Outgoing Fresno State President John Welty served his final day of his 22-year tenure on Wednesday.
Welty leaves Fresno State as its longest-serving president.
A group of Fresno State employees and campus community members gathered outside the Henry Madden Library parking lot Wednesday afternoon as part of an impromptu surprise send-off for Fresno State’s retiring president — the last time he’d step out to his car after a day’s work as the university’s leader.
“I am deeply grateful to faculty, staff, students and everyone in the university community who have made these last 22 years a very special time in my life,” Welty said in a video addressed to the Fresno State community.
More than 84,000 students have received their college degrees under Welty’s tenure – which stretches back to 1991.
Welty first announced his plans to retire in his annual Fall Assembly address to staff and faculty last August.
“What I was attracted to was I saw a university with tremendous potential and an opportunity to serve the region in which it was located,” Welty said in a sit-down interview with The Collegian in May.
Welty will move to Southern California where he will serve as a trustee professor at CSU San Bernardino.
Welty is succeeded by Joseph Castro, a Hanford native and a former vice chancellor of student academic affairs at UC San Francisco. Castro begins his first day on the job on Thursday.
You can watch Welty’s “farewell” video message in the link below.