John L. Nau III has committed $27.5 million to his alma mater, the University of Virginia.

Nau, a 1968 graduate who majored in history, made the donation to support the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences’ recently launched Democracy Initiative and its program on constitutionalism and democracy.

Nau, a former Board of Visitors member, requested that $2 million be directed to the dean of the College as an unrestricted gift; such money is useful as universities wrestle with expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The donation will be matched by more than $17 million, mostly through the Bicentennial Professors Fund matching program.

The money will create 10 endowed faculty positions across a range of departments, up to four visiting positions and provide additional program and research funding, according to the university.

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