Our History

The James A. Welch Foundation was established in March 1961 with a gift from James and Genevieve Welch.

Widely known as a Flint, Michigan real estate developer, Mr. Welch figured prominently in Flint land development starting in 1913. Projects with which he was connected include the Welch Boulevard section, Woodlawn Park, commonly known as the East Court Street section, Evergreen Valley, parts of Civic Park and Thrift City.

Mr. Welch believed that young people are endowed with special gifts and talents. “Nurturing and developing their potential is an obligation of the community”. For a community that supports its children results in its children giving back to their community.

Those original guidelines penned by Mr. and Mrs. Welch carry much relevance today as in 1960 – perhaps more so. The matter of pursuing meaningful educational opportunities by our talented young people has become more complex. They have many more choices, more pressures, more societal challenges, and greater economic hurdles. We continue to witness great education challenges and change.

The Foundation looks forward to moving forth with its grantmaking in this arena with confidence that talented young people, given the opportunity and encouragement, to excel offer our greatest hope.

Our Mission

Our philanthropic philosophy is to support gifted and talented students through meaningful educational opportunities that cultivate and identify talented youth in mathematics, science, engineering, technology, literature, education, the arts, and related disciplines. Grants are awarded to non-profits, not individuals.

Board of Directors

Dr. Gail Ganakas


Rebecca Pettengill

Vice President

Stephen Schlott


Ernelle Taylor


Dennis Haley


Craig Coney


Tina Smith