Supporting Excellence

Decorative PhotoOpportunities to Support the Department of History

Our sincere thanks to the many alumni and friends who have generously supported the Department of History. Private gifts are critical to ensuring that the department maintains its stature as one of the nation's preeminent history programs. Your donations help us attract top faculty and graduate students, support promising undergraduate majors, and host a stimulating series of lectures, symposia and other scholarly activities. Gifts of any size are most welcome and gratefully received. All our funds welcome contributions and bequests from alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations.

Giving Options

If you wish to contribute online, you may do so by clicking this link to University of Wisconsin Foundation. We thank you!

If you prefer to make your gift to this or any other fund by check, please make your check payable to the University of Wisconsin Foundation/Dept. of History, write the fund name in the check memo line, and send it to:

University of Wisconsin Foundation
US Bank Lockbox 78807
Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807

For more information on making a gift of securities or including the History Department in your estate plans, please contact:

University of Wisconsin Foundation
1848 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53726-4090

General Funds

Greatest need of the History Department "Department of History Fund"

Established in 1982, this is the Department of History's general fund to support departmental programs, faculty projects, lecture series, conferences, and scholarships. 

Canadian History Fund

This fund was established in 1991 by Professor Allan Bogue to aid the History Department in its teaching, research, and public service roles as they relate to Canadian History. 

Dennis R.A. Wharton & Martha Washburn Fellowship

The purpose of this fund is for research and program advancement in American History.  

Harvey Goldberg Center for Contemporary History

This fund was established by the Department of History when it began its drive to establish a Center for the Study of Contemporary History in memory of the legendary Professor Harvey Goldberg who taught in the Department of History from 1963 to 1987. The Center promotes teaching and historical research on the issues with which Professor Goldberg was most concerned in his teaching and his writings. It aims to further popular historical consciousness by sponsoring an annual Goldberg Memorial Lecture, ensuring that Harvey Goldberg's "Contemporary Societies" course is taught on a regular basis, and organizing workshops and public symposia on contemporary social problems and current political events. Insofar as funds permit, the Center also offers small fellowship grants to needy students and independent researchers working on historical problems and projects such as those Harvey Goldberg encouraged. 

History Graduate Student Opportunities Fund

This fund was established to encourage graduate students to seek outside fellowships, especially those funded by major foundations and scholarly associations. The fund provides critical supplementary financing when grantors require matching funds from the University or do not cover tuition. The Opportunities Fund also provides crucial “top-off” money to help graduate students combine multiple small awards into a year's worth of dissertation research support.

History Undergraduate Program Fund

The purpose of this fund is to provide broad support to the undergraduate history program for activities not covered by University of Wisconsin-Madison funds. This would include, but is not limited to, research or travel stipends, undergraduate workshops or conferences, undergraduate publications, dinners or receptions for undergraduates to meet alumni or scholars, special receptions or ceremonies, communications or publicity, etc. The fund should allow the Department of History to continually improve its undergraduate program and offer its undergraduate students a rich and rewarding educational experience. 

Margaret and Allan Bogue Faculty Research Award

The Margaret and Allan Bogue Faculty Research Award endowment supports select faculty members in the Department of History who have active research projects underway but who have not secured other sources of external funding to underwrite expenses. Maintaining and advancing the long and valuable tradition of outstanding teaching and research is History’s top priority. Because the department does not receive an annual allocation of research funds, it is not uncommon for some very productive faculty members to work on a research project for several years without the benefit of institutional funding. The Margaret and Allan Bogue Faculty Research Award addresses this challenge by offering additional resources to support the research endeavors of History’s most promising faculty.

Michael B. Petrovich Fund

This fund was established in 1989 to honor Emeritus Professor Michael Petrovich, who joined the Department of History in 1950, created the Russian and Slavic history program, and helped to build the Russian Area Studies Program. The sole purpose of this fund is for distinguished lectures, fellowships, and travel grants for research and study abroad on topics that reflect Professor Petrovich’s scholarly interests. 

William Appleman Williams Fund

The William Appleman Williams Fund honors the memory of one of the greatest historians of modern America, a legendary teacher, and a beloved colleague at the University of Wisconsin. Williams received a M.S. in History in 1948 and Ph.D. in History in 1950 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The fund is intended to serve the broad needs of twentieth-century American history by offering research grants and sponsoring lectures. When income from the permanent fund permits, a William Appleman Williams Graduate Fellowship may be established.

Women’s History Program Fund

This fund was established to assist the Women’s Studies Department in its teaching, research and public service roles which may include lectures and slide shows offered to interested groups during Women’s History Week.  


Ambrose-Hesseltine Chair in American History

This fund, established in 1998 with gifts from Steven E. Ambrose and with contributions from many other donors, was created to support a Chair focusing on the teaching of American military history since 1800. The incumbent of this chair shall exemplify the qualities of Professor William Hesseltine through commitments to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, to research and writing, and to community involvement and outreach to the citizens of Wisconsin. 

Merle Curti Professorship Fund

The Merle Curti Professorship Fund was originally established by Professor Curti to fund a professorship in American intellectual/cultural or American social history. 

The John W. & Jeanne M. Rowe Professorship in History

This fund, established in 2000, is intended to endow a chair to be known as the Rowe Professorship. The holder will be a full-time professor responsible for Byzantine History or in the fields of Greek, Roman or Medieval history.  

Frederick Jackson Turner Professorship

This fund provides income to support the Turner Chair, which is held by an American historian. 

Scholarships, Fellowships and Prizes:

Andrew Bergman History Writing Prize

This fund was established by in 1997 by Andrew Bergman who received his M.S. in 1996 and his Ph.D. in 1970 from the UW-Madison History Department. The fund supports an annual award for the two best undergraduate papers written for history courses. 

The Jeanne Boydston Memorial Fund

The Jeanne Boydston Memorial Fund was established in 2009 by colleagues, current and former students, and friends of Professor Jeanne Boydston, who was a member of the UW-Madison Department of History faculty from 1988 until her death in November, 2008. The fund is to support graduate students working in gender and women's history with priority given to students with financial need. 

Marshall and Jane Beard Fund

This fund was established by Jane Beard in 1995 for the purpose of assisting out-of-state graduate students studying history at UW-Madison. It may be used for scholarships, fellowships, programs and service. 

Harry Hadyn Clark-Merle Curti Scholarship in American History

This fund was established in 2001 with a gift from Harriet M. Sweetland who received her MA in 1942 in English from the University of Wisconsin and was a Professor of Literature at UW-Milwaukee. The fund establishes a scholarship fund to provide assistance for graduate students concentrating in American Studies in American History. 

Judith Cochran Memorial Fellowship Fund

The Department of History created this fund in 2002 in memory of Judith Cochran, who advised its graduate students with extraordinary compassion and expertise for nearly two decades. Income from the Cochran Fund will be used to provide fellowships for exceptionally promising graduate students in any field of history. 

William J. Courtenay Fellowship Fund

The Fund shall principally be used to support a graduate student who is close to completing all requirements for the Ph.D. The fellowship recipient will have full responsibility for teaching a one-semester undergraduate course in the Department of History. Preference will be given to graduate students working in the fields of Ancient, Medieval or Early Modern European History. 

E. David Cronon Fund for History

The fund honors E. David Cronon's deep devotion to the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned his MA in 1949 and PhD in 1953 in American History. He joined the department faculty in 1962 and was elected chair of the department in 1966. He was named dean of the College of Letters and Science in 1975. During his 15-year tenure as dean, he helped the Department of History maintain its traditional standing as a top-ranked program. The fund shall be used solely to support Department of History graduate students working in the field of United States history. 

Merle Curti Fund

This fund was established by the Department of History in 1968 to honor Professor Merle Curti for 25 years of distinguished service at the University. Augmented generously by Professor Curti himself, the fund honors his achievements in ways appropriate to his teaching and scholarly interests.

Income from the Curti Fund has been used to sponsor the annual Curti Lectureship since 1976. As Professor Curti wrote, these lectures should be "by an outstanding historian in any field of history. I should hope that the lecturers would interest undergraduate as well as graduate students." Every other year, the Curti Fund also sponsors the Curti Teaching Fellowship, which offers an advanced Ph.D. student the opportunity to teach his or her own undergraduate course.

Scholarships for History undergraduate and graduate students "Department of History Scholarships Fund"

This fund was established in 1987 to support students and reward excellence. Support includes undergraduate awards such as writing prizes and research assistance, and undergraduate awards such as fellowships and research assistance. 

Chester and Jane Higby Memorial Endowment

This endowment fund, established by Mary E. Higby in memory of her father-in-law and mother-in-law, is for the study of Modern European History. 

Willard L. Huson Scholarship

This fund was established by Eve Huson in honor of her husband, Willard L. Huson. It provides for an annual scholarship for an undergraduate majoring in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Margaret A. Krase Fund

This fund was established by Margaret A. Krase in 1995 to give support to graduate students in the Department of History. 

Gerda Lerner Fellowship Fund

This fund was established with a gift from Professor Gerda Lerner, an internationally renowned women's historian who established our Ph.D. program in U.S. Women's history in 1984. Professor Lerner was a WARF Senior Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of History until her retirement in 1991.

The Fund supports a fellowship award to a first- or second-year graduate student in Women's History with preference given to nontraditional candidates, such as re-entry students or older women, or to women who show strong motivation and good academic potential but lack some other qualification for scholarship aid. Whenever sufficient income is available, additional fellowships may be awarded.

George Mosse Teaching Fellow

The Teaching Fellow was established with gifts from Stanley Sher and Burton Pines to honor George Mosse, the internationally acclaimed historian who taught generations of our students from his arrival in 1955 to his retirement in 1988. The sole purpose of this fund is to provide sufficient income to hire an advanced Ph.D. student to teach undergraduate students and to complete his/her dissertation in European History. 

Robert B. L. Murphy Fund

The purpose of this fund, established in 1995 by Robert Murphy, is to provide support for graduate students enrolled in the Department of History. The fund welcomes contributions and bequests from interested alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations. 

Norman K. Risjord History Fellowship Fund

This fund was established by Norman K. and Constance W. Risjord in 1987 to fund a graduate fellowship in the History Department. 

Thomas and Sheila Spear Fund for African History

The fund provides fellowships or financial support for graduate students in the African history program, with preference to students from Africa or students who are African-American. 

James F. Vander Schaaf Fund

This fund was established in memory of James F. Vander Schaaf who died while working on his Ph.D. in History. Its purpose is to provide graduate student support in the UW-Madison Department of History for a student specializing in United States History. 

Jan Vansina Fund

Professor emeritus Jan Vansina, one of the world’s foremost historians of Africa, died peacefully in Madison on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. A pioneering figure in the study of Africa, Vansina is considered one of the founders of the field of African history in the 1950s and 1960s. Vansina spent most of his career at UW-Madison where he directed more than 50 dissertations and touched the lives of countless students, colleagues, and friends.

As a tribute to Jan’s remarkable scholarship and mentoring, his former students invite you to contribute to the Jan Vansina Fund. The fund was established in 1994 upon Jan’s retirement. The sole purpose is to serve the broad needs of the University of Wisconsin African History Program, especially through graduate support, fellowships, and research grants. Thanks to the fund, the program has already supported a significant number of graduate students, many from Africa.

The UW African History program is committed to Jan’s career-long mission of promoting research by African and African-descended scholars. As such, new gifts to the fund will target continuing collaborations with African scholars and linkages between US African studies programs and Africanist scholarship elsewhere in the world. Among the aims of the fund: fellowship and research support for African graduate students at UW; support for visiting African scholars to utilize UW library collections and engage in research collaborations; bolstering partnerships with African universities and institutes, including publishing projects, small seminars, and conferences. Ultimately, our goal is to continue the rich legacy of engagement with Africa that Jan developed over his many years of distinguished scholarly service.

You can make your gift directly online at the following link:

Minna Grotophorst Willis Scholarship in History

This fund was established by the will of Minna Willis, who received her BA in 1925 and her MA in 1928 in History at the University of Wisconsin. It is to be used for a scholarship preferably for a woman studying for her Ph.D. in History. 

Dorothy and Hsin-Nung Yao Fund

This fund was established by a gift from Hilda H. Yao, a 1976 graduate of UW-Madison in Library Information Sciences, to honor her parents, Dorothy and Hsin-Nung Yao. Its purpose is to provide an award to an outstanding teacher of undergraduates in the Department of History. 

Shimon Weisz Fellowship in Latin American and Caribbean History

This fund was established by Professor Steve Stern and Professor Florencia Mallon to support dissertator students in the Latin American and Caribbean history program during the advanced write-up phase of their doctoral dissertation. The fund honors Steve Stern's uncle, Shimon Weisz, and the values of social action, intelligence and solidarity that he embodied.