UT history department receives $6.6 million donation to improve graduate program

Christine Ayala

The department of history received a $6.6 million donation Tuesday to increase graduate student recruitment on behalf of UT alumnus Gardner Marston.

Marston, a 1953 UT graduate, died in 2011. Marston donated $250,000 for the Gardner F. Marston Endowed History Scholarship Fund, which was established in 1998 for the College of Liberal Arts.

Marilyn Lehman, the history department’s graduate program administrator, said the gift will fund fellowships for students, as most student support comes from teaching assistant positions.

“It allows student to go off and do research, which is the kind of thing you can’t do when you’re [a teaching assistant],” Lehman said.

Jackie Jones, professor and graduate chair in the Department of History, said in a statement the gift would help with recruitment.

“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.

Marston served in the U.S. Army during World War II and managed family properties in the California area for most of his life, according to his obituary in the San Diego Community News Group.

Randy Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said the college has received more than $30 million in planned gifts in 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,” Diehl said in the department’s statement.