Stories of impact

Spring 2024

Friends of UAF,

See caption and credit below image for description
Chancellor Dan White

Did you know that there are more than 30,000 UAF alumni worldwide? This figure includes only those who graduated from UAF! Many tens of thousands more took courses from UAF to improve their career position, advance a hobby or interest, add a vocational skill or explore a new career field. Amazingly, neither of these figures includes the more than 80,000 people who have taken at least one of our free online courses via the AlaskaX platform. Put together, an education from UAF has impacted the lives of more than 100,000 people around the world. That’s a big deal! 

Many of our alumni are paying this impact forward by supporting UAF scholarships, academic programs, buildings, athletics, equipment and more. Thank you to all of our donors who enrich their lives and our great institution by sharing their time, talents and treasure with UAF.

On this note, a recent national research report, "The Correlation Between College Student Satisfaction and Alumni Giving" by Ruffalo Noel Levitz, included the two amazing numbers: 

  • While nationally, only 8% of alumni give to their alma mater each year, 
  • Individual alumni account for 26% of the total support higher education institutions receive. 

Twenty-six percent of total support for higher education institutions comes from 8% of alumni! That is amazing! While UAF alumni are very generous and provide more than 35% of support for UAF, our alumni giving rate is about 4%. Imagine if this number bumped up one, two or three percentage points. Imagine if we, together, could get to the national average. What a benefit that would be to future generations of UAF alum!

On March 26-28, UAF will celebrate 49 hours of giving for our annual Giving Day. Kicking off UAF’s investment in alumni engagement, my personal 2024 Giving Day challenge will support the fund that receives the highest number of individual alumni donations. If you are an alum, encourage your friends and former classmates to get involved!

My priority this year is to support our alumni and ensure that their gifts, small or large, impact students immediately. Whether you donate $5 or $5,000, your philanthropic relationship with the university is important. It helps us stay connected with you, and it helps show our stakeholders that alumni value their experience at UAF and are engaged in our university’s future. Our relationships are our future. You are our future.

Thank you for choosing UAF!



Dan White


Recent benefactor highlights

Businesses, corporations, individuals and foundations give generously to UAF. This report reflects gifts and donations totaling $25,000 or more to the University of Alaska Fairbanks between Nov. 1, 2023, and Jan. 31, 2024.


AgWest Farm Credit established the AgWest Food System Stability in Alaska Fund and gave to the Cooperative Extension Service 4-H Endowment.

Alaska Warrior gave to the Ocean Peace Research Partnership.

Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation gave to the Bristol Bay Campus Support Fund and the BBC Nursing Program Support Fund.

Coeur Alaska-Kensington Mine gave to the Mining and Petroleum Training Service Support Fund.

ConocoPhillips Alaska gave to the College of Engineering and Mines Support Fund for the 2024 open house and to the UAF Alaska Science Olympiad Support Fund.

McKinley Orthopedics, Sports Medicine & Spine established the McKinley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Athletic Training Support Fund.

Northrim Bank gave to the UAF CBSM Student Support Fund.

Ocean Peace gave to the Ocean Peace Research Partnership.

The Pollock Conservation Cooperative, composed of Trident Seafoods, Glacier Fish Company and American Seafoods Company, gave to the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center Endowment. 

Teck Resources Alaska gave to the GeoFORCE Alaska Support Fund.

Usibelli Coal Mine established the Usibelli Coal Mine UAF Ski Trail Development Fund.


An anonymous donor gave to the Pat and Ken Weaver Family Scholarship.

An anonymous donor gave to the Northern Gulf of Alaska Applied Research Fund.

Catherine F. Cahill gave to the Usibelli Coal Mine Drone Advancement Endowed Scholarship, UAF Annual Fund, ACUASI General Support Fund and the Geophysical Institute Endowment.

Dorothy and Michael Doyle gave to the John M. Murphy Memorial Geology Scholarship.

Susan M. Henrichs gave to the UAF Rural Student Support Services Scholarship and the UAF Faculty and Staff Excellence Endowment.

Steve Holmberg ’89 gave to the Steve and Cynthia Holmberg Choral Director Endowment.

Glenn Potts gave to the College Rotary Scholarship.

Carole Reeve gave to the Richard D. Reeve Scholarship in honor of Lt. Col. Alanson Bartholomew.

Carol Swarts established the Professor Kelly Drew Physical Sciences Endowed Scholarship.

Mary “Peggy” Swartz established the Gerard and Peggy Swartz Biology Endowed Scholarship.


The Jim and Vicki Jansen Foundation established the UAF Lynden Diesel and Heavy Equipment Certificate Scholarship.

The Christopher Johnson McCandless Memorial Foundation gave to the Bus 142 Support Fund.


Stories of impact

Jerry Swartz stands with his daughter Judy and son Dave in front of a Cessna 150, the first plane Jerry bought. It was later replaced with a Cessna 180, whose engine Jerry overhauled. Photo courtesy of Peggy Swartz.

Feb 09

Graduate students and family celebrate Jerry Swartz and his birds, mammals and devotion to proper English.

Members of Cold Steel play an ensemble of music with steel drums during a UAF Summer Sessions’ Music in the Garden concert at the Georgeson Botanical Garden in 2015. UAF photo by JR Ancheta.

Feb 08

Dedicated board members work to sustain and improve the beloved Georgeson Botanical Garden.

UAF photo by Amy Chausse.
Kim McFadden, assistant registrar for data and data systems, (at left) and Stephanie Strandberg, records coordinator, show their heart hands during the UAF Military and Veterans Services registration event at the Wood Center in November 2023.

Nov 08

Donors raise more than $14,000 for the Student Support Fund, which provides aid when things go sideways.

From left, UAF esports team members Natalie Lutrell and Max Beiergrohslein join Vice Chancellor Owen Guthrie and Heath Day, GCI's education program senior manager, for a Mario Kart race during a block party event to celebrate upgrades at the Alaska Esports Center on Oct. 6, 2023. UAF photo by Leif Van Cise.

Nov 08

An upgraded internet connection and a new team center give UAF a competitive edge

Photo by Catherine West, courtesy of the Alutiiq Museum.
Don Clark looks for archaeological sites on Chirikof Island in 2005.

Nov 08

Don and Annette Clark left millions to UAF and other institutions.

Photo by Dirk Rohrbach.
During a Yukon River float trip in summer 2023, UAF climate scholars enjoy an evening fire at their campsite on a sandbar.

Oct 09

A unique program at UAF’s Honors College draws hundreds of undergraduates to study climate change — and do something about it.