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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Wellings Honored with Distinguished Service Award

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 6, 2007) – Robert L. and Rosalee B. Welling, longtime civic volunteers and supporters of UCM, will receive the Distinguished Service Award during the first of two 2007 winter undergraduate commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 in the Multipurpose Building.

Bestowed by the authority of the UCM Board of Governors, the Distinguished Service Award honors individuals who have rendered exemplary and extended service to the human race, society, and/or the university. They are people of such integrity, stature, demonstrated ability and renown that UCM’s faculty, staff, students and alumni take pride in and are inspired by their recognition.

Robert and Rosalee Welling
Robert and Rosalee Welling

The Wellings are known throughout the Warrensburg community and in the state of Missouri for their outstanding civic involvement and volunteerism. Bob is a local attorney, and Rosalee is professor emerita of communication disorders at UCM.

Career in Education Leads to Community Service

Born in Rolla, Rosalee is a UCM alumnus, having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1958, and a master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology in 1987. With experiences that include serving as a physical education and health instructor in the Raytown School District, and as a speech/language pathologist at the Children’s Therapy Center in Sedalia, she joined the university in 1989 and taught until her retirement in 2002.

While at the university, she served for 13 years as director of the Early Childhood Communication Special Education Preschool, and for six years was coordinator of Clinical Services in the Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders. In 1997, she was a guest lecturer in the Department of Phonetics at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Rosalee is a director emerita of both the UCM Alumni Association Board and the UCM Foundation Board, and served as national alumni association president. Locally, she served on the Needs Assessment Committee leading to the establishment of Johnson County Hospice; was service chair for the Johnson County Chapter of the American Cancer Society; board member for Friends of Powell Gardens and Bitter Sweet Place, a Center for Grieving Children; and is a tutor in the Johnson County Adult Literacy Program.

50-year Law Career Includes State, National Roles

Bob grew up in Montrose, and after earning his juris doctorate from St. Louis University School of Law in 1955, he spent two years in the U.S. Army. He came to Warrensburg in 1957 and began a 50-year career in private law. A member of county, state and national Bar associations, he was awarded the Senior Counselor title by the Missouri Bar in 2005, and received the Missouri Bar President’s Award in 1985.

His contributions to education include service as a member and president of the Missouri State Board of Education and as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Boards of Education. He is also a former chair of NASBE’s Governmental Affairs Committee, and was a mentor in the association, participating in national workshops and seminars to train new state board members across the nation.

Bob has also been involved with Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City as chair of its Regional Council and a member of the hospital’s governing board. Currently, he serves as a member of its Planned Gift Council, and board member for its non-profit subsidiary, Family Health Partners. He is a gubernatorial appointee to the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission, and was a charter member of the Whiteman Area Leadership Council Board of Directors.

The couple has a daughter, Kathleen Welling, Alexandria, VA, and son, John Welling, Lee’s Summit, MO. The couple’s son, Stephen Douglas Welling, passed away in 1969, at age four.

Fall commencement ceremonies for 2007 begin with the graduate ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by two ceremonies for undergraduates on Saturday.  The 10 a.m. ceremony on Saturday honors new graduates of the Harmon College of Business Administration, College of Education, and the College of Science and Technology. The university will honor new graduates of the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at 2 p.m. All of these activities are open to the public.