May 25, 2000

Rasmuson Contribution Funds Regents' Scholarships

May 25, 2000ยป NR 11-2000

Elmer E. Rasmuson, a former regent of the University of Alaska who served as president of the board for 13 years, has announced a contribution of $250,000 to begin a new university scholarship fund in the name of the Board of Regents.

The university has been the recipient of Rasmuson's philanthropy many times over the years, and he leads the list of the institution's major benefactors. He announced his latest contribution Wednesday evening at a university-hosted reception to honor all former regents at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

"These new scholarships will complement the UA Scholars Program, now in its second year, and will enable the university to continue to attract top quality students," said university President Mark R. Hamilton as he thanked Rasmuson for the generous gift.

Rasmuson's contribution will enable the university to implement the Regents' Scholarship Program, which was formulated by the current board's Academic and Student Affairs Committee chaired by Regent Chancy Croft. The first scholarships will likely be awarded in 2001.

The Board of Regents approved the program in November 1999, specifying that to be eligible for the scholarships, recipients would have to be University of Alaska junior, senior or graduate students in good standing. To apply, students would have to demonstrate commitment and involvement in leadership and civic or professional service activities, and recognized academic achievement.
Regents provided that scholarship recipients will be selected by a committee of five former members of the Board of Regents appointed annually by the chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee with the approval of the entire committee.

"The UA Scholars Program awards scholarships to Alaska's top high school graduates, and now the Board of Regents will be able to assist university juniors, seniors and grad students with scholarship assistance," said Croft. "We are deeply grateful to Mr. Rasmuson for his generosity."
Rasmuson, former president and now chairman emeritus of the National Bank of Alaska, was named to the Board of Regents in 1950 and served for nearly 20 years, including 13 years as president of the board. The library on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is named for him, and in 1970 he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from UAF.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller, 907-474-6311