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Nau Center To Explore America’s Defining Conflict

Published October 21, 2015 in News

By: Matt Kelly / University Communications

In the pantheon of American events that charted the course of the nation, almost nothing comes close to the Civil War.

Maybe nothing at all.

The war was all things at once: Horrific. Historic. Gripping. Confounding. Liberating. Endlessly fascinating. Supercharged with characters and complexities, it would reverberate for decades and across generations.

Already a leader in Civil War studies, the University of Virginia is launching a new center that will deepen its engagement in this broadening field and will expand research opportunities for students, faculty and other scholars. The opening of the new John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History was celebrated on October 16 with a public opening ceremony on the South Lawn.


The Board of Visitors in June approved the center, which was funded by current and future gifts totaling $13 million from John Nau and The Nau Foundation--gifts inspired by John and Bobbie Nau. A founder of the College Foundation and a former member of UVA’s Board of Visitors, John Nau also contributed $11 million toward the construction of Nau Hall, which houses the Corcoran Department of History on the South Lawn.

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