Salem College Receives $3.6 Million Gift from Estate of Gretchen Wampler Welch

Salem College Receives $3.6 Million Gift from Estate of Gretchen Wampler Welch

August 17, 2022
Gretchen Wampler Welch C'66 (Orientation Chair in 1965)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AUGUST 17, 2022)—Salem College has received a $3.6 million gift from the estate of Gretchen Wampler Welch, who graduated from Salem in 1966. The gift is for Salem College’s use for strategic investments including student scholarship and campus improvements.

Welch, who was born in 1944, lived in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She died on May 30, 2022, at Sunnyside Presbyterian Retirement Community, where she had been a resident since August 2012. Welch received a Bachelor of music degree from Salem College and later directed the Shenandoah Valley Choral Society from 1987 to 1997 and again from 1999 to 2000. In addition, she served as the director of the choir for First Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, the director of the choir and handbell choir at Emmanuel Episcopal Church and was a founding member and director of the Daughters of Song.

While a student at Salem College, Welch served as orientation chair, a member of the May Day Committee and a member of YWCA Cabinet. In addition, she was a member of Salem College Pierrettes and a member of Order of the Scorpion. As a Salem College alumna, Welch was a reunion giving chair for her class, served on Salem’s Friends of the School of Music Board and hosted Salem alumnae events at her home in Harrisonburg.

“Gretchen left a generous legacy for Salem College that will help us transform so many areas during this pivotal time,” Salem Academy and College President Summer J. McGee, Ph.D. said. “As we move forward with our Health Leadership focus and update the facilities that are used every day by students, we are enormously grateful for Gretchen’s foresight and generosity, which will help Salem in so many ways.”

Welch made a previous gift to Salem College in 2005 to establish the Gretchen Wampler Welch Music Scholarship.  The scholarship supports need and/or merit-based music scholarships at Salem College.

About Salem Academy and College

Salem Academy and College, celebrating 250 years and built upon a foundation of empowering and preparing girls and women from all around the world to effect change, shatter expectations and lead. Exclusively focused on developing tomorrow’s health leaders and change agents in STEAM fields and liberal arts.

Salem Academy and College is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a vibrant college town known for arts and innovation. For more information about Salem Academy, please visit For more information about Salem College, please visit