In honor of the contributions Fresno State President Dr. John D. Welty made to Central California, funds are being raised to name the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute (CVELI) the John Welty Center for Educational Policy and Leadership.

Established in 2002 under the leadership of President Welty, CVELI is focused on eliminating the achievement gap for students and raising the performance of all learners. Housed in Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education and Human Development, CVELI’s mission is to bring together the best leadership practices for all aspects of the educational system in the San Joaquin Valley.

“The establishment of a permanent funding source will build on the success of CVELI, allowing it to continue to transform the region through the development of a national model for leadership, as well as develop policies that help all children realize the American dream,” said Dr. Paul Beare, Dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.

Since the fundraising effort to rename the center started in January, more than $1 million has been raised.

“This is such a fitting way to celebrate and honor the legacy of President Welty,” said California State University Trustee Dr. Pete Mehas. “During his more than 21 years as president of Fresno State, Dr. Welty’s passion for improving the educational and economic conditions of the Central Valley has forever transformed the university and the community. He is known for his belief that higher education should act as a catalyst for educational and economic growth.”

Under President Welty’s leadership, the university doubled its graduation rate and tripled the number of Hispanic students who achieve a college diploma.

President Welty’s vision to engage Fresno State with the community resulted in partnerships with organizations including the Fresno Business Council, the Regional Jobs Initiative and the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute. His many accomplishments include the Save Mart Center, Smittcamp Honors Program, the naming of five schools and colleges, the renovation of the Henry Madden Library, and the first California State University (CSU) independent doctoral program.


“During President Welty’s tenure he has left his fingerprints on this community, and countless lives. We welcome all who want to honor Dr. Welty to make a gift and show their gratitude for his service and transformative work,” said Dr. Peter Smits, Fresno State Vice President of Advancement. “Gifts will have an immeasurable impact on future generations in our region while honoring the legacy of President Welty.”

Tickets are on sale for a celebratory tribute dinner honoring President Welty’s legacy, April 20,2013 at the Save Mart Center on the Fresno State campus. President Welty will also be honored at a public farewell reception June 12, 2013 in the Table Mountain Reading Room in the Henry Madden Library.

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