Press Release for Monday, September 19, 2016
Kickoff Event Supports UNF’s Travis Bates Memorial History Scholarship
Contact: Andrea Mestdagh, Specialist
Department of Public Relations
In 2008, Marine Corps veteran Travis Bates
discovered a tumor in his right leg, which was ultimately amputated, and was
diagnosed with cancer. Despite his diagnosis, he remained dedicated and
determined to completing his education at the University of North Florida and
graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree and 2015 with a master’s degree,
both in history.
While completing his studies and fighting a
daily battle with cancer, Bates persevered and found outlets to help him cope
with the illness. He worked as a substitute teacher, volunteered at a local
museum, participated as a member of the Brooks Rehabilitation Adaptive Rowing
Program and began a career as a stand-up comedian at the Comedy Zone.
Despite his positive attitude and grit, Bates
passed away earlier this year. In his honor, family and friends established the
Travis Bates Memorial History Scholarship at UNF, a merit-based scholarship for
juniors and seniors majoring in history.
“Travis was a determined and
dedicated student who impressed all of us in the Department of History,” said
Dr. Chau Kelly, assistant professor of history at UNF. “Throughout his cancer
battle, he came to class, worked as a grader and continued his academic work,
even when admitted to the hospital. It’s his courage in the face of tremendous
hardship that we hope to honor with this scholarship.”
In an effort to raise funds to make the
scholarship a permanent endowment, Bates’ family and friends and the
University’s Department of History will host the Travis Bates Memorial History
Scholarship Kickoff Event from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Haskell
building, located at 111 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville.
The event will feature food, live music by
local band Class Act, and regular Comedy Zone performers including, Forest
Peyton, Billy Barnwell and Christina Schriver. Family, friends and colleagues
of Bates will also share their memories of him.
There is no fee to attend, rather a suggested
donation is requested that will go toward the $25,000 needed to establish a permanent
endowment. Donations can be made online
or in-person at the event.
Open to the public, tickets to the event can be
obtained from Kelly at UNF in Frederick H. Schultz Hall, Building 9, Room 2512.
Contact her via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
or through the Department of History at (904) 620-2866, with questions about
university located on
an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to
enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures
through a well-rounded education.