Linda Frances Welden, Ph.D.



Patti Levine-Brown, “Linda Frances Welden, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 20, 2024,

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Linda Frances Welden, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Patti Levine-Brown




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emerita

Biographical Text

Professor Emerita of Theatre and Dance Linda Welden (September 22, 1942-) was born in Senoia, Georgia, three days before her father, Charles Francis Welden, left home to serve as a tank commander under General Patton in World War II. Her mother, the former Dorothy Thompson, had the support of a large extended family, whose ancestors had all been pioneers in Coweta County, Georgia, since 1828, when the county was purchased by the state from the Creek tribe. Welden's brother, Charles Michael, was born the year following Charles Francis's return from the war. Mike became a history instructor in middle Georgia. His family includes two daughters, Jennifer and Jane, and three grandchildren, Rachel, Erin, and Caroline Hampton, all of Macon, Georgia. Welden was an honor graduate of East Coweta High School in 1962 and went on from there to earn an A.A. degree in liberal arts at Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia. Her main interests were in teacher education and in performance, and she was president of both the student National Education Association and the Theatre Club and also sang in the college choir. In 1962 she received a Georgia Teachers Scholarship to Georgia Southern College in Statesboro, from the State Department of Education. Welden majored in English at Georgia Southern and minored in theatre, receiving a B.S.Ed, degree in 1964. She was an active member of the theatre organization, Masquers, and was, as well, an officer in the Wesley Foundation while attending the college. As a condition of her scholarship, Welden was required to teach in Georgia for three years, and she returned to her hometown high school, East Coweta, to fulfill this requirement. There, in addition to English, she taught civics and American government, directed plays for competition, served as advisor to the yearbook and the student paper, coached the debate team, and in her last year was senior class advisor. In the summers following her graduation, Welden completed work on a Master of Science for Teachers' degree at Georgia Southern, again with a major in English. Her degree was awarded in 1968. In 1967, Welden moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was employed at the Harwood School, a Methodist mission school for emotionally disturbed girls, where she taught English, directed plays, and supervised the yearbook staff. The next year she accepted a position in the Department of English at Georgia Southern, and, in 1970, she was admitted to the doctoral program of the Department of Speech at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. At Louisiana State University, Welden had assistantships in costume, makeup, and teaching and was inducted into the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi. After presenting a paper at the Southern States Communication Association in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Welden was approached by representatives from Appalachian State University who wanted her to take a position in their Department of Speech, teaching oral interpretation. When she came to Appalachian State in 1973, she was responsible for the interpretation program and for many years wrote and directed readers theatre productions for public performance. Welden's research interests were in Southern fiction and poetry and in performance techniques; her dissertation, completed in 1977, was an historical study of Professor Hiram Corson of Cornell, who taught Shakespeare through the method of oral performance. Welden received tenure in 1976; she was awarded a Ph.D. degree from Louisiana State in August of 1977, and she attained the rank of professor in 1983. After Appalachian State's Department of Speech underwent several transitions, eventually breaking into two departments, Dr. Welden became a member, in 1989, of the newly formed Department of Theatre and Dance. Her teaching included oral interpretation and group performance classes, as well as courses in dramatic literature. Welden also directed a show each year in the university theatre season. Dr. Welden maintained memberships in the Carolinas Speech Communication Association and was its president in 1988. When the North Carolina Theatre Conference broke away from that organization, she continued to present papers and workshops at the annual convention. Welden spent several summers acting and directing in summer stock in Georgia, New York, and North Carolina. She has published critical essays in Contemporary Fiction Writers of the South and in Contemporary Poets, Dramatists, Essayists, and Novelists of the South. Her regional service includes many years as a director for the Blue Ridge Community Theatre; she served as well on the theatre's board of directors and held the office of president within the organization. A member of Boone United Methodist Church, for many years she sang in the choir and continues to be active in Sunday School, the Emmaus groups, and United Methodist Women. Welden was also chair of the board of directors of Appalachian State's Wesley Foundation, and in 1977, she served as acting chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. In 2003, Dr. Welden entered Appalachian State's phased-retirement program, teaching and directing in the fall semester. Granted emerita status by the university's Board of Trustees in December 2004, fully retiring in June 2006, she continues to make her home in Boone where she does volunteer work, spends time with friends, reads, does needlework, and attends local art productions. She also enjoys having time to travel and recently returned home from a cruise in the Mediterranean. She is also the proud adoptive parent of Phoebe, a pastel calico. Source: Appalachian State University files and Personal correspondence. -Patti Levine-Brown

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