Friends of History

The Friends of History was founded in 2004 via an endowment by an anonymous alumna donor, who later also sponsored an award for Public History students. As we approach the twenty-year anniversary of this modest beginning, the Friends of History--emeritus faculty and alumni in the main--have been responsible for a wonderful increase in named scholarships and awards for History Majors.

Today, the Department of History gives out approximately $20,000 a year in History scholarships and awards: truly a remarkable achievement for a state university humanities department. It would be hard to exaggerate how fortunate the History Department has been to have such dedicated advocates. Especially in the last two years, during the pandemic, this support has sustained our students financially and given them an invaluable emotional boost from the caring Friends of History community.

Since its founding, the Friends of History has also helped fund numerous events at the department, including receptions for majors and expenses for our annual Wanda Washington Student History Student Conference and East Bay Historia publication. Over the years the Friends have provided honoraria to some 35 diverse speakers to share their expertise and experiences with members of the Cal State East Bay community, including the founder and curator of the West Oakland Mural Project, a Holocaust survivor, a journalist (on the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake), an urban farmer from Oakland, a panel on the history of women’s suffrage in California, a graphical-history author specializing in 19th-century Africa, a renowned historian of American education (speaking on “What is Intelligence in a Digital Age?”), and a National Book Award finalist on World War I. These speakers have greatly extended History majors' understandings of the import of their chosen discipline.

We invite you to join the Friends of History here. Your support will go directly to student support, in the form of scholarships and awards, and to the enrichment of our students' educations beyond our classrooms. Your support, however, modest, propels our students forward towards their degrees in incalculable ways.