Dear Ms. Maltese,
I was in the first classes offered in art history and drawing at JCU in the late 1960s by Dr. Roger Welchans, who founded and headed the department for many years. Dr. Welchans persevered in the face of vehement opposition by factions in the Jesuit faculty and lay administration and succeeded in building an excellent, rigorous series of courses single-handedly, which grew in appeal each new semester. I took every course offered and graduated in 1969 with a minor in FIne Arts. I went on to further studies and employment in the business and practice of the arts which, most happily, continues to this day. I am forever grateful to Dr. Welchans for his vision and perseverance and also thank the other members of the JCU community who defended the, then, new department and enabled its subsequent flourishing.
I urge the University administration to reinstate the Fine Arts Department. No civilized society can remain as such without a vibrant and free arts culture. To remove it from an institution that calls itself a university is to deny its right to consider itself as such.