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Kingsley Plantation Quarters Replica with History written on it


Support Travis Bates Memorial History Scholarship

A native of Jacksonville, Travis Bates graduated from Englewood High School in 1994 and from Florida State College Jacksonville in 1996. After completing his associate’s degree, Travis served four years in the United States Marine Corps. He also worked as a private investigator, security specialist, and a teacher in Duval County Schools.

Travis pursued a career in higher education with the same determination that allowed him to complete the Marine Corps Marathon (an accomplishment of which he was justifiable proud). He graduated from UNF with a BA in history in 2004. And, despite a diagnosis of cancer in 2009, he returned to UNF, completing an MA in History in 2015. He was inspired by his studies, and especially a trip to the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas where he conducted archival research with Dr. David Courtwright and students from UNF. A year before his death, he successfully defended his master’s thesis, “The Slow Road to Abolition: A History of Capital Punishment in Florida, 1972-2010.” 


Travis loved reading and discussing history, including topics in bioethics, public health, and urban infrastructure. Two of his favorite books were The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee; and The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present, by Martin V. Melosi. Given his reading tastes, it should come as no surprise that he was also a talented stand-up comedian. He performed regularly at the Comedy Zone in Jacksonville and at other locations, including a pub in London. Travis also supported others facing similar crises in their lives. Throughout, Travis resolved to use his gifts to help others and satisfy his own intellectual curiosity. Sadly, on May 14, 2016, Travis lost his battle with cancer. 


To help memorialize Travis and honor his example, his family and the many friends and colleagues whose lives he touched have established the Travis Bates Memorial History Scholarship. This will provide merit-based scholarships to UNF juniors or seniors majoring in History, with a 3.33 GPA or higher. Gifts to honor Travis can be made to the Travis R. Bates Memorial History Scholarship at UNF. All gifts should be made payable to the UNF Foundation and either mailed to UNF Foundation, 1 UNF Drive, Building 60, Jacksonville, FL 32224 or completed online - for designation choose “other” and add Travis’ name. You can also make online contributions directly to the scholarship.


If you need additional information, please call the COAS Dean's Office at 904-620-2560.