Certain Affinity Nels Memorial Scholarship

Certain Affinity and SMU Guildhall are honored to offer the Certain Affinity Nels Memorial Scholarship beginning in 2019 to commemorate the life and work of Nels Nelson and continue his legacy of excellence, generosity, and leadership by supporting talented future game developers.

For the past six years, Austin-based game developer Certain Affinity has supported up-and-coming SMU Guildhall students through teaching, portfolio reviews, career days, and guest lectures, in addition to hiring several alumni. Certain Affinity aims to foster the values of passion, character, leadership and service in future Guildhall students and honor Nels Nelson, a past employee who embodied these values to the fullest, by partnering with SMU Guildhall to create the Certain Affinity Nels Memorial Scholarship.

Students will be invited to apply based on their admission submission. Finalists will be reviewed by Certain Affinity and the recipient will be notified in the late Spring.

About Nels:

Nels Nelson joined the Certain Affinity family in 2013. During his time there as a game and systems designer, Nels always delivered a high level of passion, creativity, knowledge, and professionalism that garnered the admiration and respect of his peers. Nels improved Certain Affinity’s games, teams, and the company as a whole through his positivity, collaboration, and leadership. 

Nels Charles Nelson was born on January 17, 1975 in Tokyo, Japan. Growing up, Nels was a member of the National Honor Society, played competitive chess, and enjoyed English literature and drama. His love of English literature led Nels to graduate from Cornell University with a B.A. in English. Nels developed his love for computers and programming at a young age. He taught beginner and advanced computer courses during high school and over his winter and summer breaks from college. Nels also started designing computer games at that time, a hobby that he turned into a professional career spanning nearly two decades.

Nels’ passion for his work and his heart for service inspired those who worked with him. His knowledge and ability made him a natural leader, and his individual character left a distinct and inspirational mark on Certain Affinity that will continue to guide us well into the future. For this reason, the ideal candidates for this scholarship will exemplify these four traits in their own lives and work: passion, service, leadership, and strength of character