Sunday, January 27, 2008

Remembering Louie Welch

As most readers of this blog or listeners of my show know, I graduated from Abilene Christian University. ACU is well respected -- a top 3 for Master's level universities in Texas and in the top 25 in the South and West according to US News & World Reports, but it isn't well known. Furthermore, we lack the list of prestigious alumni that universities tend to hunger for.

One of those alumni that made a difference was Louie Welch, former mayor of Houston. Welch served four years on the city council before finally winning mayor. Who wouldn't leave that latter position until he finished an impressive five terms. He took over that spot during the turbulent 1960s and his tenure was filled with defusing the tensions between a white population that wasn't ready for equal rights and the African American population that rightfully demanded such.

In the end, he made significant progress on that front, quietly playing a part in protests on the behalf of minorities and overseeing major changes in attitudes. He was, without question, one of the most progressive Southern mayors in the 1960s.

He tried a political comeback in the 1980s and found himself in trouble over statements on homosexuality. In spite of this controversy, Welch is remembered fondly by the Houston community and is a great ACU alum who has made a difference.

I got the opportunity to meet Mr. Welch while we were both waiting for planes at the airport. He was polite and extremely friendly. He was absolutely thrilled that we both shared ACU in common and that I appreciated his service to the city. He was just that kind of person.

Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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Anonymous Loise Helms said...

Mayor Welch was great. I'm glad you took the time to remember him.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad when one remark leads to a character assasination. Thanks for remembering him for the good things.

1:28 AM  

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