The Donald R. Matthews Program for Excellence in Political Science was made possible by a generous gift from Don Matthews, former professor and chair of the Political Science Department. The Matthews Graduate Fellowship is awarded once a year to support an exceptional graduate student in the area of American Politics.
About Don Matthews
Don Matthews came to the University of Washington in 1976, as chair of the department of Political Science. He is perhaps best known for his pioneering study, U.S. Senators and Their World (Norton), one of the most read books on American politics. Among his other books are The Social Background of Political Decision-Makers (Doubleday), Negroes and the New Southern Politics (Harcourt), The Party’s Choice (Brookings), Perspectives on Presidential Selection (Brookings), and Yeas and Nays: A Theory of Decision-Making in the U.S. House of Representatives (Wiley-Interscience). His most recent book, Parliamentary Representation: The Case of the Norwegian Storting (with Henry Valen) was published in 1999 by Ohio State University Press. On November 3, 2007, Don passed away but his legacy remains strong in the Political Science Department at the University of Washington.
In 2000, Don contributed more than $800,000 toward the Donald R. Matthews Endowment for Excellence in Political Science (believed to be the largest individual gift ever made within the College of Arts and Sciences). Part of this endowment will fund the Donald R. Matthews Professorship in American Politics (currently held by Peter May) as well as the Matthews Graduate Student Fellowship.
“The future of public higher education is in the citizens’ hands,” says Matthews. “With dwindling state dollars, I wanted to provide resources that will assist the department in striving for greater excellence.”