I am writing to share the news that Robert Hatheway Welch, Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, Emeritus, died November 28, 2016. Professor Welch received his B.A. in French in 1964 from Hampden-Sydney College, and his M.A. in 1968 and Ph.D. in 1976, from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1970 he joined the William & Mary faculty as an Instructor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. During his career at the College, he rose to the rank of Associate Professor.
During his tenure, Professor Welch taught a variety of courses, including the French language at all levels as well as French literature at the introductory level and advanced courses in eighteenth-century French literature, his specialty. His efforts were recognized in 1974 and 1975 by the Society of the Alumni with the Alumni Fellowship Award for outstanding teaching. He created an advanced course on "Contemporary French Culture and Society" and a Senior Seminar on "La Modernité de Marivaux." Professor Welch served on numerous College and departmental committees, as Coordinator of the French Section from 1984 to 1986, and three times as Director of the William & Mary Junior Year Program in Montpellier, France. He made several conference presentations, published a translation in Eighteenth Century Life, and has for several years contributed his expertise to the cataloguing of the rich French holdings of the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond.
Professor Welch retired in 2000 after 30 years at the College, and moved back to Richmond, staying active with various volunteer programs, even creating The Friends of William Byrd Park. Working with various groups, he planted many trees in effort to make the park and his neighborhood once again safe and beautiful.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ann K. and Emerson F. Welch, and is survived by his brother Peter F. Welch (Elizabeth) of Jacksonville, FL; nephew Christopher F. Welch of Richmond; former wife, Sue W. Welch of Williamsburg; many cousins and caring friends. Internment in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford, CT will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be shared at http://www.bucktroutfuneralhome.net/