20th Anniversary: Doctor of Education in Leadership & Professional Practice (Ed.D.)

(somber music) – My involvement in
the Ed.D. program began at the very beginning. – We received notice in early December that the program could start in January. – This car comes flying in to the Bud Robinson parking lot. Dr. Welch hops out, motor still running, windshield wiper still on,
throws his hands in the air. – I said, “Alice, you won’t believe it, “we can start this program,
we can get the word, ” we can start it in
the next three weeks!” – There were many that thought that probably would not happen. Why would a school like Trevecca try to do a Doctorate? And, much to our surprise, over 150 people came to that
very first information meeting, and from that overwhelming
turnout we knew, we’re on to something. – If there has ever been a program that sort of set Trevecca apart, it was this program. And I think it was
because the students were so touched that we were
so giving of our effort to make it a success,
because these people were sacrificing their marriage,
they have children, they have full-time jobs. And when they would come to campus, especially in the summer,
and stay here for a week, they lived in the dorm. Classroom space, we didn’t have it. We had to have class in my backyard. – That first cohort really paved the way. I think that’s really
amazing for them to really be the trailblazers, right? You had to have a
trailblazer, and they were the true trailblazers for this program. – For me, sitting here
now, one of the cool parts is to think back when this program began. You’ve gone from a room
of, I think, 20 people, to about just under 500 students, who represent everything
from preschool teachers, to university deans, sheriffs, police officers, entrepreneurs, CEOs. – I’m assistant principal
at a local high school here in Nashville and the program really prepared me for the process to better do the daily
functions of my job. – Our students are impacting
the world from day one. Literally in their second
class they’re writing a paper where they talk about this is
the problem I’ve recognized, this is the problem I wanna fix. – A lot of people know
who Trevecca is because of this particular program. You become a family. And even afterwards, Cohort
15, we’re still engaging and talking amongst each other. – If I look at the past
and what we’ve achieved, I’m more excited today
because what is happening now. I am so proud and extremely
pleased that all the Doctoral programs and
the Level Five programs are doing exceedingly well. – At the end of it I have almost everything that is good in my life, thanks to the legacy that
Melvin Welch has created. The god-blessed work that he created, his team, this program, it’s just amazing, the people that he’s put into place. – Really and truly, when you say Ed.D, you say Melvin Welch. It was his vision for
Trevecca to have a Doctorate. – [Narrator] Melvin had that vision, he knew where he wanted to go with it, and I think that’s really fantastic. – There were several faculty
members that were prominent in helping us to determine
how to best do this program. I couldn’t have done it by myself. – Dr. Welch, all I can do
is end with just thanks. Thank you for your courage,
thank you for your vision, thank you for the indelible impact that this
program has had on my life, the life of my nearest
and dearest friends, and the life of everyone
that I will interact with for the rest of my life. – Melvin Welch, you changed my life. In more ways than you will ever know. You have been my friend, my confidante, my motivator, and my biggest cheerleader. And for that, I will
be eternally grateful. – I was truly blessed to
have been in the right place, at the right time, 20 years ago. To God be the glory. (somber music)

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