March 4, 2022

March 4, 2022

system nears $200 million fundraising goal

The ’s $200 million fundraising goal is within reach, according to a report shared with the Foundation Board of Directors at its March 2 meeting in Juneau.  As of December 2021, more than $175 million in private donations have been contributed by alumni, friends, companies, and private organizations, including 35 gifts of $1 million or more. 

The For University of Alaska  had its public launch in March last year, and is the first time the three universities and non-profit foundation have undertaken a comprehensive fundraising effort.

“The is vital to this state’s future,” said Laura Bruce, the foundation’s board chair. “The amazing success of this campaign is proof that ns value an educated, prepared workforce. It is seminal to the success of our businesses and overall economy.”

To date, more than 18,000 donors have contributed and 183 new scholarship funds have been created.

“Private philanthropy plays an important role in the university system’s move toward greater financial stability,” said President Pat Pitney, who also serves on the foundation board. “Not only are donors providing support for programs, athletics and facilities, but the new scholarships being established during the campaign makes our universities' programs even more affordable to 's students.”

At its March meeting, the foundation board also heard from the three universities on their respective fundraising priorities.

The Southeast’s priority is completing construction on the new , which will create a new home for teaching and research associated with UAS’ distinctive marine-oriented environmental and interdisciplinary science programs. The completed first phase of the project demolished a 60-year-old building on ocean-front, federal surplus property that was donated to the UAS. Phase two is to construct a new, interdisciplinary 12,000 square foot facility.

University Fairbanks’ fundraising priority is the  Indigenous Studies Center and Park in Fairbanks. The facility will encompass a state-of-the art research, learning and cultural activities facility and a surrounding park to support outdoor gatherings, celebrations and events. It will solidify UAF’s  global leadership in the field of Indigenous Studies.

The University of Anchorage is securing the remaining funds needed to begin construction of the College of Business and Public Policy First National Bank (FNBA) Finance Lab, which is a partnership to increase the number of graduates prepared for careers in banking and finance. The finance lab will be a modern space with a trading room feel for students and faculty to use, learn and apply current in-demand finance and analytics tools. Once complete, UAA will be one of approximately 150 business schools accredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business with an active finance/trading lab.

The board also received updates from each university about recent contributions, including:

  • Steve Holmberg '89 committed $2.8 million to create the Steve and Cynthia Holmberg Choral Director Endowed Chair in the UAF Music Department. A concert to celebrate this transformational gift will take place on April 10 in Fairbanks. 
  • James Alves '77 pledged $1 million to the UAF College of Engineering and Mines through his estate plans. Alves' gift will encourage and foster teaching excellence in engineering and math programs.
  • First National Bank donated more than $400,000 to the UAA College of Business and Public Policy Finance Lab Initiative, Culinary Arts program and Excellence in Social Work.
  • Coeur University of Alaska, Inc., owner and operator of the Kensington Mine, donated $300,000 to strengthen the Coeur AK Kensington Mine Environmental Science Award, an endowed scholarship fund supporting UAS students majoring in Environmental Science or Marine Biology.
  • Usibelli Coal Mine invested $300,000 in the UAF Center for Unmanned Aircraft and Systems Integration, a nationally recognized program to develop the unmanned aircraft industry (commonly known as drones).
  • Hecla Greens Creek Mine donated $300,000 to create an endowment to support the UAS Environmental Science program. The fund will provide funds for faculty and undergraduate research, paid summer internships, field courses, and other student experiential learning opportunities.
  • An anonymous donor made a $250,000 gift to support UAA’s 49th Finishers Scholarship, an initiative to aid residents returning to college after a break or transfer from another college or university, 
  • ConocoPhillips donated nearly $300,000 to the College of Engineering, Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP), Seawolf Athletics and more.

The Foundation is an independent, nonprofit corporation established in 1974 to work in partnership with ’s three universities to seek, secure and steward philanthropic support. For more information on the foundation and how to contribute, please visit .


For more information, contact Cassandra Stalzer, manager of public relations, at 907- 223-9908