Gray, Wool honored with UAF alumni awards

a headshot of a smiling woman
Courtesy of UAF Alumni Association
Brianna Gray

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni Association has named its 2023 award recipients. Educator Brianna Gray will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award, while Adam Wool will receive the William R. Cashen Service Award.

Recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award are selected based on meritorious service on behalf of UAF, distinguished accomplishments in business and professional life, or distinguished human service in community affairs.

Gray ’11, ’12 is a school administrator who has dedicated her life to serving others. She grew up in King Cove on the Alaska Peninsula and received her bachelor’s degree in rural development and an associate degree in applied business from UAF. 

Gray, who is Black and Alaska Native, is working toward a doctorate in Indigenous studies. She said her advocacy for education goes beyond subjects learned in school.

“We should identify common skill sets that you actually need to be successful in a leadership position,” she said.

In addition to her academic and professional work, Gray participates in several community boards, focusing on Indigenous organizations and groups that work with people who are experiencing homelessness or food insecurity.

a headshot of a smiling man
Courtesy of UAF Alumni Association
Adam Wool

Recipients of the William R. Cashen Service Award are selected for outstanding service to the university and its alumni association.

Wool ’88 is an entrepreneur and small business owner who founded three landmark Fairbanks businesses: Hot Licks Ice Cream, The Marlin and the Blue Loon. He has been a strong advocate for the university both as a community member and as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives.

“As a legislator, one of my main focuses was to ensure that the university was funded properly going forward, since it was such a vital part of Fairbanks and it had experienced budget cuts for so many years,” he said. “UAF was the reason I stayed in Fairbanks and ended up raising a family here, and I want that to continue for others and for the sake of our community.”

The UAF Alumni Association will celebrate the 2023 awardees during the Nanook Rendezvous alumni reunion in July. For more information, visit the UAF Alumni Association website