UTSA Department of History receives $1 million donation

The UTSA Department of History has received a $1 million donation from John and Barbara “Bobbie” Nau. The donation will be distributed over the course of five years in installments of $200,000 and will be used to fund scholarships for history students.

John Nau is the president and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors and until 2009; he was also president of the Texas Historical Commission. Nau is especially interested in Texas, Civil War and San Antonio history, which is what the donation targets.

Daniel Gelo, dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, explains that each installment will be broken down into three equal parts. Each part will fund five student scholarships. The first set of scholarships will be for entering seniors planning to continue their study of history in graduate school. The second set will be reserved for students entering UTSA’s master’s program for history. The third set will go to continuing graduate students and differs in that it will support teaching fellowships specifically for Texas and U.S. Civil War era history.

These scholarships will be available only to students studying American history and will be competitive. Any students who meet these requirements may apply and if a student receives one of these scholarships, they can still receive ones from other categories later.

Graduates from other universities who enroll in the graduate history program at UTSA can also apply. “We’re going to get students applying from around the country,” said Gelo. Scholarship programs like these are great for the university as a whole. “It’ll make our program more nationally competitive,” he said. “We can give the kind of support characteristic of a Tier One university.”