UTSA History Students Receive Greater Opportunities in Research Through $1 Million Commitment from The Nau Foundation

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Established in 2013, the Nau Scholars Program celebrates UTSA’s diverse student body – from traditional first-generation college students to those who have returned to academia after starting families, completing military service, or recommitting themselves to education – the program awards deserving students focused on undergraduate or graduate research in History. Thanks to a generous $1 million commitment from The Nau Foundation – a portion of which will be matched by the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP) – the program will continue to award scholars who bridge the divide between geographic, racial, ethnic, generational, and socio-economic borders.

Founder of The Nau Foundation, John L. Nau, III is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Silver Eagle Beverages. Silver Eagle Beverages has been a longtime supporter of UTSA; the company has supported UTSA's Alumni Programs, the Institute of Texan Cultures, President's Associates, the UTSA Excellence Fund, and UTSA Athletics. The company has also sponsored a table at the annual Alumni Gala since 2014.

In 2012, John Nau committed $1,000,000 to the History Department over five years to create the Nau Scholars Program Teaching Assistantships in History, the NAU Scholars Graduate History Fellowship Fund, and the NAU Scholars Undergraduate History Scholarship Fund.

"My goal is to help strengthen the history department at UTSA by providing the resources to recruit some of the best undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies in history. The UTSA Department of History has the potential to make many great scholarly contributions to Texas and to the United States," said John L. Nau, III, chairman and CEO of Silver Eagle Beverages.

In January 2020, he committed another $1,000,000 to the Nau Scholars Program. The impact that John Nau has had on History students at UTSA can be felt across the country. Since 2012, his generosity has funded over 60 student scholarships at UTSA, providing undergraduate and graduate students unparalleled opportunities to further advance their understanding of local, national, and international issues of historical significance.

"As our higher education landscape shifts in unprecedented and unexpected ways, Mr. Nau's transformative gift guarantees that our acclaimed history faculty have opportunities to train highly talented and ambitious students," said Department of History chair and professor, Dr. Rhonda Gonzales. "From San Antonians to international students, this latest gift ensures that they can fully focus their efforts on becoming historians who will create and shape knowledge for generations to come." 

Mr. Nau's commitment to service and passion for history is unmistakable through his wide arc of civic, community, and philanthropic endeavors. His involvement includes serving on the National Parks Foundation Board of Directors; American Battlefield Trust Board of Directors; Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees; Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Board of Trustees; San Antonio Zoo Board of Directors, Honorary Trustee of Texas Heart Institute; Greater Houston Partnership Director; and Advisory Council member to the Center for Big Bend Studies.

Nau Scholars – past and present – have become a family of undergraduate and graduate students with a passion for History. Through their commitment to learning and excellence, they dedicate themselves to advancing historical research and understanding. It is this standard of excellence that is rewarded through the Nau Scholars Program. The program offers the Nau Undergraduate Research Award in History, the Nau Graduate Research Award in History, and the Nau Graduate Research Assistantship in History.

The UTSA History departments is fortunate to have a partner in John Nau and The Nau Foundation.

To find out more about the Nau Scholars Program and its eligibility criteria, visit history.utsa.edu/nau/nau-scholars.