Skip to content

Dean L. May Graduate Fellowship

Dean L. MayThe Dean L. May Graduate Fellowship in the History of Utah and the American West has been created to honor our late, beloved colleague, who taught several generations of students in American, U.S. West, and Utah history during his nearly thirty years at the University. Dean wrote four books and more than 40 articles that sought to highlight the Mormon experience in American history and Utah’s distinctive place in the American West. Among his books are City of God: Community and Cooperation Among the Mormons,Utah: A People’s History; and Three Frontiers: Family, Land, and Society in the American West. He also produced two television documentaries about Utah, one of which continues to run regularly on KUED. Dean served as the editor of the Journal of Mormon History and president of the Mormon History Association. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Utah State Historical Society and was named a Pioneer of Progress in Historical and Cultural Arts for the state of Utah.

Under the terms of the fellowship, Dean May Fellows will receive $15,000 plus tuition per year during their first two years of graduate study. In the first year, the fellowship includes no teaching obligations; in their second year, Fellows will serve as Teaching Assistants in the department.

The endowment campaign contains gifts from more than ninety individuals and foundations. The Department of History seeks to support the Dean May Fellowship in perpetuity. The Eccles family has been especially supportive. The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, the Marriner S. Eccles Foundation, and the Willard L. Eccles Charitable Foundation have together pledged more than $150,000 to support the fellowship. The interest of the Eccles family is both a dramatic illustration of their generosity to the University community and a fitting tribute to Dean, since Marriner S. Eccles' term of service as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board under Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of Dean's earliest and most enduring scholarly interests.

The present recipient of this distinguished fellowship is:

Jessica Young

Jessica graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Religious Studies from The Ohio State University.  Jessica’s paper “Mormon Women and the Shaping of Mormon Identity in the Late Nineteenth Century” showcases her interests in American religious and cultural histories. She will be serving as a teaching assistant to Professor Reed in the Fall. Jessica is excited about working with the passionate community of historians and students at the University of Utah. Originally from Ohio, she is looking forward to experiencing not only the university itself, but also the people and places of Utah. Thanks to the Department of History and the May family she will be able to receive a first class education and further develop her writing and teaching skills. 


We continue to seek support for this and other endowments. We are actively soliciting foundations and individuals with a particular interest in this area, and we welcome unsolicited gifts as well. If you would like to support this fellowship, please contact the Department Chair, Isabel Moreira, at (801) 581-6121 or click below and designate a contribution to this fellowship through our online giving site.  

Link to Donate

Last Updated: 4/1/21