The Department of History at Western Michigan University has a long tradition of undergraduate education. As WMU has grown and become more diverse, so have we. In 1957 we began offering M.A. degrees, and in 1992 we established our very successful Ph.D. program. Today we have nearly 8,000 history alumni, of which some 40 percent work in the field of education. Even in the face of significant cutbacks in state funding, we have managed to grow in size and complexity.

History continues to offer excellent educational opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students. Thanks to your generosity, faculty and students have financial support for travel to carry out research and present their scholarship at conferences. We also have funds for new history majors to reward them, via scholarships and grants, for their outstanding achievements while in our programs.


Our highest priority needs are:

  • Undergraduate history student scholarships to provide entrance scholarships or assistance with tuition costs to help us attract ever-more qualified history majors.
  • Graduate student research scholarship to provide financial support for releasing from their teaching duties so that they can write their theses or dissertations

For assistance, please contact us.

Making a gift

Make a one-time gift in the area you want to support in the Department of History:

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Go where it is needed most:

  • The Department of History unrestricted fund allows the department to choose how funds will be spent to best benefit current students, faculty, staff, and operations.

  • Support students through scholarships or other direct funding:

    • The Dr. H. Nicholas Hamner Undergraduate Support Endowment for students' expenses for things like textbooks & activities related to their program. 

    • The History Fellowship supports full-time freshman students in a History major with a qualifying GPA. 

    • The Dr. Sherwood Cordier Endowment for Teaching supports a graduate student for excellence & innovation in the teaching of History.

    • The History Alumni Travel Scholarship is given to support undergraduate scholarly activities outside the classroom.

    • The Bert Nash Scholarship supports deserving undergraduate social studies majors with a focus on teaching.

    • The Dr. Ernst Breisach Endowment for European History provides travel & research support for the study and teaching of European history.

    • The Dr. Ernst Breisach Quasi Endowment Fund is to support a second-year graduate student with a qualifying GPA in a focus on European history.

    • The Dr. Nora Faires Endowment Fund supports graduate student travel and research in their program of study.

    • The Elmore L. & Ruth C. Haynor Endowed Scholarship supports undergraduate students in History with financial need.

    • The Dr. Catherine J. Julien Endowment supports students with a research focus in Latin American history.

    • The Werner Marten & Nicki Taylor Endowment supports full-time History students' cost-of-attendance.

    • The Dr. Dale P. Pattison Endowment supports undergraduate students' activities in the study of history.

    • The Joseph L. Peyser Endowment supports graduate students studying New France or French colonialism in North America.

    • The Peter J. Schmitt Endowment supports learning experiences associated with the study of the arts and the natural world.

    • The D.C. and Zoa D. Shilling Endowment supports student-oriented programs within the Department of History.