Fairbanks, Alaska (KINY) - Donors at last week’s University of Alaska Fairbanks Blue & Gold Celebration contributed more than $435,000 in support of student scholarships.
The total includes a $350,000 gift from Kinross Alaska to establish the Kinross Alaska Future Leaders Endowed Scholarship. The endowment will provide up to four years of financial support for vocational and baccalaureate students who are historically underrepresented in the resource development industry.It’s the first scholarship of its kind at UAF. “For 26 years, Kinross Alaska has been investing in Alaskans and building partnerships in the communities we serve. We are proud of our partnership with UAF,” said Terence Watungwa, vice president and general manager of Kinross Alaska. “Through the creation of the Kinross Alaska Future Leaders Scholarship we hope to foster an inclusive culture in the mining industry where those people who are historically underrepresented feel included and welcomed to contribute their perspectives, their values and their cultures.” Watungwa announced the gift at the Blue & Gold Celebration, which drew nearly 200 local leaders and university supporters who celebrated the winners of this year’s Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Service Awards. Amy Cooper, assistant professor and accounting program director at the College of Business and Security Management, received the Distinguished Teaching Award. Steffi Ickert-Bond, professor of botany in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics and curator of the UA Museum of the North herbarium, received the Distinguished Research Award. John George, professor and head of the fire science program at the UAF Community and Technical College, received the Distinguished Service Award. On top of the Kinross gift, attendees contributed an additional $85,000 toward scholarships for UAF students. This year’s $435,000 total is more than double the amount raised at previous years’ Blue & Gold events and will help students reach their educational goals for years to come. “I firmly believe that student scholarships are one of the most important investments we can make in our future,” said Samara Taber, UAF executive director of advancement. “Scholarships give students the tools they need to succeed, and they benefit our entire society by creating a more educated and equitable population.”
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