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RPCC Newsroom
May 29, 2013

Louisiana Representatives Honor Dr. Welch

Dr. Welch accompanied by the Louisiana representatives from RPCC's service area.
Dr. Welch accompanied by the Louisiana representatives from RPCC's service area.

The Louisiana House of Representatives honored Dr. Joe Ben Welch, Chancellor of River Parishes Community College, for his fifty years of service in higher education and for his upcoming retirement.

Effective August 31, Dr. Welch will retire as chancellor of River Parishes Community College, a position he has held since the school was founded fifteen years ago.

In addition to being the founding chancellor of River Parishes Community College in Sorrento, Dr. Welch was the founding chancellor for a two-year branch campus of Lamar University in Texas.

Under Dr. Welch’s astute leadership, River Parishes Community College has experienced remarkable growth.  In 2010, Community College Week named River Parishes Community College the fastest growing community college of its size.  The class of 2013 is also the largest graduating class in school history with 206 diplomas awarded.

Dr. Welch also oversaw the 2010 merger with Louisiana Technical College-Ascension Campus, as well as the purchase of the site for the future home of the college, which is currently being built in the Edenborne Development in Gonzales.


Dr. Welch has shown a dedication and commitment to the community in both his personal life and through his leadership at RPCC.  As chancellor of the college, Dr. Welch stressed community involvement, especially through his commitment to service learning, the process whereby students learn through service to the community.  Dr. Welch led by example, serving in a variety of capacities in area civic and economic groups.  Dr. Welch currently serves on the boards of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Greater New Orleans, Inc.

River Parishes Community College focuses on building the workforce of today and tomorrow by providing specific skills training and transferrable courses and curricula leading to certification and associate degrees. RPCC works closely with its communities to provide programs for personal, professional, and academic growth. For more information, please visit www.rpcc.edu or call (225) 743-8500.