College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Nau Scholars

What is a Nau Scholar?

Our Nau scholar program began in 2013, thanks to John Nau's generous investment in our students. From that, UTSA History has forged a department that celebrates an unparalleled diversity of students- from traditional first-time college students to those who returned to academia after starting families, completing military service, or have simply recommitted themselves to their education after a break.  Our scholars bridge the divide between geographic, racial, ethnic, generational, and socio-economic borders.

Nau Scholars- past and present-  have become a true family of undergraduate and graduate students with a passion for History.  Through commitment to learning and excellence, they dedicate themselves to advancing historical research and understanding. It's this standard of excellence that is rewarded through our Nau Scholars program.  The UTSA History department is pleased to offer undergraduate research awards, first year graduate research awards, and graduate research assistantships to select students committed to academic excellence, historical research, and the continuation of education in History. 


Who is John Nau?

John L. Nau, III is President and Chief Executive Officer of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the Nation's largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch  products.  He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and has been instrumental in bringing a top-rated program specializing in Civil War History to UVA.  He currently serves on the Board of Visitors, a position appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is based out of Houston, Texas.

Mr. Nau's commitment to service and passion for history is unmistakable through his wide arc of civic, community, and philanthropic endeavors in Houston and throughout the country.  His current involvement includes Vice Chairman of the National Parks Foundation Board of Directors; Civil War Trust Board of Directors; Chairman Emeritus, Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees; Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Board of Trustees; Honorary Trustee of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau; Honorary Trustee of Texas Heart Institute; Director  and Executive Committee member of   the Greater Houston Partnership; and Advisory Council member to the Center for Big Bend Studies.

He also serves as a Board Member for the Center for Houston’s Future, Discovery Green Conservancy, Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park, Houston Police Foundation, The Admiral Nimitz Foundation, and The Texas State Historical Association.  Additionally  he is Chairman of the Capital Campaign for The Center for Texas Cultural Heritage and Chairman of the Steering Committee for the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area. He is founder and President of The Nau Foundation.                   [Source: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History]


Impacting students now

The impact that John Nau has had on students of History can be felt across the country, and at UTSA, we count ourselves fortunate for the support he has given our program. Since 2012, John Nau's generosity has funded 65 student scholarships at UTSA, giving undergraduate and graduate students unparalleled opportunities to further advance understanding of local, national, and international issues of historical significance. 

Amber Walker: Nau Teaching Assistantship 2016-2017

Graduate student Amber Walker is a first-generation college student and former Nau recipient.  Her journey to becoming a PhD in African History has been fueled in part due to her Nau Graduate Teaching Assistantship.  

With a focused interest in producing historical research on Somali Bantu Refugees, Amber traveled to Tanzania, gathering sources from archives, newspaper collections, and oral interviews throughout rural villages. Ultimately, she will link those pieces of research and experience to other Somali refugees in Maine and Texas. 

Her hope is to bridge the gap of knowledge and experience between members of the African diaspora both here and abroad.  As Amber further pushes toward her goals and advances her education, she intends to return to Tanzania to build on her research. 

In the unstoppable pursuit of her PhD, Amber will be able to bring her passion for Africa and African history to future generations, and continue to bring a new understanding of cultures, both in the United States and abroad.





See more about the impact John Nau has had on education:



Where are they now?

Sarah Ball: Nau Graduate Fellowship- 2013-2014, Nau Teaching Assistantship 2014-2015

Sarah is a 2015 graduate of the UTSA History masters program.  As a Nau teaching assistant, she was able to build strong relationships with the faculty and gain valuable teaching experience. 

Because of these opportunities, she secured an adjunct position with Northwest Vista College immediately following graduation.  During her first semester teaching, a full-time position became available and she jumped on the opportunity.  After just one year of teaching, Sarah received the Excellence in Teaching award from Northwest Vista. 

In addition to teaching full time, Sarah now serves as a scholarship judge for Alamo Colleges, serves on a faculty commmittee working to improve critical thinking in curriculums, and acts as faculty advisor to the student History Club. 

Sarah's service to UTSA continues, co-founding a new History Department Alumni organization called Friends of History.  This organization reconnects UTSA History alums with the department through events, along with finding ways to support current students through service and financial donations. 

She credits her success to the exceptional support and training she received during her journey at UTSA.




Nau scholars contribute to San Antonio Tricentennial Celebration History Project

As part of the San Antonio Tricentennial Celebration, Dr. John Reynolds is spearheading a massive research venture to digitally map San Antonio from its early history, and past and present Nau recipients are a part of it!  



Former Nau scholar Thomas Holdworth works with the Center for Archaeological Research. By taking over 180 images of a rotating artifact, he can upload the photographs into a software program to create a three-dimensional image. 







Former and current Nau scholars in the GIS lab working on GIS maps and Story Map applications produced under a grant from Bexar County. 




Find Us

Main Office: MH 4.04.06

Department of History

University of Texas at San Antonio

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio, TX 78249-1644