In 2011, the Western History Association (WHA) Council and the Clements Center agreed to sponsor new book prize to be administered by the WHA. The David J. Weber-Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America was presented for the first time at the 2012 WHA conference.
The competition is open to any non-fiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present, copyrighted in the previous year. The purpose of the prize is to promote fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The author will receive $2,500 and an invitation to give the annual Weber-Clements Prize Lecture at Southern Methodist University.
The prize originated as the William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America, where it has been awarded by the Center since 1999. William P. Clements, Jr., who passed away in May 2011, was the Governor of Texas and the founding benefactor of the Center. Last spring the Clements Center approached the WHA about taking over the administration of this prize as way to honor both Governor Clements and the Center's Founding Director and past WHA President, David J. Weber, who passed away in August 2010.