January 11, 2001

Rasmuson's Will Dedicates Funds for University Library, Museum, Fisheries and Economics

January 11, 2001┬╗ NR 01-01

The late Elmer Rasmuson's will specifies that $19 million be given to the University of Alaska Foundation for the benefit of four specific programs at the University of Alaska:

  • The Rasmuson Library on the UAF campus in Fairbanks is to receive $5 million for the acquisition and care of rare books and periodicals;
  • The University of Alaska Museum expansion fund is to receive $5 million;
  • The Rasmuson Fisheries Research Institute is to receive $4 million┬╗ for scientific fellowships; and
  • The Department of Economics at UAA in Anchorage is to receive $5 million for the purpose of endowing economics chairs, with the number of chairs to be determined by the Board of Regents.

Rasmuson, an Alaska banker and philanthropist who died last month, left the University Foundation nearly 400,000 shares of Wells Fargo stock worth $19 million along with specific instructions as to how the funds are to be used.

"Elmer Rasmuson was one of a handful of people in Alaska who truly understood the power of giving - of what philanthropy can do to affect positively the course of an institution," said University President Mark Hamilton. "His bequest is the culmination of a lifetime of support for the university. We are honored that he remembered us so generously."

Rasmuson was named to the University of Alaska Board of Regents in 1950 and served for nearly two decades, including 13 years as president of the board. From 1969 to 1984 he served on the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission, and in 1993 he funded the creation of the Rasmuson Fisheries Research Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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