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Remembering the life and impact of Ed Rasmuson
by Sean Parnell, UAA Chancellor |
Alaska has experienced a tremendous loss in the passing of Ed Rasmuson. I, along with the entire UAA community, extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to Cathy Rasmuson, to the Rasmuson family and to Ed’s close friends and colleagues, including those at the Rasmuson Foundation.
Together, Ed and Cathy Rasmuson, their family members and the Rasmuson Foundation, have played a historically significant role in the lives of many Alaskans, including creating and funding many direct opportunities for UAA students, faculty and staff.
Over the years, the Rasmuson Foundation has provided to UAA:
- Support of the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP), including a $5 million award for program expansion, $2 million challenge grant for the ANSEP Building and $2 million challenge grant to establish the Dr. Herbert P. Schroeder ANSEP Endowed Chair.
- Funding to help launch Operation Mary Louise, a community-based project spearheaded by UAA faculty that aims to increase the visibility of female veterans in Alaska, connect them with resources and create a community culture for women veterans.
- The creation of the College of Business and Public Policy’s Distinguished Rasmuson Chair of Economics to advance the teaching of economics in Alaska, research on topics of importance to Alaska and public policy in Alaska through service to the state.
- A grant to expand the Alaska Joint Library Catalog, which lets people reserve books from dozens of member libraries across Alaska, including the UAA/APU Consortium LIbrary.
- The UAA chancellor's residence in the Turnagain Arm neighborhood, also known as the Rasmuson House, which was gifted to the University of Alaska Foundation in 2013. Before it was gifted via a bequest, it was the family home of Ed's father, Elmer Rasmuson, and his wife, Mary Louise Rasmuson.
The Edward and Cathryn Rasmuson Hall on the Anchorage campus is named in honor of the couple's generous contributions to the university.
Beyond UAA, Ed’s devotion to education for all led him to serve on the University of Alaska Board of Regents, University of Alaska Foundation Board of Directors, as well as on the Board of Trustees at Alaska Pacific University and Sheldon Jackson College.
Of course, I’ve only scratched the surface of Ed’s many contributions — to the University of Alaska system and to the state of Alaska as a whole — and I invite you to visit rasmuson.org for a complete overview of his impact and philanthropy.
We will miss Ed, his vision, his common sense and his passion for creating educational and economic opportunity for Alaskans. We honor and acknowledge the generous legacy he leaves us — a brighter future for all Alaskans.