Remembering Former Head of School Bobby Welch

Remembering Former Head of School Bobby Welch

April 30, 2024

It is with a mixture of profound sadness and praise for a Christian life well-lived that we share the news that former Head of School Robert W. Welch passed away on April 28, 2024, in Savannah, Georgia. Fondly known as “Bobby” to the Dunham community, Mr. Welch served as Head of School from 2006-2015, an era of tremendous growth that helped establish The Dunham School as one of the leading private Christian schools in the country.

“Bobby was a visionary leader who helped the school to thrive during an amazing time of building and expansion, and he helped implement many of the programs and traditions we continue to enjoy today,” said current Head of School Steve Eagleton.

Mr. Welch’s commitment to academic excellence led to the expansion of the Advanced Placement (AP)® program and the school’s continued use of the Harkness Method. In 2007, he helped establish The McKay Academic Center to provide individualized support for students with learning differences. Much-needed campus improvements completed during Mr. Welch’s tenure included the construction of The Robinson Administration Building, the McKay Academic Center, the Brown-Holt Chapel Arts Center, the Dunham Athletic Center, the new Lower School building, and our state-of-the-art competition gym.

Perhaps his greatest legacy, however, was the unique partnership he entered into with Apple, Inc., in 2009 that gave every Dunham student access to cutting-edge technology through the use of Apple products. In 2011, The Dunham School received its first Apple Distinguished School Award for the application of technology and innovative curriculum development. Dunham remains the first and only PreK-12 school in Louisiana to hold this distinction.

Mr. Welch and his wife, Pam, an experienced English teacher who served in The Dunham School’s English department and assisted in college placement, helped to reinvent the school’s baccalaureate service to allow each graduating class to tell its unique story, a ceremony that remains a cherished tradition to this day.

While in Baton Rouge, Mr. Welch also founded the Louisiana Association of Independent Schools, served on then-Governor Bobby Jindal’s commission on school reform, and chaired the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast. Following his retirement in 2015, Mr. Welch continued to serve as an independent school consultant, first at PAIDEIA, Inc., and later at On-Mission Diagnostics, which he co-founded with his son, Chip Welch.

Mr. Welch is survived by his wife, Pam, daughter Angela (John), son Chip (Meg), son Jeff (Kate), step-daughter Amy (Chris), step-son Kip (Lisa), and 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  Funeral services will take place on Saturday, May 4, at Fox & Weeks Funeral Home on Whitemarsh Island, Georgia. Visitation will be from 1:00-2:00 pm followed by the service at 2:00 pm. 

Due to Mr. Welch’s work over the past few years with a small, struggling inner-city school in the Bronx, the family asks that in lieu of flowers donations should be directed to Hope Academy, a ministry of Bronx Household of Faith, at

Please join us in extending our heartfelt condolences to the Welch family and our sincerest gratitude for Mr. Welch’s service to The Dunham School.

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