We are putting your gifts into action, and changing lives – in countless ways.
Every gift is an inspiration. That is why we are pleased to present donor success stories. Not only do we honor our amazing supporters – without whom this institution could not have achieved the level of prominence it has – but these success stories lead the way for others who want to be part of this tradition of giving. Thank you to all our generous leaders and partners!
When loyal alumni give to their alma mater, they participate in a tradition of giving back that is vital to sustain the success of UAF. They fully understand the benefits that accrue to students who later graduate and join the workforce with a valuable degree from UAF. More than one-third of our alumni find jobs here in the local community, with another third remaining in Alaska after graduation. Their education at UAF represents a priceless investment in their future, and the future of everyone around us. An educated community is a prosperous community, and the benefits extend throughout the state and the nation in a ripple effect.
The time for investing in education has never been better – or more necessary. Please consider a gift to the University of Alaska, and know that you are advancing the knowledge and growth of everyone in this great state when you support even just one student at UAF.
Northrim Bank partners with School of Management
Support of the UAF SOM Student Investment Fund Lab's computer software was made possible by a generous $30,000 gift from Northrim Bank, an Alaska-based commercial bank headquartered in Anchorage which has a strong community commitment at its core. Northrim Bank's donation to the UAF School of Management enabled SOM to buy specialized investment software for the SIFE computer lab, as well as supplement other priority projects at the school. For more information about SIFE, visit the SOM website.
Osher Reentry Scholarship Students selected
First-time grant for students returning to complete an undergraduate degree
Students returning to the University of Alaska Fairbanks received a financial boost from a new scholarship funded through a $50,000 donation from the Bernard Osher Foundation.
The Osher Reentry Scholarship Program awarded an average of almost $1900, to 13 baccalaureate-degree-seeking students whose education had been interrupted for five years or more, all who demonstrated academic promise and a commitment to obtaining a degree through inspiring essays submitted with their applications.
Those students for the fall 2008 and spring 2009 semesters are:
UAF is proud of this additional step forward in reducing debt obligations for UAF students, which is a high-priority focus of the institution.
In addition to this gift, The Osher Foundation has funded UAF’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for the last three years. The success of that partnership led to the invitation to apply. Recognizing that students returning to the university may face particular challenges, the Osher Foundation selects institutions that have established services to address their needs. The foundation currently funds re-entry programs at 59 universities in more than two dozen states and the District of Columbia.
Succeeding at Home & in School:
The Ruth Lister Scholarship
“I have a mission in mind—to become everything I ever wanted to be and always thought I couldn’t,” says Melonie Robinett, the 2007 recipient of the Ruth Lister Memorial Scholarship.
Melonie Robinett ran away from a chaotic home at fifteen, managed to earn her GED and trained to be a beautician, but struggled in and out of an early, violent marriage. She ended up on her own with few skills, a three-year-old daughter and an infant son, and for a while life went from bad to worse. Jailed for four months, she lost her kids. By 2003, Robinett righted herself, regained custody of her children, and began working toward a different future. “I’m not proud of who I was,” she says, “but I am very proud of who I am today.”
Robinett is completing the paralegal studies program at UAF’s Tanana Valley Campus with help from the needs-based Ruth Lister Lister Scholarship. This fund is for single mothers who are TVC students in good standing, preferably those pursuing a vocational degree.
Ruth Lister served UAF for nearly a decade, first as associate dean of the School of Career and Continuing Education, and then as director of TVC, where she was instrumental in establishing the paralegal program, allied health studies, and other programs that lead to good jobs in Fairbanks and Alaska.
After a long struggle with cancer, Lister passed away late in 2002. In 2003, the Lister scholarship was established to continue her efforts to build connections between the university, the community and economy, and single mothers like Melonie Robinett.
Robinett says, “I am the only member in my family out of 18 siblings to go to college,” she says. “I am setting an example for my children to show them that they can achieve their dreams if they set their minds to it.”
The Power of Every Scholarship Dollar:
Lacie Grosvold, former “Sun Star” editor & KUAC intern
It’s truly impressive what a small investment will do to launch a career and advance an education. When Lacie Grosvold was a Montana high school senior, she was offered a UAF Chancellor’s Scholarship for her first year of study here, and that gesture of welcome sealed her decision to come to Fairbanks.
Now, four years later and a newly minted alumna of UAF, this outstanding student had served as the editor of the student newspaper and as an intern at KUAC radio—a proud example of the power of every scholarship dollar. She has held a number of awards, including the Jo Anne Wold Memorial Scholarship in Journalism and was the first recipient of the Helen Van Campen Journalism Scholarship last year, named in honor of author Van Campen by her friend, the late Bill Stroecker, himself a local legend.
UAF alumnus Stroecker had a chance to meet Grosvold last year, and he noted there are some uplifting role models commemorated by those scholarships. Van Campen was a journalist who also wrote a number of books, and was well-respected throughout the community. And Fairbanks native and writer Jo Anne Wold taught herself to type using pencil between her teeth and a manual typewriter, after being partially paralyzed by polio at the age of 12. Wold received an honorary doctorate of humanities from UAF in 1979, and has been an inspiration to many who knew her before her death in 1985.
Those vital funds, says Grosvold, “definitely freed me up because I was able to work at the Sun Star during the school year, and take an internship in London over the summer.” As a dual-major in journalism and economics, she garnered valuable experiences during her internship and campus work that wouldn’t have been possible if she’d needed to take more lucrative jobs to pay for school expenses.
The monetary boost is only a part of the equation for students like Grosvold. “It’s really encouraging to get scholarships because I realize someone is paying attention, someone cares how well I am doing in school—and I want them to feel like they’ve spent their money well, which motivates me to do well and make them proud.”
2012 UAF Celebration of Giving
Chancellor Brian Rogers and Sherry Modrow hosted UAF's 2012 Celebration of Giving annual donor reception on Thursday, November 1, 2012 in the Regents' Great Hall, to celebrate philanthropic giving at UAF. The 2012 honorees included individual donors, Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Zuckerman and corporate donors, Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo and Kinross Fort Knox. Two new categories were included this year - Annual Giving honors to Helga and Bill Watterson, and State-of-the-Art Equipment to BP for their generous donation of a working wellhead for the CTC Process Technology program. UAF thanks the more than 3800 donors whose generosity supports our students and programs and inspires our future leaders. Find out more about the event and view interviews with this year's honorees here.
2011 Donor Reception celebrates philanthropic giving at UAF
The 2011 UAF Donor Reception, “Giving Comes Full Circle,” was held on November 16, 2011 in the Regents' Great Hall. The annual event celebrates philanthropic giving at UAF and special recognition is given to an individual, corporate and foundation donor. This year’s honorees were Bill and Betsy Robertson; Fairbanks Memorial Hospital; and Rasmuson Foundation. Thank you to the many donors whose generosity makes an impact on our students and programs, and helps to change lives and inspire future leaders. In the photo at right, Chancellor Brian Rogers welcomes reception attendees. For more information and to view interviews with the honorees, click here.
Cooperative Extension Service welcomes $100,000 gift
Anonymous donor generously supports valuable community outreach programming
The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service has received a sizable donation from an individual donor.
Pete Pinney, interim vice provost for Outreach/director of Cooperative Extension Service, said a $100,000 donation to the University of Alaska Foundation was made anonymously in December, and is dedicated to Extension program activities. The donation is one of the largest in Extension’s 79-year history.
“We’re very grateful to receive the donation,” he said. “In these difficult times for the economy, such a gift says a great deal about the public understanding of the important role of university service to Alaskans and the confidence in staff and faculty to fulfill that role through the Cooperative Extension Service.”
Extension has offices in 10 Alaska communities and serves 60,000-70,000 Alaskans annually as a gateway to the university system. Extension provides research-based practical information through workshops, classes, individual contacts and hundreds of free publications that are available online and through district offices. Information and programs cover a variety of topics, including energy, healthy living, home economy and food preservation, agriculture and horticulture, community development and 4-H and youth development.
Extension programs exist at land-grant colleges and universities in every U.S. territory and state as part of the largest informal information system in the world. For more information, contact Pete Pinney at 474-7246 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspiring Lifelong Learning: The RG and Onnie Bouchum Multicultural Scholarship
When RG Bouchum learned to read in his late 70s, after nearly a lifetime with less than a fourth-grade education, there was suddenly no stopping him. It was a glorious day for daughter Dorothy Jones when she received an e-mail—the first written correspondence he’d ever sent her—but soon he topped that by writing a book, “One Man, One Book,” about his life.
RG and his wife Onnie Bouchum valued education, says professor emeritus Dorothy Jones, who retired as assistant to the chancellor for equal opportunity in 2001. After Onnie passed away a few years ago, Dorothy says, “I wanted to do something to honor my parents, neither of whom had any high school experience, but they inspired others to continue learning,” so she created a scholarship in their name.
RG (“he says his name stood for “Real Good,” laughs Dorothy) encouraged more than a few people to go back to school, including a friend of Dorothy’s sister, a single mom who completed her education and is now a teacher.
Sadly, RG passed away in November 2007 at age 90. A regular attendee of the UAF Scholarship Breakfast, he was honored in the program and missed by all at his table. But because of the RG and Onnie V. Bouchum Multicultural Scholarship, and the devotion of his daughter Dorothy and other family and friends, his example continues to motivate and move UAF students.
Dr. Neil & Mrs. Rosemarie Davis
Long-time Alaskan and UAF supporter and alumnus Neil Davis is the author of many technical articles written during his years as a scientist with NASA and the Geophysical Institute, UAF. In 1976, he began a regular newspaper column illuminating aspects of science for the general public which became the book Alaska Science Nuggets. Neil Davis writes fiction as well, and readers have found it just as appealing and enjoyable as his nonfiction. Just published is a nonfiction book, Mired in the Health Care Morass, in which he discusses the problems of health care in the United States.
While studying geology at UAF, Neil’s own education was launched because of a modest Sears-Roebuck scholarship. “I had no qualifications other than poverty for receiving it, but it was the awareness that someone else was willing to help me get an education that did more for me than the actual money.”
At the “Rise & Shine to the Best & the Brightest,” our 11th annual Scholarship Breakfast held April 8, 2008, Dr. Davis gave this heart-warming speech.
Global Impact: UAF’s George Schaller Fellowship
With a pledge of a quarter-million dollars over the next ten years, the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation established the George Schaller Fellowship, in honor of an outstanding UAF alumnus.
The fellowship allows international graduate students at UAF to conduct conservation research which contributes to the survival of wildlife and the vitality of human communities with which their fate is linked.
The first recipient, Archana Bali, arrived from India in fall 2007 to study caribou at the Large Animal Research Station and in their arctic tundra habitat. Her interdisciplinary work is through the Resilience and Adaptation Program at the Institute of Arctic Biology.
Dr. Schaller graduated from UAF in 1957 with degrees in biology, zoology and anthropology, and was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from his alma mater in 1997. He is a vice president at the Wildlife Conservation Society and has spent most of the past 50 years in the wilds of Asia, Africa, and South America, helping protect the mountain gorilla, giant panda, tiger, lion and countless other animals.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks is excited to announce its new partnership with Keli Hite McGee of HITES Consulting Inc. Keli ’90 & ‘00 is a University of Alaska Fairbanks alumna with a Masters in Professional Communication.
In spring of 2009, Keli began a partnership with UAF Development and is sharing her expertise with the UAF Development team in areas such as team building, time management and strategic planning.
HITES Consulting excels at facilitation because they listen and truly understand the needs of the client in order to apply years of research and experience to assist them in their unique opportunities. The UAF development team salutes Keli for sharing her valuable insight and providing professional development opportunities that will strengthen our UAF Development team as we move forward.
or nearly 90 years, the University of Alaska Fairbanks has successfully met the educational, cultural and professional needs of Alaska and our community, as we have all grown together. The prominence UAF has gained as America’s arctic university is due to valuable partnerships with our dedicated faculty, students and staff, certainly, as well as friends, alumni, and supporters of all kinds, all over the world.
We dedicate this page to highlight the achievements and successes that partners who support the mission of UAF with philanthropic gifts have made possible. Thank you all!
Boeing renews support of RAHI and ANSEP
Priority programs to help Alaska Native students advance in education
In April 2009, Boeing gave two renewal gifts totaling $10,000 to support two priority programs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks – the Rural Alaska Honors Institute and the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program – which Boeing has generously helped sponsor with a combined total of nearly $35,000 over the past year.
The Rural Alaska Honors Institute (RAHI) support provides tuition for students attending RAHI’s 6-week summer academic bridge program. This year, nearly 65 students will participate, representing a 20 percent increase from last year in the number of students, thanks in part to the Boeing support. “We thank Boeing for its belief in the rural and Alaska Native young people of Alaska, as they pursue their dream of higher education,” says Denise Wartes, Director of RAHI.
UAF’s Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) received generous donations from Boeing, as well. This gift provided scholarships to UAF students Ernestine Ahgeak and Jeremy Maguire. Ernestine is an Inupiaq from Barrow majoring in Physics who just completed her sophomore year with a GPA > 3.5. Over the summer of 2008, she worked for the Arctic Research Consortium in Barrow and this coming summer she will work for NOAA at the Alaska Fish and Science Center in Seattle, WA.
Jeremy is an Athabascan majoring in Wildlife & Biology who has been in the ANSEP program since he started at UAF. Now in his senior year with nearly a 3.0 GPA, he plans to graduate in May 2010. Over the summer 2008 he did his internship with ABR, Inc. (Environmental Research and Services) and will continue his internship with ABR this summer. Like Ernestine, his ANSEP experience will have been an important contributor to his success on the path to graduation.
Additional funds from Boeing provided support of senior design projects, required for most engineering majors, as well as Incentive Awards to full-time ANSEP students for GPAs of 3.0 or better, and Study Group Leader Awards to leaders of the peer-led study groups which motivate and guide students toward success and encourage leadership.
ANSEP is helping to enhance career options for Alaska Natives in the sciences and engineering fields, with about 60 active students at UAF pursuing BS, MS, and PhD degrees in STEM (science technology engineering mathematics) fields. Approximately 90% are Alaska Native and, with retention rates better than 70%, the graduating students will be well situated to enter their professions due to the experiences they have had in the ANSEP program with teamwork, professional internships, career services training, etc.
“The benefits to these students and the Alaskan communities as a whole would not be possible without the support of ANSEP’s partners, including Boeing,” notes UAF ANSEP director Thomas Clausen.
New York Life's pledge of $450,000 boosts ASRA and RAHI
Alaska Summer Research Academy and Rural Alaska Honors Institute funded for three years
New York Life’s three-year, $450,000 grant to the UAF will support ASRA and RAHI, two programs for high school students, in keeping with the firm's dedication to educational enhancement programs.
Introduced in 2001, ASRA provides an intensive, two-week residential learning experience for 8th to 12th graders who have an interest in science, engineering or liberal arts, emphasizing the importance of a college education.
RAHI is a bridging program that helps ease the academic and social transition between high school and college. Students live on the Fairbanks campus for six weeks in the summer, taking courses and experiencing life in a college setting while earning between seven and 10 college credits for their work. Forty to fifty students participate each summer. RAHI was created in collaboration with the Alaska Federation of Natives in 1983 to prepare rural and Alaska Native high school students for college.
New York Life Insurance Company, founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and one of the largest life insurers in the world. Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance.
Flint Hills Resources sponsors "E-Week" activities
Annual Open House and new Robotics Competition featured
Engineers Week or “E-Week" was held on Feb 15 – 21, 2009, with the highlight of the week on Saturday, February 21, when the Open House at Duckering Building, and a High School Robotics Competition were held.
Flint Hills Resources' generous $20,000 gift made many special activities possible, including the first ever high school Alaska state robotics competition, called the Alaska Tech Challenge. T-shirts featuring the Flint Hills Resources sponsorship were handed out to visitors, with more than 1,000 people attending. Ads were placed, and food and refreshments were sponsored by Flint Hills Resources, including the purchase of a new popcorn machine.
At the Open House, Girl Scouts earned badges with various activities, and the materials and some equipment to create special foam cut-outs free for visitors were also sponsored by Flint Hills Resources. In addition, their gift also allowed the College of Engineering and Mines to videotape the events, and to create recruitment DVDs to increase attendance and participation in the Robotics Tech Challenge next year. The week is meant to give the general public, and high school kids in particular, an introduction to engineering as an educational and career choice.