Anonymous donor sends millions of dollars to University of Alaska Anchorage

By: Staff   May 1, 2009

Donation to benefit students for generations to come

Anchorage, AK - In the current economy, it’s not difficult to imagine yourself struggling to pay for clothes, food and gas. Now add tuition and books and housing to the mix. Feel stressed yet? Well, the University of Alaska Anchorage’s (UAA) students are about to breathe a sigh of relief thanks to a $7M donation from an anonymous donor. This news comes on the heels of announcements made by more than a dozen other institutions of higher education, that they, too, received millions of dollars from an anonymous donor. We are pleased to join this fortunate group. This incredible gift is the largest-ever cash donation received from a living donor at the University of Alaska.

This donation will have a particularly significant impact on the lives of UAA’s students. Conditions of accepting this gift are that the donor remains anonymous and that the majority of the money be used for student scholarships, particularly benefiting women and minorities to the fullest extent of the law.

The $6M designated for scholarships will be the basis of an endowment to provide needs-based scholarships to students; this new scholarship will be called the Seawolf Opportunity Scholarship. This new needs-based scholarship will be awarded incrementally, up to four years, for students working toward an associate’s or baccalaureate degree from UAA. This special feature is designed to provide an incentive and reward to students who persist in their studies toward a degree. Recipients of the Seawolf Opportunity Scholarship will receive money for tuition and housing or childcare each year – all very important for student success.

The remaining $1M of the $7M donation—which was provided for high-priority university needs—will be used to cover the shortfall for operating costs associated with opening the new ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building (CPISB) this coming fall. Though the Alaska Legislature provided $1.025M in operating funds, the costs associated with opening the building were more than $2.2M. Faced with the difficult choice of cutting other programs to open the building, UAA leadership has decided to fill the funding gap for one year using the remarkable and unexpected $1M gift focused on student success.

Students can learn more about the Seawolf Opportunity Scholarship and how to apply by contacting the Office of Financial Aid at (907) 786-1586.

Listen to an audio podcast of the announcement event.

MEDIA CONTACT:
 
Kristin DeSmith
University of Alaska Anchorage
(907) 786-1263
(907) 250-1825 – cell
afkad@uaa.alaska.edu

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