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Stanton Parks Welsh

CMC administrator, veteran, loving father

Stanton Welsh, known to his friends and colleagues as “Pete,” died peacefully on January 26, 2015 at the Claremont Manor where he resided for the past 15 years. He was 89.

He was born in Binghamton, New York on August 23, 1925 and moved west at an early age with his mother and father, Ruth and Stanton Sr., to Pasadena. Pete grew up surrounded by orange groves at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains and graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1943. 

Mr. Welsh served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II as a B-29 flight engineer. After discharge from the army, he took advantage of his GI benefits and enrolled at the fledgling Claremont Men’s College where he met and later married the girl of his dreams, Pomona College coed Nancy Holman.

Mr. Welsh had an outstanding athletic career playing for Pomona-Claremont teams. At CMC he lettered in basketball, track & field, tennis and football. In 1989, he was elected as the first inductee in the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Athletic Hall of Fame. He is holder of CMC’s longest-lasting record, the long jump record he achieved and held for an amazing 57 years from 1949-2006. Pete was an avid tennis player, nationally ranked in the top 10 for much of his life, and in 1992 won the USTA National Men’s Indoor Singles Championship.  

A recent CMC tribute noted that Mr. Welsh “will always be considered the foundation of CMS Mens Track & Field.”

He graduated cum laude as a distinguished military student with the class of 1950, the first class to graduate from CMC. After a brief sojourn back to the east coast seeking career opportunities, at the behest of college founder Dr. George C. S. Benson, Mr. Welsh and his young family returned to Claremont where he began his long career at CMC as assistant to the president. He co-founded the Pacesetters, a dedicated group of early graduates of CMC, and became a driving force in the development of the college. His long and storied career as vice president of Claremont McKenna College spanned 36 years.

During his tenure, Mr. Welsh forged relationships, nurtured development and promoted his beloved CMC. He served as a member of the Alumni Association and the McKenna College Board of Trustees. In 1991, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree and upon his retirement retained the title of Vice President Emeritus. He remained actively involved in the college and up until recently could be found at Stag games and myriad college functions.

From 1970 to 1999, Jack L. Stark was the third president of the college. He weighed in on Mr. Welsh, who he worked under for a while, in the CMC tribute.

“Pete was a vital part of CMC,” Mr. Stark said. “He was known by all alumni and the board as a terrific guy and as the best athlete in the history of this institution.”

Pete was the loving patriarch of a large family with deep roots in Claremont. He divided as much of his free time as possible between the family cabin in Florence, Oregon and in Hawaii at Magic Sands Beach. Pete was a lifelong student of the American West and reader of US history. On a lighter note, he loved Louis L’Amour novels and John Wayne movies.

“His memory will be held in our hearts and he will be deeply missed by all who were touched by his life,” family shared. 

Mr. Welsh’s 63-year marriage to Nancy, who died four years ago, leaves a legacy of six sons, Stanton III, Fredrick, Stephen, Henry, Stuart and Douglas. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and his younger brother, John Welsh. 

A memorial service will be held today, Friday, February 6 at 2:30 p.m. at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in Pete Welsh’s memory to the Pacesetter’s Memorial Fund. Checks may be sent payable to Claremont McKenna College, c/o 400 N. Claremont Blvd., Claremont CA 91711. Or, you can donate online at www.cmc.edu/giving. 

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