A $6.6 million gift from the estate of Gardner Marston will boost graduate student recruitment and support in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin.
A native of La Jolla, Calif., Marston was a 1953 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. He died in 2011.
"This is a tremendous example of what planned giving can do for the future of the university," said Randy Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "Our college alone has received more than $30 million in planned gifts during the past five years. We are grateful for the generosity and foresight of people like Gardner Marston, who valued their education at the university and wanted to give back so that others might enjoy the same benefits of higher education."
Alan Tully, chair of the Department of History, said that although Marston's course interests ranged across the liberal arts, he recognized the central importance of historical studies in fostering enlightened citizenship.
"Many individuals have remarked on the fundamental connection between curiosity and good education. With his gift, Gardner Marston made a further connection, recognizing that fellowship support is crucial to attract and support students who bring to our program restless curiosity and keenness of mind," Tully said. "We are deeply in his debt and trust that others will find themselves challenged by his example."
Jackie Jones, professor and graduate chair in the Department of History, said resources would be used to provide yearlong fellowships and summer stipends, and to fund students' travel to archival collections in the U.S. and abroad.
"This generous gift will enhance the ability of the History graduate program to recruit outstanding students and to maintain the overall excellence of our program," Jones said.
The original Gardner F. Marston Endowed History Scholarship Fund was established with a $250,000 gift in 1998.