School honors Ted Walch with new arts scholarship


Printed with permission of Ed Hu

President Rick Commons announces the Ted Walch Scholar endowment at an event honoring Walch in August.

Davis Marks

President Rick Commons announced the Ted Walch Scholar Endowment, named in honor of former Performing Arts Teacher Ted Walch, at an event celebrating his life and career August 21. Established by Marc and Julie Platt (Samantha ’01, Jonah ’04, Hannah ’08, Ben ’11, Henry ’17), the scholarship will help to provide students who are interested in performing or cinematic arts with financial aid.

Walch taught each of the Platts’ five children while they attended the school. In 2014, the Platts established the Ted Walch Endowed Faculty Chair to honor Walch’s role as a teacher and mentor, which supports faculty compensation by paying the salary of whoever holds the endowed chair.

Commons said Walch was emotional when he heard the news about the scholarship.

“When I shared the news with Ted, that henceforth and forever there would be a scholarship at Harvard-Westlake in his name, he was overcome with tears of joy,” Commons said in his speech.

Head of External Relations Ed Hu said the Platts wanted to honor Walch by supporting students because of the thousands he impacted.

“Marc and Julie Platt asked [Commons] and me what they could do to honor Ted this time, mentioning that they wanted to focus on students and [Walch’s] life-long dedication and impact he’s had on so many kids,” Hu said. “And so, the conversation turned toward supporting financial aid, another top priority of the school. [The Platts] loved the idea of helping students with talent and passion for performing arts or film who otherwise wouldn’t have the resources to attend Harvard-Westlake.”

Isaac Tiu ’24 said he was moved by the Platts honoring Walch through supporting the performing arts.

“I was profoundly inspired hearing about the Platts’ donation,” Tiu said. “The performing arts greatly benefit from supports like the Platt family. What really inspired me, though, was hearing the scholarship would be named after Ted Walch. What a beautiful way to keep his name alive.”

Hu said the scholarship is an incredible way to honor Walch’s legacy and add to the lasting impact he made on the school.

“Not only does this gift support a top priority of the school to increase the socioeconomic diversity of Harvard-Westlake, this ensures that Ted Walch’s name will forever be remembered and associated with students at Harvard-Westlake in those areas that Ted cared so deeply about,” Hu said.