Endowments and Funds

Endowments and Funds


Endowments and Funds for the Department of History

Funds and endowments supporting the department's pedagogical and professional development needs:

Support Area
Department of History Unrestricted for History
Ernst Breisach Scholarship for History Graduate Students
Smith Burnham Prize in History Undergraduates
Burnham-Macmillan History Endowment Faculty
Sherwood Cordier Endowment for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching of History Graduate Students
History Emeriti Prize Fund Undergraduates
Nora Faires Travel and Research Endowment Graduate Students
H. Nicholas Hamner Department of History Endowed Speakers Fund Visiting Speaker Series
Elmore L & Ruth C Haynor Endowed Scholarship Undergraduates
History Fellowship Award Undergraduates
Houdek/Haight History Fund to Support Returning Teachers Graduate teachers
Catherine Julien Memorial Fund for History Graduate Students
Paul L. Maier Fund for Ancient History Undergraduates, Graduates and Faculty
A. Edythe Mange Endowment Undergraduates and Graduates
Werner & Nicki Taylor Marten Endowment Undergraduates and Graduates
Bert Nash Award Undergraduates
Dr. Dale P. Pattison Memorial Scholarship for History Undergraduates
Joseph L. Peyser Endowment for the Study of New France Graduate Students and Faculty
Peter J. Schmitt Endowment for Experiential Learning Undergraduates, Graduates, Faculty, Emeriti & Alumni
D.C. and Zoa D. Shilling Endowment Graduate Students
Judith Stone Endowment Graduate Students

Contributions may be made by check payable to:
"WMU Foundation/History Department"
(indicate in a note or on the check memo line the fund you wish to support).
Gifts may also be made online to our funds.

Please mail checks to:
Ms. Dorilee Schieble, Office Coordinator
Department of History
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5334

If you would like to discuss making a contribution, please contact Dr. Joe Brandão, department chair, , or Dorilee Schieble, , at (269) 387-4652.

Department of History (Annual Fund - unrestricted for the department)
Discretionary funds for the Department of History are critical in support of its teaching, research, and service missions.  Contributions to the Annual Fund are especially important because they support activities not covered by normal university or department budgets. As well, other endowments with specific granting areas, such as undergraduate student support often do not generate enough revenue to meets the demands of their mission. The Annual Fund can be used, in such instances, to supplement shortfalls in established endowments/funds. Make a donation online.

Ernst Breisach Scholarship for History
Dr. Breisach joined the Department of History in 1957 and later served as department chair from 1967-1989.  Even after his retirement in 1996, he continued working part time and celebrated 50 years of teaching in 2007. Western Michigan University President Diether Haenicke established the Breisach scholarship at Breisach’s retirement and it supports graduate student awards, with a particular emphasis in European history, which was the area of Dr. Breisach’s research and teaching interest. Make a donation online.

Smith Burnham Prize in History
Dr. Smith Burnham served as chair of the Department of History from 1919-1939, and his daughter Dr. Margaret Macmillan opened this fund in his memory to support undergraduate students who he loved to teach.  Grants from this endowment supports outstanding achievement in a variety of areas including writing and teaching internships. Make a donation online.

Burnham-Macmillan History Endowment Fund
Dr. Margaret Macmillan taught in the Department of History at WMU from 1920 – 1934 and again from 1944 – 1969.  She was a Historian of America with an emphasis on religion. She made a gift from her estate to open this fund in memory of her father, Dr. Smith Burnham, the first Department of History Chair.  This fund aims to foster the intellectual and professional development of the department by supporting visiting lecturers, faculty travel expenses for research and professional presentations.
This Endowment is fully funded and no donations are needed.

Sherwood Cordier Endowment for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching of History
Members of the History Advisory Council established this fund to recognize and honor Dr. Cordier's contributions to teaching in the Department of History. They have gathered donors to raise almost half of the $10,000 needed to activate this endowment. When awards can be made, they will be given to students in the graduate program of the Department of History in recognition of excellence and innovation in the teaching of History. Donations are encouraged.

History Emeriti Prize Fund
This fund was established by several emeritus colleagues of the department and is used in support of undergraduate students and to award outstanding student achievement. This fund especially supports the History Emeriti Fellows Program, which provides small grants, on a competitive basis, to outstanding undergraduate students seeking support for professional development. Recent recipients have used the support of this program to conduct archival research projects; attend regional and national meetings to present papers; and participate in Public History internships in museums and historical sites. Make a donation online.

Dr. Nora Faires Travel and Research Endowment
Dr. Faires was an accomplished historian of migration studies, most recently Canadian migration. She also made a significant contribution to the graduate program, advising a number of M.A. and Ph.D. students. Knowing of her affinity for graduate work and the regard graduate students had for her—student’s raised money among themselves to create a small fund to award travel support in her name—friends of Dr. Faires opened this endowment to honor that graduate student initiative and to support graduate student travel to conduct and present research. Make a donation online.

H. Nicholas Hamner Department of History Endowed Speakers Fund
Dr. Hamner jointed WMU Department of History in 1957, specializing in English and British history and worked until his retirement in1992.  As a loyal friend of the department he opened this fund in 1999 to support visiting speakers in the Department of History, bringing outstanding historians to speak on topics of interest in all fields of history. Make a donation online.

Elmore L & Ruth C Haynor Endowed Scholarship for History
Elmore Haynor received his Bachelor of Arts in History from WMU in 1927. While a student, he experienced financial need and was assisted by a WMU Faculty member.  To honor that generosity, he made a gift through his estate in 1996 to open this fund. This endowment supports a scholarship for undergraduate full time students enrolled in History experiencing financial need. Make a donation online.

History Fellowship Award
Thanks to generous donations, the department awards renewable $1,000 fellowships to newly admitted, full-time freshman students with declared majors in History (LEC), Public History, Secondary Education, History, or Social Studies (with History minor option).  A minimum 3.5 high school GPA is required at the time of application.  The scholarship is renewable for up to four years provided that the student’s cumulative GPA does not drop below 3.5 and they maintain full-time status as majors in the Department of History. (2013 News Article) The full award equals $4,000 and donations are requested in any increment. A $4,000 donation has naming opportunity and an introduction to the student recipient would be available. Make a donation online.

Houdek/Haight History Fund to Support Returning Teachers
Dr. John Houdek taught in the history department for many years.  When he retired he and his wife Caroline, who was a teacher, wanted to support school teachers returning to Western to meet personal and professional development goals and gave money each year to help defray the cost of books, etc. Dr. Haight, retiring after 41 years in the department, many of them as a primary instructor of teacher preparation courses, asked that contributions to honor him be given for this same laudable purpose. To honor their dedication to teachers, in the making and those working in local schools, the department has established the Houdek/Haight Fund. Make a donation online.

Dr. Catherine Julien Memorial Fund
Developed in close consultation with Dr. Julien's daughter, Clara, the plan is to grow the fund into an endowment that will serve forever as fitting tribute to Dr. Julien, who was both a world-class scholar and a passionate and dedicated teacher. If contributions do not reach the required amount to establish an endowment, the department will create an account that can be expended from the original contributions with the hope that supporters will continue to contribute in the future.  The fund will support students, either undergraduate or graduate, to advance their research in history with a preference for supporting graduate students and those students whose interests are in studying Latin America history and culture broadly defined, including its archaeology and its indigenous peoples. Make a donation online.

Paul L. Maier Fund For Ancient History
Dr. Maier is the first faculty member in the history of Western Michigan University to teach for half a century at this institution. As a tribute to his 50-year career invested in the teaching and scholarship of ancient history (he retired in 2011), the Department of History has established this fund, the purpose of which is to perpetuate and strengthen the study, teaching, and research of ancient history at Western Michigan University. The fund will be used to, among other things, support undergraduate student projects in ancient history, make awards to students for outstanding work in ancient history, and support graduate student travel for research in ancient history. More information.

Contributions have reached the minimum required amount to establish an active endowment, the Paul L. Maier Endowment in Ancient History, thus making the support of ancient history permanent at WMU. More donations are needed to make a bigger impact on the program and its students. Make a donation online.

A. Edythe Mange Distinguished Scholarship in History
Dr. A. Edythe Mange was a professor of History at WMU from 1948 until her retirement in 1975.  She specialized in Russian studies and was a proponent of international education.   A gift from Dr. Mange’s estate established this fund in 1991 to support undergraduate and graduate student awards, with a particular emphasis on recognizing female students through the Edythe Mange Distinguished Student Scholarship. Make a donation online.

Bert Nash Award in History
Michele McLaughlin and her monther, Kathryn VanDis, have endowed a legacy gift that will support a new undergraduate scholarship for the department. It is named after Michele's maternal grandfather, Bert Nash, and will support deserving undergaduate Social Studies majors who are deemed to be a promising teacher. More information.

Dr. Dale P. Pattison Memorial Scholarship for History
Dr. Dale and Mrs. Kelley Pattison have supported the History Undergraduate Emeriti Fellows program for several years. The program funds undergraduate history majors and minors who engage in scholarly activities outside the classroom and/or who pursue opportunities that advance their professional goals as historians. Grants from this endowment fund are awarded to further research, encourage internship or volunteer experiences, defray the cost of travel to a scholarly conference, or in support of other scholarly or professional activities in history. Make a donation online.

Werner & Nicki Taylor Marten Endowed Scholarship
Werner Marten received his undergraduate degree in History from WMU in 1968 and opened this fund in 1992.  Grants support undergraduate and graduate student awards. Make a donation online.

Dr. Joseph L. Peyser Endowment for the Study of New France
The endowment was created by J. Randall Peyser to honor the memory of his father Dr. Joseph L. Peyser, an eminent scholar of New France and who wrote widely on the history and culture of the French in North America and, in particular, in the Great Lakes region.  The Joseph L. Peyser Endowment provides financial assistance in support of research on the history and culture of the French in North America including: the history of the French presence in North America and in the Great Lakes region; the culture (language, arts, material culture, built environment) of the French in North America and in the Great Lakes region; the history and culture of Native peoples with whom the French interacted in North America and the Great Lakes region; the history of Native-French interactions in North America and the Great Lakes region. The endowment supports student research, faculty research, and organizations and programs promoting the study of New France.  More information. Make a donation online.

Peter J. Schmitt Endowment for Experiential Learning
Dr. Peter Schmitt taught for 43 years in the Department of History at WMU and he valued nontraditional learning experiences that explored the natural world, the built environment and human ingenuity.  The friends and family of Dr. Schmitt created this endowment fund as a legacy to him.  Fund grants will support varied learning experiences that enhance awareness, understanding and knowledge of the interconnectedness of history with the arts and the natural world. It would include but not be limited to participating in short courses in art or architectural history, in field biology learning experiences, in workshops in historic preservation or traditional crafts, in retreat experiences that emphasize an understanding of the natural world, or in other activities that promote personal insight into the interrelationships between people and their environments, especially in historical contexts. All members of the WMU community including emeriti and alumni are eligible for support from this fund. Make a donation online.

D. C. AND Zoa D. Shilling Endowment
This fund was established in 1979 by Mrs. Zoa D. Schilling in honor of her late husband, Dr. D. Carl Shilling, a highly respected faculty member at Western from 1921 to 1952, who served as head of the Political Science Department for seven years. (There is also a Schilling Endowment in the Political Science Department. Professor Schilling was in the department at a time when Political Science and History were in a single department.) Funds from this endowment may be used for, program development, scholarships, and to award fellowships to both graduate and undergraduate students. Make a donation online.

Judith Stone Endowment
Dr. Judith Stone was a historian of Early Modern Europe with a special focus on the French Revolution. When she retired, Western Michigan University President Dieter H. Haenicke established a fund to provide an annual scholarship to graduate students who attain excellence in their program of study and who have an interest in European history.


Department of History
4301 Friedmann Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334 USA
(269) 387-4650 | (269) 387-4651 Fax