Susan Welch to receive 2019 Lion's Paw Medal

April 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Susan Welch, professor and dean of the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts, will receive the 2019 Lion’s Paw Medal during the society’s 2019 Convocation Ceremony, which will take place over Blue-White Weekend.

Susan Welch Celebration 1

Susan Welch, professor and dean of the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts, will step aside as dean of the college later this year.

IMAGE: Pat Little

Lion’s Paw is an honor society that seeks to promote the welfare and perpetuate the traditions of Penn State. Since 1965, the society has awarded its Lion’s Paw Medal annually to recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond in terms of their service to Penn State. 

“The Lion’s Paw Medal stands by itself in its focus on recognizing an individual’s service to the University and its students as opposed to their philanthropy or career success,” said Rebecca Friese Rodskog, a 1993 Penn State alumna and chair of the Lion’s Paw Medal Committee.  “Lion's Paw was founded on this principle and expands its recognition of great service, like Dean Welch's, though the awarding of the medal.”

Welch has served as dean of the College of the Liberal Arts since 1991, making her one of the longest-serving deans in University history.  Under her guidance, the college has created multidisciplinary centers such as the Child Study Center, the Rock Ethics Institute, the Richards Civil War Era Center, and the McCourtney Institute for Democracy; has had several programs ranked in the top 10 of their respective disciplines; has increased endowed faculty and graduate support exponentially; and has established student-centered programs such as the Paterno Fellows Program and the Career Enrichment Network.

Welch also is a noted scholar on American politics — particularly urban, ethnic and women’s politics — and is recognized as one of the most cited political scientists of her generation. She is returning to the faculty on July 1 to continue her current research on women as congressional candidates and on the political science of the Holocaust.

“Dean Welch exemplifies dedicated and notable service at Penn State,” said Brad Nestico, a 1999 Penn State alumnus and president of the Lion’s Paw Alumni Association. “Her leadership has not only propelled the College of the Liberal Arts to national prominence but also has influenced the lives of thousands of students — past, present and future.”

Last Updated April 11, 2019