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New fellowships to support NDSU faculty excellence

Photo of Spencer Duin

Spencer Duin

Photo of Timothy Welch

Timothy Welch

Two NDSU graduates and their spouses have established fellowships that will support faculty and educational excellence within the College of Engineering. Faculty fellowships are awarded to accomplished scholars to advance research, education and outreach.

The College of Engineering’s newly established fellowships are the result of gifts provided by Spencer and Carol Duin of Asheville, N.C., and Timothy Welch and Donna LaQua-Welch of North Richland Hills, Texas. NDSU benefactors who establish faculty fellowships provide a minimum of $30,000 in annual funding for at least five years.  

“These fellowships will recognize and support the innovative endeavors of outstanding faculty in the College of Engineering,” NDSU President Dean Bresciani said. “We are grateful to the Duins and Welchs for making these fellowships possible through their generosity. Fellowships are critical to recruiting and retaining top faculty and to providing the best educational experiences possible.”

Spencer Duin graduated from NDSU in 1966 with a degree in industrial engineering.  The Graceville, Minnesota, native enjoyed a distinguished 40-year career at Westinghouse and Eaton Corp. Duin has financially supported other NDSU advancements while also giving generously of his time and expertise. He is a trustee of the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association, chair of the Foundation’s investment committee and a founding member of the College of Engineering Advisory and Advancement Board. In 2017, he received the College of Engineering’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

"My engineering degree from NDSU opened doors to many opportunities and a successful and very satisfying career,” Duin said. “Carol and I have established the endowed fellowship to increase support for College of Engineering faculty and to acknowledge the value of my NDSU education.”

Timothy Welch is president of Welch Engineering Inc., a civil engineering firm based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Originally from Bismarck, North Dakota, Welch graduated from NDSU in 1986 with a degree in civil engineering. In addition to creating the fellowship, Welch and his wife, Donna, also have established a scholarship endowment for NDSU engineering students and have provided funding to help expand research capabilities within the College of Engineering. Welch also gives back by serving on the College of Engineering Advisory and Advancement Board.

“Our faculty at NDSU are dedicated to professional excellence and without them, NDSU would be just another university,” Welch said. “Donna and I are honored to provide financial resources that will enable faculty within the College of Engineering to take their innovative research to the next level and to build on the success of their strong educational programming.”

On Nov. 15, university officials will announce the first faculty members to be awarded the Duin and Welch fellowships.

“The single most important asset of the College of Engineering is its faculty,” said Michael Kessler, dean of the College of Engineering. “They drive innovation that will shape a better world and mentor the next generation of engineering leaders. That’s why these gifts from the Duins and Welchs are so important to our college mission, and why we’ve made securing endowed chairs, professorships and faculty fellowships a fundraising priority.”

The Duin and Welch fellowships were established through the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association. The NDSU Foundation builds enduring relationships that maximize advocacy and philanthropy to support NDSU. 

“Investing in faculty is one of the most transformative ways that philanthropy can elevate the excellence of learning and discovery at NDSU,” said John Glover, the foundation’s president and CEO. “In higher education today, named faculty positions have become absolutely critical to recruit and retain the best faculty to advance our mission. There are many reasons why investing in faculty is important, and at the end of the day, this is about people investing in people. The Duins and Welchs have recognized how important this is, and we are grateful for their investments.”


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