From the editor

Theresa Bakker in a fall setting
Photo courtesy of Theresa Bakker
Theresa Bakker

Fall is my favorite time of the year, especially here on the Troth Yeddha’ Campus. When the blue sky frames the gold leaves of our birch trees, it’s easy to feel like the whole world is cheering for Nanook Nation.

We’ve had many monumental celebrations since the university opened more than 100 years ago as the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines. This past summer, another one ticked by. It’s been a hundred years since the graduation of our first alumnus, John Shanly.

Imagine our surprise when we received an email from his granddaughter, Jennifer Boll, who was planning a trip to Fairbanks in August. Luckily, Julie Stricker was on hand to help arrange a tour of our current agricultural programs and write the story.

In fact, this issue represents a number of milestones. It’s the first time Julie and her husband Rod Boyce will be published in this magazine together, though many will recognize their names from their previous service to our community at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Kristin Summerlin also wrote her first story for the Aurora after our Advancement team became captivated by the culinary journey of an alumna who competed in a nationally televised competitive cooking series this summer. Lizzie Hartman’s talent was only part of the story. She also invited Fairbanks to participate through local events and her social media channels. Many of us felt lucky to be part of it.

My gratitude also to Felicia Burud and Katie Straub. This is the first time we worked together as an alumni team to produce this magazine. In fact, it’s my first issue as editor, and I also owe a great debt to the indefatigable Kim Davis, who left a legacy of excellence and the instructions on how to continue. My deepest thanks to my colleagues Sam Bishop, Sherrie Roberts and Danny Vaziri, who translated that map into this publication.

I wear many hats. One of them is executive director of the UAF Alumni Association, which is gearing up for another celebration — UAFAA’s centennial, starting in November 2026. I don’t think there is a better time of year to dream about what’s next for our university and our alumni. Let me know if you have any you’d like to share.

All my best,

Theresa Bakker

Aurora Editor