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C. Eileen Watts Welch

Academic administrator Constance Eileen Watts Welch was born on March 28, 1946, in Durham, North Carolina to Dr. Charles DeWitt Watts, North Carolina’s first African American surgeon, and Lyda Constance Merrick Watts, a community volunteer. Welch's family founded North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, the oldest African American life insurance company. Her maternal great-grandfather, Dr. Aaron McDuffie Moore was Durham’s first black doctor and co-founder of North Carolina Mutual and the Durham Colored Library. Welch attended a segregated high school, Hillside High School, in Durham before heading to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received her B.A. degree.

Welch began her career in 1968 as a third grade teacher in Atlanta. She later taught in Arlington, Virginia when her husband was drafted for military service. She became a stay-at-home mother after the birth of her two sons in 1970 and 1972. Welch returned to work in the late 1970s and became founder and the chief operating officer of Book Art, Ltd., a chain of bookstores in Fairfax County, Virginia. In 1983, she was named regional manager of the Reston Employment Service where she designed marketing campaigns and negotiated contracts. In 1990, Welch was hired at Inova Health System where she worked in strategic planning, health promotion and disease prevention. In 1994, she was promoted to Director of Development for the Inova Annual Fund. In 1995, Welch earned her M.B.A. degree in public relations, management, and marketing.

After a long career in Virginia, Welch returned to North Carolina in 1996, when she was named Associate Dean of External Affairs at Duke University's School of Nursing. In 2005, Welch was named Executive Director for Advancement at the Center for Child and Family Health, established by Duke University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University. Welch has also served as a lecturer and community volunteer, serving The Links, Incorporated and the Durham County Library.

Constance Eileen Watts Welch was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 23, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.185

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/23/2007

Last Name

Welch

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Watts

Schools

Hillside High School

W. G. Pearson S.T.E.A.M. Elementary School

Burton Elementary

Spelman College

George Mason University

First Name

C. Eileen

Birth City, State, Country

Durham

HM ID

WEL03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

We All Have Talents, And We Have To Use Them For The Best.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/28/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Durham

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chocolate, Seafood

Short Description

Academic administrator C. Eileen Watts Welch (1946 - ) was Executive Director for Advancement at the Center for Child and Family Health, established by Duke University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University.

Employment

INOVA Health System

Duke University School of Nursing

Center for Children and Family Health

Officer of Book Arts

Atlanta Public Schools

Arlington Public Schools

Favorite Color

Pink

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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632906">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of C. Eileen Watts Welch's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632907">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632908">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632909">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her maternal great-grandfather's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632910">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about the founding of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632911">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her maternal grandmother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632912">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes the creation of the Negro Braille Magazine</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632913">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about her siblings and maternal aunt</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632914">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her father's family background, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632915">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her father's family background, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632916">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch lists her siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632917">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her earliest childhood memories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632918">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch recalls her experiences with racial discrimination in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632919">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch remembers Camp Oak Hill in Nottingham, Pennsylvania</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632920">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her father's medical practice in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632921">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her experiences in Durham, North Carolina's public schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632922">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch recalls the desegregation of public schools in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632923">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - C. Eileen Watts Welch recalls her family's relationship with the Duke family of Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632924">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch remembers the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632925">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch remembers her grandparents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632926">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch remembers Maynard Jackson's family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632927">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her experiences at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632928">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about the Miss Maroon and White pageant</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632929">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632930">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes Spelman College's campus</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632931">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about her marriage and move to Virginia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632932">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - C. Eileen Watts Welch recalls teaching in Atlanta, Georgia during desegregation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632933">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about her teaching career in Arlington, Virginia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632934">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes the African American community in Reston, Virginia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632935">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch recalls the racial discrimination within Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632936">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her role with Inova Health System</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632937">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her role at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632938">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about the growth of Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632939">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch reflects upon her family's legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632940">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch narrates her photographs</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632941">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632942">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632943">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes her parents' background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632944">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes her grandparents' backgrounds</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632945">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers her childhood in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632946">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes W.G. Pearson Elementary School in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632947">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers segregation in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632948">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother talks about her parents' professions</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632949">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes the sounds and smells of her childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632950">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers St. Joseph's African Methodist Episcopal Church in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632951">Tape: 5 Story: 11 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers her maternal grandparents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632952">Tape: 5 Story: 12 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother recalls notable individuals in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632953">Tape: 5 Story: 13 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers her experiences at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632954">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes the influence of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632955">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother recalls the race relations in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632956">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's remembers Alice Freeman Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632957">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother recalls shopping in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632958">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes her experiences at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632959">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother recalls meeting her husband</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632960">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers Charles R. Drew</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632961">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother reflects upon her family's legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/632962">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother narrates her photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about the founding of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company
C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her role at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina
Transcript
So Aaron [Aaron McDuffie Moore] lived 1856 to 1923.$$Okay.$$Was he a leader in the community?$$Yeah, obviously so, right. He was the, he was first a physician, and then because of what he saw people needed, he became more involved with other ideas. But he wasn't alone with this, I mean with organizing the mutual [North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association; North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, Durham, North Carolina]. In the beginning there were a group of men who came together, including Aaron and John Merrick. But there were several and their pictured here in the early forming of the country- the company. And at one point when the first claim due, the story goes that several backed out except for Aaron Moore and John Merrick and they paid the first claim. And then they began to continue. But neither of them needed the company income, they both had their own careers. John Merrick owned barbershops, he had--he was first a brick mason, and then he built these barbershops, he had three barbershops. So he had economic stability without the mutual. It was an entrepreneurship that they could afford to invest in and help to grow. Neither of them ever took salaries from the company. C.C. Spaulding [Charles Clinton Spaulding] came as a cousin of Aaron Moore's to Durham [North Carolina] to work in the company sort of as a, a busboy, gofer, whatever, and learn the business from them and then was their first salesman and really brought the company into the next level of growth. And from his entrepreneurial spirit, it became more well-known nationwide and grew with branch offices and that kind of thing. He knew Roosevelt [President Franklin Delano Roosevelt], President Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington and, you know, he was, he was, the, the person who--he was the president, probably the first paid president at that point.$$Who was the first president?$$First president was John Merrick. And then Aaron Moore and then C.C. Spaulding.$When did you return to Durham [North Carolina]?$$Duke [Duke University, Durham, North Carolina] recruited me home in 1996. They were building up staffing for a campaign, a huge development campaign and someone here said you know they're hiring development officers. Don't you wanna apply? And I said I don't know, we'll see. And I was home for Thanksgiving one year and they set up an appointment with me and this vice president for development. And it went from there. And I ended up coming here and working with the School of Nursing at Duke and actually revitalizing that school, which just was pretty--it had, they had just about closed, the School of Nursing.$$You had done quite a bit of fundraising.$$I did fundraising and it's advancement, which is more than just fundraising. It's the publicity, it's rebuilding the alumni relations. They had decided to not have an undergraduate nursing program any longer at Duke. And so all those people who had finished as undergrad nurses, weren't necessarily interested in giving back or being involved; they were angry. And we had to figure out how to overcome some of their anger, and also during the time actually reinstituted a bachelor's [degree] program, which is a second bachelor's. It's not exactly the same as they remember as coming after high school there, but it still helped them to see that Duke was educating leaders in nursing and they could be proud of it. So we built a building. We raised enough to build a nursing school building which just opened last year.$$Great. And what's your current title?$$Currently I'm still with Duke, but I'm with the Center for Child and Family Health [Durham, North Carolina], and executive director for advancement for that organization. And it works with kids who have suffered from maltreatment or trauma as a result of abuse or just being in a traumatic event like Katrina [Hurricane Katrina] or loss of parents or fires, that kind of thing, mental trauma. So I'm raising money and providing public relations and marketing assistance to them.