As the former Chairman of GE, Jack was responsible for the largest period of growth in the company’s history. But, before he forged that empire he built his own foundation at UMass Amherst.
Four of us graduated from UMass when it was a very small school. In the same class, one of us became the chairman of GE, one of us became the chairman of General Motors, one of those became the chairman of Monsanto, and one of those became the chairman of Singer Corporation. Four major corporations from the same class of 1953 at UMass, so you got to say it's a pretty lucky place to have been in 1953 to go on to careers that none of us ever would have dreamt of. Did I take advantage of a low-cost education? Absolutely. I wouldn't have gone to college if I didn't have the opportunity to go to UMass. It gave me the self-confidence to win, to win big, to have a fabulous life. And I want more than anything to give a chance to lots of kids to have that same dream and make it come true. UMass gave me the foundation that allowed me to exceed far beyond my dreams. I want everybody else to have a shot at that. The more I'm able to get more students a better chance to win and win big-- it's about as filling as it can be. When people ask me about the school I always push hard, particularly if they're Massachusetts residents, to go there. It gives you every opportunity to get the grounding you need to be great. It's up to you after that. My name is Jack Welch. I'm totally involved in growing people bigger, faster, and better. I stand for that, and I stand for UMass.