February 06, 2007

BP and ConocoPhillips Donate Nearly $7 million to UA

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007

ConocoPhillips and BP announced their annual donation totaling nearly $7 million to University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton during a gathering at the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.

The latest donations, $3.06 million from BP and $3.68 million from ConocoPhillips, bring the companies total charter-agreement gifts to the university to $29.5 million since 2000, when the charter agreement between the companies and state of Alaska was put into place.

"This commitment to the University of Alaska on the part of ConocoPhillips and BP has been, quite simply, tremendous," said Hamilton, who was the chamber's keynote speaker Tuesday. "This money allows us to do extraordinary things here that we could not afford to do otherwise."

For example, the money has allowed the university to hire a dozen postdoctoral researchers to study global climate change as part of the university's efforts surrounding the International Polar year, a multinational two-year scientific emphasis on Earth's polar regions that kicks off next month.

In addition, the BP and ConocoPhillips donations provide the funding for seven prestigious president's professorships throughout the UA system. The professors teach everything from music and Native languages to fisheries and educational technology. The donations also help fund the K-12 teacher mentoring partnership between the university, state of Alaska and numerous school districts throughout the state. The ConocoPhillips and BP funds also have allowed high-caliber visiting scholars to visit UA campuses, such as noted physician and child development expert T. Berry Brazelton and Pulitzer-prize winning author and geographer Jared Diamond.

The donations go to the University of Alaska Foundation, the private, non-profit entity that solicits, manages and invests private donations on behalf of UA for the university's benefit. The annual gifts stem from a charter agreement between the oil companies and the state regarding the BP merger with ARCO in the late 1990s. Part of the charter agreement identifies public higher education as a top priority for charitable donations.


For more information, call Kate Ripley at 907/450-8102.