Beloved Professor Honored with Scholarship Support Fund

Beloved Professor Honored with Scholarship Support Fund

The Department of History and Art History is celebrating the work of Professor Emerita Marion Deshmukh by establishing the Marion Deshmukh Faculty and Student Scholarship Support Fund.

Deshmukh, who retired in 2015 after 45 years of service to George Mason University, was Mason’s first Robert T. Hawkes Professor of History. She has been described as an outstanding scholar, a beloved teacher, and a dedicated administrator. In her endeavors at Mason, including the university’s successful bid to bring the Phi Beta Kappa honor society to campus, she has played a central role in transforming George Mason University into a place that clearly values scholarship. While pursuing her own scholarly work and supporting her colleagues in a collective effort to the same, she also taught countless students to become scholars in their own right. Often this involved working together with them, engaging them not only as students but as collaborators.

Deshmukh received George Mason University’s David King Teaching Excellence Award in 2011 and was honored by the university’s Alumni Association as the Faculty Member of the Year in 2013. She is the recipient of two German Academic Exchange Grants (DAAD), a Fulbright grant, and grants from J. Paul Getty Research Institute, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the American Historical Association.

The Marion Deshmukh Faculty and Student Scholarship Support Fund will be used to pursue the same goals that Dr. Deshmukh has worked so doggedly to pursue as a faculty member at Mason. The fund will be used to provide faculty members with the support they need to achieve their own scholarly goals, but will also include funds specifically for collaborative research projects between faculty and students.

Brian Platt, chair, Department of History and Art History, finds the fund to be a fitting tribute. “I am excited about the fact that the purpose of this fund fits so well with Marion’s professional values while she was here at Mason,” he said. “She has a genuine love for scholarship in the purest sense: she loved coming across interesting materials or questions, investigating them, and sharing the fruits of her research with others. Marion could never say no to an opportunity to do that, or to help a student discover the satisfaction of doing that. And the purpose of this fund is to further precisely this kind of activity.”