From the Winter 2019 Collegian | After moving their daughters into their dorms for their freshman year, Stephen and Anne Avera were inspired by the student atmosphere to create a scholarship opportunity. Both UA alumni, the Averas founded the Howard Jones Endowed Scholarship in History in 2015. The generous endowment seeks to provide a scholarship opportunity for undergraduate history students, while also honoring the legacy of Avera’s former history professor, Dr. Edward Jones.
“I thought so much of Dr. Jones, and wanted to make a statement about helping undergraduates go on to do something they’d like to do, like study history, and not necessarily have to make one decision on what their career might look like going forward,” Avera said.
Avera credits finding much of his passion for history in his undergraduate years to Jones’ American history courses. As an ROTC student, Avera specifically remembers taking Dr. Jones’ class on modern American foreign policy in the waning years of the Vietnam War.
“It was a treat to listen to him talk and analyze and come up with explanations for what was going on at the time in a very complex world,” Avera said. “You could tell he enjoyed the intellectual pursuit he was engaged in, and he wanted to draw students into that same process. That had a real impact on me.”
As Avera approaches his retirement in May 2020, he looks forward to the future of the endowment fund and hopes to potentially participate in the scholarship selection process.
“It’s a neat feeling to know that you helped somebody pursue their passions,” Avera said. “The University of Alabama is the best place to put forth your sincere efforts, find out what you want to do, and really apply yourself while you’re doing it.”