Professor Claude Welch relocates

Professor Claude Welch relocates to Boston area

May 8, 2020 marked one of my most significant life transitions. I left Buffalo, my beloved residence and professional home since August 1964. The time had come to start a new phase, retirement in an area dear to my heart and close to my family.

I have settled in Lasell Village, a ‘continuing care retirement community,’ with ca. 225 residents, primarily former professionals from the Boston area. Lasell Village is located in Auburndale, a smallish Boston suburb [slightly over 9000 residents, 15 minutes’ drive to downtown].

I enjoy the luxury of [re]reading classic books, taking classes offered by Village residents and disciplinary specialists, and exploring interesting new areas. For example, I enrolled in classes on ‘Current International Military and Political Issues’, taught by a retired Brigadier General; ‘Forgotten Symphonies’; ‘Creative Writing’; and ‘Burma.’

Professionally, I completed my history of UB’s Political Science Department in mid-March. The Department was created in 1963, a year before my wife and I arrived. Blessed thus with a long time perspective, and having enjoyed periods of involvement in the University’s administration, I could write in part with an insider’s perspective. The history is available  at our history.

Having lived in Lasell Village for several months, I feel attuned to its rhythms. My personal routine includes 30-45 minutes in the fitness room post-breakfast; morning research and writing; a noontime walk, while listening to a podcast; more reading and writing for the rest of the day. In addition, I have joined a play reading group. Covid-related restrictions are being relaxed, since all residents and staff members have now received both vaccinations. Soon, visitors will be able to come to our rooms. Even better, lukewarm meals will no longer arrive in bags, delivered to our apartments, and we will enjoy the opportunity to eat with guests or fellow residents.

One major change involves personal transportation. I donated my car to a local charity in October. One of Boston’s light rail lines is located a few minutes’ walk from my apartment. The MBTA provides easy, inexpensive and safe transport to the city’s many attractions, or to my daughter’s home [yes, it’s 18 stops, but plenty of time for an interesting podcast or two … ]. Lyft or Uber satisfy most other travel needs, such as the return trip from the grocery store when I'm loaded with supplies.

Individual buildings at Lasell Village bear the name of famous educators. I live in Pestalozzi, while the other linked buildings have been dubbed Rogers, Piaget and Neill. As mentioned earlier, fellow residents generally come from professional backgrounds. On my first day here, I was greeted by the widow of a Nobel Prize laureate. The mother of the noted medical writer Atul Gawande lives up a flight. Retired Harvard and MIT faculty are well represented.

Some readers may know that I grew up in the Boston area, and went to college here. My son Chris and daughter Martha live reasonably close, with their five grandchildren. Two started college this fall, a third will follow in August. One of my greatest pleasures come on weekends, when I visit one or both, usually sharing walks through nearby parks. My older West Coast granddaughter received her BA in 2018, her sister this May. I look forward to seeing them soon [I'm writing this note March 22], since I plan to head to Seattle for the virtual graduation.

One final note. I left my bicycle behind when leaving Buffalo, and turned instead to regular walks. Between May 15 and just before Christmas, I walked across the Sahara Desert, according to my pedometer!

If any reader of this note comes to the Boston area, please consider getting in touch with me. My links to UB and the Buffalo community as a whole remain strong, because of its fine people. Send me an email and I will respond – at least most of the time – within a few days. 

Dedicating 502 Park Hall in honor of Claude Welch

Plaque that reads Professor Claude Welch Library and Seminar Room.

Dedication plaque naming Claude Welch Library and Seminar room

The Department of Political Science dedicated its library and seminar room on February 12, 2021 in honor of the more than half-century (1964-2017) of distinguished service of Claude Welch. Due to the COVID pandemic, we decided to hold the ceremony virtually via Zoom.  Over 50 people from all over the world – including some in Turkey, the United Kingdom, and from all corners of the USA – gathered to reflect on Professor Welch’s innumerable and invaluable contributions to the department and our mission. Fifteen friends, colleagues, and former students (including the first graduate of our doctoral program) took part in the ceremony and shared reminiscences of Professor Welch.

The ceremony was preceded by a slide-show featuring pictures taken at various points in Professor Welch’s career. It is available for viewing at the department’s Facebook page: link

The full ceremony itself can be viewed at: link

Political Science seminar room with long tables and various chairs surrounding the table.

Department of Political Science Seminar room dedicated to Claude Welch