My Motlow Story: Daryl Welch
23 Years Later: Welch elected as Motlow College Foundation chair
When Daryl Welch accepted the leadership as chairperson of the Motlow College Foundation on June 7, at the annual Trustees' Meeting, it was not his first time as a prominent Motlow College leader. Welch's leadership at his alma mater dates back to his years as a student in 1989-1990, when he was elected president of the Student Government Association (SGA).
The Tullahoma native's ties to Motlow College date back to his childhood. As a young boy, Welch remembers attending basketball games and camps at the college. His brother Stan was a student at Motlow, and his father Raymond taught as an adjunct faculty in the computer science department. His experiences at Motlow were positive, and as time drew near for him to begin college, he enrolled at Motlow College.
"I knew that I wanted to stay at home to begin my college career," Welch said. "I knew I would receive a top-notch education here. What I didn't know is that Motlow would give me every opportunity to develop as a leader. From the day I stepped onto the Moore County campus, I was given so many opportunities, formed lasting relationships, and found that so many faculty and staff were willing to invest in me. For these reasons, when asked to lead the Foundation as chairperson, I could not refuse."
Welch's tenure with the Foundation began in 2006, when he was named a Motlow College trustee. He served as Foundation vice chairperson from 2011, until he was he elected chairperson in June. Additionally, he has served on numerous committees, including the executive committee and nominating committee. He has been an avid supporter of the Motlow College Gala, the Foundation's annual major fundraiser that funds student scholarships. Welch knows the value of student scholarships, as he was a recipient of the Dr. Harry Wagner Scholarship.
As a new chairperson, he continues to develop and refine his goals during his two-year term. For starters, Welch wants to strengthen an already reputable and successful entity of the college. He will strive to bring greater visibility to the Foundation, thus increasing its fund raising efforts and revenues. As the college expands and creates new programs, his goal is to help the institution market the new programs as well as support retention efforts amidst continued growth.
"I look forward to working with Dr. Apple, faculty, staff, administration, students, and the Foundation trustees," Welch said. "Being an alumnus as well as a local business person, I know the importance and value of Motlow College to this community and its 11-county service area. Motlow continues to provide so much through employment, economic impact, cultural enrichment, and education. Because of Motlow, our communities are healthy communities."
"Who can better lead the Motlow Foundation at this critical point in the institution's history than Daryl," said Dr. MaryLou Apple, Motlow College president. "As an alumnus who has a love for the college and the community as well as being a longstanding trustee, Daryl will help guide the future of Motlow College while expanding on an already established foundation. We are fortunate to have him."
As a student, Welch says that he was privileged to see and model exemplary leadership from then president Dr. Frank Glass, vice president for student affairs Marcia Everett, and SGA advisor Mike Russell. According to Welch, they literally groomed him for leadership, and he is thankful for every investment they made in him.
"It was a pleasure for me to observe Daryl as president of the SGA at Motlow College," Glass said. "He worked well with faculty, staff, and fellow students. Seeing him now in this leadership role is so rewarding. Motlow will be well represented in our communities with Daryl as chairperson of the Motlow College Foundation."
On the academic side, Welch attributes his professional path as a marketing major to Dr. Ward Harder, professor of accounting. Welch's original intent was to study accounting. After one semester with Dr. Harder, he changed his major to marketing based on the recommendation from Harder, and he has never regretted the decision. Another great influence in Welch's life was Jackie Reavis, coach and physical education instructor. Reavis allowed Welch the opportunity to manage the college's intramural program.
Because Motlow was Welch's launching pad for leadership development and growth, he successfully transferred the skills to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where he continued as a student leader following his Motlow graduation. In addition to receiving a bachelor's degree from MTSU, Welch also earned a master's degree and taught as an adjunct faculty. He worked at MTSU from 1993 to 1999 as an assistant director and associate director of admissions. In 1999, he returned to his hometown Tullahoma to work for Harton Realty Company, where he continues as assistant general manager and broker. After Welch's return home, he continued his role of servant leadership. Among the many organizations Welch is or has been affiliated with are Tullahoma Noon Rotary, Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce, Tullahoma Education Foundation Board, Frank Mullins Youth Football League, Tullahoma Little League as well as the Tullahoma City School Board.
"I have been extremely blessed, and I thank God for every opportunity that He has given me," Welch said. "My hope is to continue to serve my community by paying it forward."
Life has taken Welch many, many places, but the place he holds dearest to his heart is home, Tullahoma. To Welch, Tullahoma is a good place to live, work, play, and raise a family. It's home for wife Lori, who is a registered nurse and a graduate of Motlow College, daughter Brianna, age 11, a sixth grader at West Middle School, and son Brady, age 8, a second grader at Farrar Elementary.
Regardless of what lies ahead for Welch, he attributes his beginning to Motlow State Community College.