsh
was serving as registrar, but was then moved to a position with little
responsibility. In 1910 he left Penn State to take a position at
the Merchant's Dispatch, Inc. of New York City, and he and his family moved
to Pleasantville, N.Y. where they resided for twenty years. Judson
Perry Welsh died at his home there at the age of 77 on August 29, 1934.
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