- Associated Press - Sunday, March 9, 2014
GOP fundraiser Welch dies at 80

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Ted Welch, a prolific fundraiser in Tennessee Republican politics for four decades, has died. He was 80.

Welch’s wife, Colleen Conway-Welch, told The Tennessean he died due to complications from a fall. Vanderbilt Medical Center Hospital in Nashville confirmed Welch died at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

Welch started raising money for candidates in 1970 for Winfield Dunn’s winning run for governor. His efforts covered the modern campaigns of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam. He also worked with senators Howard Baker, Bill Brock, Bill Frist and Fred Thompson, Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Republicans at the state level.

His friend, U.S. Lamar Alexander, said in a written statement that Welch raised millions for candidates, symphonies and charitable causes without seeking anything in return.

“He was tireless,” Alexander said. “The most feared seven words among those who knew him were, ‘Ted Welch is holding on line one.’”

Welch started out as a door-to-door Bible salesman and longtime Nashville real estate investor. He grew into the political money man of the South, helping the likes of Ronald Reagan, both Bushes, Gov. Mitt Romney and others.


University of Memphis picks finalists for top job

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Four finalists have been named in the University of Memphis’ search for a new president.

The Commercial Appeal reported (http:// bit.ly/1lfNEgp) that the Tennessee Board of Regents selected M. David Rudd, provost at the University of Memphis; George Hynd, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the College of Charleston; Sharon Gaber, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas; and Guy Bailey, former president and a current professor at the University of Alabama.

The candidate who’s chosen will replace interim president R. Brad Martin, who has been serving since the June 30 retirement of Shirley Raines. The search process at the U of M began in November when the Regents announced the 24-member presidential search advisory committee.

The finalists will visit the university campus March 16 to 25 for interviews with the search advisory committee and for campus forums among students.

“I believe everyone on the committee will agree that we had an impressive and well qualified pool of candidates from which to select these finalists,” said Greg Duckett, chairman of the search committee and senior vice president and corporate counsel with Baptist Memorial Health Care System.

Rudd, 53, was named provost at the university in December 2012, replacing longtime provost Ralph Faudree.

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