Foundation funds scholarships, humanities program

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Sunday, November 16, 2014 12:42pm
  • NewsSchools

Clarence Goodrich and his wife Anna came to Alaska in 1956, to visit. Clarence and Anna spent some time looking around Alaska. “Then, just out of the blue,” said Anna, “Clarence filed on a homestead on the Kenai Peninsula.” It was early 1957, the year oil was discovered on the Swanson River. The Goodrich homestead was in Slikok Valley (now near the Echo Lake and Gaswell Roads) well outside of Soldotna.

Clarence Goodrich was a tenacious supporter and advocate who helped in the initial establishment of Kenai Peninsula College. Partnering with KPC’s Founding Director Clayton Brockel, Goodrich was a doer, not a talker. Goodrich actually constructed College Road, carefully planning and building a “nice, winding driveway” off K-Beach Road. The Goodrich’s established the Damon Foundation, donating their daughter Frances’ estate, consisting of a 160-acre homestead adjacent to KPC’s Kenai River Campus. A rock monument with a plaque was installed on the property adjacent to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank in 1985 that marks this permanent gift: “This 160-acre parcel was donated to the University of Alaska by Clarence and Anna Goodrich in memory of their daughter, Frances Helen Damon, and grandson, Lawrence E. Damon, who were killed in the 1964 tidal wave, resulting from the Good Friday earthquake, at Whittier, Alaska.”

The second building (Phase II) at the Kenai River Campus was dedicated and named the Goodrich Building during graduation ceremonies in May, 1975.

The Damon Memorial Foundation manages a generous endowment to benefit the college. At their annual meeting the committee voted to award two, full year scholarships, capped at 13 credits per semester, and providing $2,000 to the Anna Goodrich Humanities Program that supports the KRC Showcase series in FY16. In addition to Goodrich’s descendants, the Foundation board includes Hal Smalley, Kenai Peninsula College Council representative and Council member Mike Frost serves in the financial services seat as required by the Damon Administrative Agreement.

Film as literature course

Instructor Bob Amundson has announced that he will again offer Humanities A220: Film as/and Literature this spring semester. The popular course focuses on Film Noir and the literature that inspired these “dark films” which were produced between 1945 and 1955. Film Noir, a term coined by French film critics, has been recognized as a unique American cinematic art form. Common characteristics of these films include the use of black and white film stock and high contrast lighting, frequent use of oblique/high/low camera shots, and voice-over narration; which when employed, allowed the story to unfold as a series of flashbacks.

Film Noir plot lines dealt with doomed love triangles, femme-fatales, obsessive/aberrant behaviors, lone-wolf and altruistic private eyes, and a host of alienated and flawed characters set against the backdrop of large, impersonal cities in post-World War II America. Student assigned reading will include works by Lionel White (“Clean Break”), David Goodis (“Dark Passage”), Patricia Highsmith (“Strangers on a Train”), and Kenneth Fearing (“The Big Clock”). For more information, please contact Amundson at

Public registration for spring semester coming up

The public can register for the upcoming spring semester beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 24. It is anticipated that classes will fill rapidly and students are urged to register early to avoid disappointment.

KPC’s spring 2015 schedule is accessible from the homepage of the KPC website and there are more than 400 course sections available, including 147 high-quality, online classes courses for the convenience of students who aren’t able to travel to a campus or extension site.


This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, Advancement Programs at Kenai Peninsula College.

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