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The University of Texas at Austin

Research Visit



William A. Smith, owner of a successful railroad construction company, and his wife, Madeline Welder Smith, spent a great deal of their efforts toward community enterprises, bestowing substantial benefits on hospitals, museums, universities and other charitable organizations. After William Smith’s death in 1991, his will established a foundation. Mac McGee, a trustee of the foundation and a friend and adviser to the Smith’s for many years, decided that the foundation’s funds be used to assist students at the University of Texas at Austin.

University of Texas library, ca. 1898; di_00011.
University of Texas library, ca. 1898; di_00011.

When McGee met with an officer in the University’s Development Office, he talked about his experience attending the University during the Great Depression. McGee made his own way in school, taking out student loans and working part-time jobs. One of those jobs was in the University of Texas Archives. Hearing his enthusiasm for genealogy and historical research, the development officer gave McGee a packet of information about the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

On Mac McGee’s recommendation, the Smith Foundation made a grant to the University. The University placed the grant funds into an endowment to generate continued support for what is now the William and Madeline Welder Smith Travel Award.

Through the Smith Travel Award, the Briscoe Center for American History will assist masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral students with costs associated with travel to Austin, Texas. The award is intended for students who need to conduct in-depth research in the holdings of the Briscoe Center and who reside outside of the Austin metropolitan area. The grant period starts September 1st and ends the following August 31st. The application form is available on the Briscoe Center's website between January 15th and March 15th each year. 


2019-2020 Recipients

Alexander Finklestein

Gary Scales

Nicole Viglini

Joseph Watson

Cecily Zander

Past recipients include:

Kimberly Voss
Kenna Lang
Paul Binford
Bryant Etheridge
Kimberly Welch
James D Nichols

Patrick F Luck
Christian Pinnen
Joseph L Locke
Christopher Westgate
Julia Brookins
Rachel Shelden

Joseph Hower
Ruth Martin
Alice Moore
Matthew Keyworth
Hanna Breetz
Rebecca S Kaplan

Kristen Vogel
Adam Thomas

Priscilla Leiva
Celeste Menchaca
Heather Sinclair
Adrian Brettle
Benjamin Holtzman

Betsy Beasley
T. Evan Faulkenbury
Kenzo Sung
Autumn Hope McGrath
Long Bao Bui
Mercy Harper

Brett Bell
Edwin Breeden
Max Forrester
William Kennedy
Evan Rothera
Andrew Salvati

Max Flomen
Barry Goldenberg
Rivka Maizlish
Aurelie Roy
Sarah Stanford-McIntyre
William Sturkey
Kristi Tredway

Alice Baumgartner
Lauren Haumesser
Amanda Kleintop
David Ponton, III
Casey Schmitt
Joseph Thompson

Robert Colby
Max Flomen
Wallace Scot McFarlane
Trey Murphy
Shelly Steward

Brett Bertucio
Eladio Bobadila
Sage Goodwin
R. J. Knight
Seth Tannenbaum