Albany Law School mourns loss of John "Jack" C. Welsh ’55

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The Albany Law School community mourns the loss of longtime educator, friend, and alumnus, John C. Welsh ’55. He died on January 29, 2023 at age 91.

Welsh, known to most as “Jack”, taught at Albany Law School for 44 years. He retired in 2003 as Professor Emeritus. Along with teaching, he served as interim dean three times, the longest a two-year stretch. As a professor, he was known best for challenging academic rigor, a prodigious memory, precise speech and a dry understated wit he brought to teaching his Property, Trust and Estates, and Estate Planning classes.

Welsh '55

In a 2009 magazine interview, Welsh said he was proudest of helping students who needed financial help to attend law school. As those students became successful alumni, many have made donations to scholarships in honor of Welsh. 

“I had substantial control over scholarship funding in my early days, and I tried to mete it fairly,” he said. “That kind of thing is what I consider to be my best work. That’s my proudest achievement.” 

The scholarship was established in 2003 in recognition of Welsh’s retirement. The Verdict yearbook was dedicated to him that year.

“His is generous with his wisdom when it is sought, ever gracious and fair in his dealings with others, and always able to strike the right balance between solemnity and humor. He expects no more of others than he demands of himself. The many qualities he possesses in abundance—wisdom, grace, dignity, honor, loyalty—have commanded the respect of one and all,” the dedication reads. 

"As I traveled the country for the law school, there was one name that consistently came up when I ask the question, “who was your favorite professor?” Time and time again, the answer was Jack Welsh," said Albany Law School President and Dean Alicia Ouellette '94. "We are forever indebted to Professor Welsh for his incredible contributions to Albany Law School."

He served as Acting Dean on three separate occasions (1975, 1977-79 and 1993-95), Assistant Dean for 11 years (1964-75), Chair of the Admissions Committee for 41 years (1962-2003), as well as Chair of the Faculty Recruitment Committee, Chair of the Tenured Faculty Committee, and Registrar.  He also was the Editor of the Trusts and Estates Law Section Newsletter of the New York State Bar Association from 1978-2003 and served on the Accreditation Committee of the Law School Admission Council.

Welsh, a Navy veteran, was a helicopter squadron supply manager and responsible for organizing and maintaining helicopter parts and a repair shop. He served for two years (1955-57).

After his retirement, he spent years traveling with his wife, Jo, who died in 2021.  They relocated to Indiana to be closer to their children and grandchildren. His son, John J. Welsh ’88, and father, John C. Welsh, class of 1915 are also alumni. 

The family requests donations be made to either the William M. Watkins Scholarship Fund or John P. DeMatteo Scholarship Fund at the Office of Institutional Advancement, Albany Law School, 80 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY, 12208-3494.