Did you know a whopping 26 new endowments, scholarships, and endowed chairs were established last year across the University of Alaska System?

March 12, 2024

The Big Picture
Scholarships are essential to many students' academic journeys. Last year, the UA System awarded $4.19 million in scholarships to nearly 1,900 students through approximately 2,200 awards. Last year alone, 26 new endowments, scholarships, and endowed chairs were created.

Zoom in
The University of Alaska Foundation highlighted these achievements in its recently released annual report. The UA Foundation, established in 1974, is the systemwide philanthropic arm of the system. They seek, secure and steward charitable support through their dedicated team in partnership with the UA System. 

Programs Paving the Way
The diversity of scholarships created this year reflects a dedication to various fields of study and community engagement. From workforce partnership scholarships like the Kinross Alaska Future Leaders Endowed Scholarship to career-specific awards such as the Claudia Clark Journalism Scholarship and the Dr. Beverly Beeton Endowment for History Studies, each scholarship will contribute to student success for years to come.

Diverse Scholarships for Diverse Paths
Additionally, scholarships support students excelling in athletics and those pursuing specialized fields. Examples include the Colton Parayko Hockey Camp Scholarship and the Hugh McPeck Gallery Art Student Scholarship, recognizing talent and commitment across diverse domains.

Programs like the UAA Culinary Program continue to excel through philanthropic support and community engagement. Celebrating its 50th anniversary and earning reaccreditation this past year, the program offers a singular, exceptional culinary education in Alaska.

Endowed Scholarships: A Legacy of Support
Endowed scholarships are enduring gifts that continue to benefit students over time. These funds are invested, and the generated interest provides scholarships, ensuring sustained support. One notable example is the UAS Alaska GED Achiever Endowed Scholarship, established by retired Vice Chancellor of Administration Michael Ciri and partner Jeri Cary. Inspired by Ciri and Cary’s journeys from earning GEDs to attending UAS, the scholarship aims to empower similar students.

Student Philanthropy
Surprisingly, students contributed to the endowment pool in a major way last year. The ASUAF Academic Scholarship and ASUAF Leadership Scholarship, supported by a $50,000 endowment, were established by the Associated Students of UAF, demonstrating a commitment to supporting future students through philanthropy.

Why it Matters
These accomplishments underscore scholarships' vital role in fostering student success and institutional growth. As the UA Foundation continues to facilitate scholarship creation, it paves the way for a brighter future across the wide spectrum of university experience, ensuring every student has the opportunity to thrive.