ESU’s Thirteenth President, Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D., Announces Retirement After Eight Years of Service
After eight years at the helm, East Stroudsburg University (ESU) President Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D., announced her retirement on Friday, January 17 in a statement to University colleagues and friends. In her message, she stated, “… I have sincerely enjoyed being a part of the Warrior family and know that, in my heart, I will always be a Warrior.”
President Welsh was appointed the 13th President of ESU in April 2012 by the Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education and assumed her role as the first female president of the institution in July 2012. Her retirement is effective July 31, 2020. According to President Welsh, “I truly believe the future for ESU is bright and that the institution is well positioned to continue to be successful in serving our incredible students. In the remaining weeks and months of my tenure, I will continue to strengthen ESU by focusing on the goals established in our strategic plan, while also preparing the institution for a change in leadership.”
The theme of Welsh’s inauguration in 2013 was “Great Expectations,” which was intended to reflect her vision for the many opportunities at ESU for growth, success and achievement. Eight years later, ESU’s many accomplishments under Welsh’s leadership include: the addition of 3-D printing and additive manufacturing to the curriculum; the institution of two new sports to ESU athletics, women’s wrestling and acrobatics and tumbling; building a good neighbor program within the East Stroudsburg community which enabled administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, police and borough leadership to more closely connect to local residents and neighbors; supporting the incorporation of esports in the University’s academic research; the approval for ESU’s two doctoral degrees (in Educational Leadership and Administration and Health Sciences); the opening the institution’s Lehigh Valley Center in Bethlehem; helping to unveil the Philadelphia Multi-University Center (PMUC); establishing collaborative degree programs with The Commonwealth Medical College and Marywood University, both in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the College of Sport and Health Science at Ritsumeikan University in Shiga, Japan; announcing the launch of LYME-AID, the first commercial licensing agreement of faculty/student research at ESU and within Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education; opening a Student Veterans Center at ESU; initiating ESU’s annual Economic Outlook Summit to raise awareness of the economic development initiatives underway in Monroe County; launching a new website, Made in the Poconos, in cooperation with the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Pennsylvania CareerLink and the Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation to promote and encourage residents and visitors to shop locally; and assisting Pocono Medical Center in the facilitation of focus groups and the creation of an online platform to match residents with health professionals, social service agencies, workshops and other events geared toward health concerns.
Dr. Welsh also supported a partnership with Pocono Medical Center to train ESU student volunteers to act as health coaches for patients in the Pocono community, ESU’s hosting of the International European Union Simulation (EUROSIM) which brought students from nearly 20 universities in Europe and the U.S. to ESU for political role-playing at its highest level, and the university’s participation in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program to assist veterans with tuition costs. She has led the campus community through two strategic planning processes that resulted in ESU’s plans – Students First: Innovate ESU, and Students First: Empowering Innovation through Collaboration 2017-2020. In 2014, Dr. Welsh was selected as one of the Top 25 Women in Business by the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal and as one of the Top 25 Women of Influence in the Greater Lehigh Valley with special recognition in the Community Achievement Award category by Lehigh Valley Business. Welsh was also recognized with the Athena Award by the Greater Pocono Mountains Chamber of Commerce for her business and professional accomplishments, community service and mentoring of others, especially encouraging women to achieve their own leadership potential. In 2019, she was also named one of the Top 10 Influential Executives on Social Media by Campus Sonar, and she was the only woman to make this list.
Dr. Welsh currently serves the local and regional communities in multiple capacities including: the Northampton Community College Monroe Campus Advisory Board, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities (NEPACU), Women’s Resources of Monroe County Board, and the Pocono Mountains Musical Festival Board. As president of ESU, Dr. Welsh is also a member of the Chincoteague Bay Field Station board of directors, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce, WVIA Board of Directors, and TecBridge.
Dr. Welsh earned both her undergraduate degree in physical sciences and master’s degree in anatomy from Colorado State University, and her doctoral degree in anatomy from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
“I look forward to more time with my family and having the opportunity to travel with my husband, Lou,” said Welsh in her message to campus. “I will not miss the endless meetings and the frequent trips to Harrisburg, but I will miss you, my colleagues and friends, and the countless opportunities I’ve had to interact with our students and to watch them shine.”
She is married to Louis Terracio, Ph.D., vice dean of academic affairs and research and professor at NYU’s College of Dentistry. They have three children: Nate, Matthew, and Mallory, and three grandchildren, Giovanni, Harper and Logan.