April 2008 was a historic month for the university and the state. ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. pledged an unprecedented $15 million to UAA, marking the largest single corporate gift the university has ever received, as well as the largest gift the company has ever made in Alaska.
“This gift is an excellent example of university/community partnerships. ConocoPhillips knows that the university’s mission to provide education, training and research helps to develop Alaska’s economy. Our efforts to expand the number of engineers and scientists will help employers hire locally,” said UAA chancellor Fran Ulmer.
In honor of this pledge, and in recognition of the company’s generous past support, UAA’s new Integrated Science Building will carry ConocoPhillips’ name when it opens its doors in the fall of 2009. Like ConocoPhillips’ momentous gift, the new building will offer many benefits to the university community – both today and well into the future.
“One of the great advantages of the Integrated Science Building will be the co-localization of science faculty in order to foster collaboration and communication between us and our students. It will also make sharing of equipment much more convenient,” said Jocelyn E. Krebs, PhD, an associate professor in UAA’s department of biological sciences.
Of the $15 million gift, $4 million will be used to purchase equipment for the new building, while the remaining $11 million will establish the ConocoPhillips Arctic Science and Engineering Endowment, which will be used to help increase understanding of engineering and natural sciences in northern climates and communities. When fully funded in 2016, the endowment is expected to generate at least $500,000 in distributions annually. “By creating the ConocoPhillips Arctic Science and Engineering Endowment, ConocoPhillips is ensuring the impact of this gift will last forever,” said Mark Hamilton, UA president.
“With this endowment we can expand our program here at UAA, purchase equipment if needed, and provide other necessary support for UAA’s science and engineering students and faculty,” Hamilton added. “It’s an incredibly generous gift that will go a long way toward meeting the needs of our state.”
ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc., the number one producer of oil and gas in the state, has a tradition of strong community support – including a long-standing commitment to supporting the university. In addition to the historic $15 million pledge made to UAA in 2008, ConocoPhillips has also provided $20 million in unrestricted support to the university system since 1999.
“This pledge to the University of Alaska continues our tradition of investing in quality training and education opportunities in Alaska,” said Jim Bowles, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska. “Our company is investing in the university’s arctic science and engineering programs to create the scientists and engineers of tomorrow. We hope that funding these programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage will encourage students to stay in Alaska, work in Alaska and foster innovative thought in our state.”