This fund was established in 1980 in honor of Manning Julian Dauer to support visiting speakers through the lecture series. Dauer founded the Department of Political Science at the University of Florida in 1950 and served as the department's first chair for 25 years. He began teaching at UF in 1933 after receiving his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UF in 1930 and 1931 and his doctorate from the University of Illinois. During his 50-year career, Dauer taught more than 15,000 students, including former U.S. Senator Bob Graham. He was a founder of the UF chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, an honorary organization in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dauer also served as the first chair of the University's Senate Steering Committee from 1964 to 1966. In 1972, he was awarded the distinguished service professor award and an honorary doctor of law degree in 1983.
Outside the University, Dauer's contributions helped to shape federal and state politics. He wrote numerous articles, chapters and books, sat on many state committees, and served as a political advisor to various legislators. Dauer was involved with several political milestones, including Florida's desegregation laws in the 1950s, the 1968 revision of Florida's constitution, and Florida's reapportionment laws, which created fairer representation of the state's voting districts.
Dauer provided leadership for organizations such as the American Political Science Association, the Southern Political Science Association and the Florida Political Science Association. After his retirement from UF in 1980, Dauer continued to conduct research, write and lecture. He passed away in 1987 at the age of 77.