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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21St Street, B7600, HRH 2.114A, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Endowments

David Bruton, Jr.,David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professorship in Modern Languages

Giovanni Podio, Aaron Schaffer & Jason SokoloskyAaron Schaffer-Giovanni Podio-Jason Sokolosky Scholarship in French and Italian Studies

Marjorie B. PoynerMajorie B. Poyner Study Abroad Endowment 

Julia Scarbrough Fisher, Julia Scarbrough Fisher Study Abroad Endowment

Christopher B. SchulzeChristopher Schulze Scholarship for Studies in French and Italian

Donald & Eleanor Sellstrom, Donald & Eleanor Sellstrom Fund for Excellence in French and Italian

James Stephens, James Stephens Memorial Scholarship Fund Award

Superior Oil-Linward Shivers, The Superior Oil Company - Linward Shivers Centennial Professorship in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Julia Emerson Fisher Walther, Julia Walther/Julia Scarbrough Fisher Endowed Fund

David Bruton, Jr.,David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professorship in Modern Languages
David Bruton, Jr. was born in Houston, Texas, January 12, 1931.His father, David, Sr., a Texas A&M graduate and World War I test pilot, was an entrepreneur in the oil business, having started his own business and shepherding it to great success, while adding greatly to the Bruton family’s well-regarded reputation. David Bruton, Sr. passed to his son the values that had made him successful, including his strong work ethic, reliance on academics, the skills and drive to build something from nothing, and the need to serve his country.

David Bruton, Jr. died December 30, 1979, at the age of 48. His generosity has impacted several generations and, through the endowments he established, will continue to influence others yet to come. He is remembered for his charm, charisma, fun-loving personality and intense devotion to friends and family. 

Story compiled from information provided by the David Bruton Jr. Charitable Trust.

David Bruton, Jr. provided gifts to create several other endowments. Find them by clicking here.

Giovanni Podio, Aaron Schaffer & Jason SokoloskyAaron Schaffer-Giovanni Podio-Jason Sokolosky Scholarship in French and Italian Studies
Giovanni Podio's son, Dr. Augusto L. Podio, received his Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1968 and contributed to this fund in honor of his father. Augusto Podio currently serves as Assistant Department Chair of the Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering.

Dr. Aaron Schaffer served on the faculty of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Texas at Austin from 1920-1957, including ten years as department chair. He completed both his undergraduate and doctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University. Read the 1957 resolution adopted by the Senate of the State of Texas in Schaffer’s memory.

Mr. F. Douglas Sokolosky and Mrs. Valerie G. Sokolosky of Dallas, Texas, contributed to this fund in honor of their son, Jason Sokolosky, a student of French.

The Aaron Schaffer-Giovanni Podio-Jason Sokolosky Scholarship in French and Italian Studies benefits undergraduate or graduate students of French literature (to honor Professor Schaffer), students of Italian (to honor Mr. Podio), and/or students of French for purposes of studying in France (to honor Mr. Sokolosky).

Marjorie B. Poyner, Majorie B. Poyner Study Abroad Endowment 
Marjorie B. Poyner received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1950. She had a tremendous love and enthusiasm for French culture and enjoyed traveling to France. Ms. Poyner’s husband, Herbert F. Poyner, Jr., was also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

The Marjorie B. Poyner Study Abroad Endowment was established in 2008 to fund study abroad opportunities for students in the Department of French and Italian, with a particular emphasis on travel to France

Julia Scarbrough Fisher, Julia Scarbrough Fisher Study Abroad Endowment
Julia Scarbrough Fisher (1879-1971), a native Texan and longtime Austinite, was also a life-long Francophile. Her love for French literature, art, and architecture led her to spend two years living in France with her husband and young daughter in the late 1920s. The experience of living abroad greatly influenced Fisher’s daughter, Julia Emerson Fisher Walther, who would go on to study French at the University of Texas at Austin and ultimately honor her mother’s enthusiasm with donations to the Department of French and Italian.

Born in Rockdale, Texas in 1879, Julia Scarbrough Fisher’s family were the founders of Scarbrough’s department stores, a landmark Austin business. Fisher received her B.A. from Vassar College in 1900 before returning to Texas and marrying Walter Fisher. Walter Fisher was a native Austinite as well a University of Texas alum and an accomplished UT athlete. Julia Fisher passed away in 1971 at the age of 92.

The Julia Scarbrough Fisher Study Abroad Endowment was established in 2007, with gift funds provided by Julia Walther, to fund study abroad opportunities for students in the Department of French and Italian, with a particular emphasis on travel to France.

Christopher B. Schulze, Christopher Schulze Scholarship for Studies in French and Italian
Dr. Christopher Schulze graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979 with a B.A. in French and a B.S. in biochemistry.

The Christopher Schulze Scholarship for Studies in French and Italian was established through the Texas Exes to support outstanding upper-level undergraduate students of French.

Donald & Eleanor Sellstrom, Donald & Eleanor Sellstrom Fund for Excellence in French and Italian
Dr. Donald Sellstrom is a Professor Emeritus of the Department of French and Italian who began his work at the University of Texas at Austin as an undergraduate before going on to receive his M.A. (Texas, 1949) and Ph.D. (Princeton, 1956).

He and his wife, Eleanor Sellstrom, of Austin, Texas, established the Donald & Eleanor Sellstrom Fund for Excellence in French and Italian to provide assistance to undergraduates majoring in French or Italian at U.T. Austin or studying abroad.

James Stephens, James Stephens Memorial Scholarship Fund Award
Dr. James F. M. Stephens Jr. served on the faculty of the Department of French and Italian for many years, including several years as department chair. He also completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, earning his B.A. in 1946 before receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1954.

The James Stephens Excellence Award benefits outstanding students pursuing French or Italian studies.

Superior Oil-Linward Shivers, Linward Shivers Centennial Professorship in Medieval and Renaissance Studies
The Superior Oil Company - Linward Shivers Centennial Professorship in Medieval and Renaissance Studies was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on February 10, 1984, for the benefit of the College of Liberal Arts. The endowment honors Mr. Linward P. Shivers of Austin, Texas, a 1954 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Julia Emerson Fisher WaltherJulia Walther/Julia Scarbrough Fisher Endowed Fund
Julia Emerson Fisher Walther (1924-2008) became enamored of French language and culture at an early age during a two-year stay in France as a child, a result of her mother’s (Julia Scarbrough Fisher) own passion for all things French. Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1924, Walther grew up in Austin with a love for France, and for the University of Texas. She went on to study French in the Romance Languages Department at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was also a member of the Cercle Français (a French student group) and Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority.

After graduating in 1946, Julia Walther moved to Houston with her husband William Charles Walther. Upon his death in 1966, Walther returned to the Austin area, where she was active in the Austin and university communities. Inspired as she and her mother were by their travels abroad, Walther knew the importance of practicing the language in a native environment. She sought to insure that students of French at UT would have the opportunity to do so through her contributions to the Department of French and Italian. Julia Walther passed away in 2008 at the age of 84.

Read about Julia Walther’s contribution to the University and her family’s history in the Spring 2010 Texas Leader.

The Julia Walther/Julia Scarbrough Fisher Endowed Fund was established in 2010 to provide scholarships and fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students interested in the French language or French history.

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