2007 Distinguished Alumnus award winner
William "Bill" Stroecker
William "Bill" Stroecker, the son and grandson of pioneering Alaskan families, has made Fairbanks his home for life. He was born in 1920 and graduated from the University of Alaska in 1942 with a business administration degree. Soon after graduation, Bill joined the United States Army and helped send American airplanes to Russia in the Army's lend-lease effort at Ladd Field, now Fort Wainwright. After his enlistment ended in 1947, Bill became a bookkeeper at the First National Bank of Fairbanks where he worked his way to chairman and president in 1967. He served in that capacity until 1977. Today, after 61 years in banking, Bill serves as vice president of public relations at Key Bank. Although Bill is well past the average age of retirement, he shows up for work every day with a smile.
Bill is also very involved in civic endeavors in the community. He has served as the president of the Alaska Goldpanner board for 43 years. He is a founding board member of the Greater Fairbanks Hospital Foundation, a life member of the Salvation Army Advisory board, a long-time board member of the Friends of the University of Alaska Museum, a member of the Fairbanks Rotary Club and a co-trustee for the Marion Stroecker Weeks Foundation that makes annual donations to more than 40 local charities. Bill is also well known for his musical talents. He plays trumpet and can be heard regularly performing with "The Frigid-Aire's Band". In 2006, he endowed a scholarship in journalism to honor his friend and author Helen Van Campen.
Bill received the Fairbanks Historical Person of the Year, the 2001 Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America, honors from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and the 2007 Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce's Golden Citizen's President’s Award.
It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association awards the 2007 Distinguished Alumnus Award to William "Bill" Stroecker.