Retired HSU Professor’s Love of Science Inspires $154,000 Gift

Jun, 2018
Photo of Professor Welsh

June 12, 2018—Humboldt State Biology students who plan to pursue a graduate degree will soon have significant support from a scholarship established to honor retired HSU professor James F. Welsh’s dedication to teaching.

Welsh’s daughter, Kathleen, established the James F. Welsh Biology Scholarship with a $154,000 gift to create an endowment and fund two scholarships beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.

James Welsh earned his Ph.D. at UCLA in 1958 and started his career at HSU in 1959, teaching genetics and molecular biology. He received the Outstanding Professor Award in the 1984-85 academic year for zoology, retired in 1986, and taught part-time until 1993. He now resides in Roseville, CA.

“My father’s love of science led me and three of my four sisters to enter careers in health care and science. He had, and still has, a passion for the natural world and environment. When we were growing up, he would always come home excited about teaching and the new scientific discoveries he could show his students,” explains Kathleen. 

Kathleen's gift establishes a permanent endowment, making scholarships available for future generations of HSU scholars. Endowments work by investing a donor’s contribution long-term, using only the income generated each year to award a scholarship in perpetuity.

The fund will provide support to biology, botany, and zoology students with the initial goal of providing two scholarships each year of $2500 - $3,000 per student. Scholarship recipients must be entering their senior year, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and must be planning to pursue a graduate degree in the biological sciences.

“Without my father’s encouragement and financial support I would not have been able to pursue medical school,” adds Kathleen. “I want to allow other students who may not have that kind of encouragement and support to be able to pursue graduate work and hopefully make important discoveries in their fields.” 

If you have questions about the James F. Welsh Biology Scholarship Endowment or scholarships in general, you can visit for more information. If you would like to learn about other ways to support HSU students, visit, email the Office of Philanthropy at, or call 707.826.5200.