Erik Boraas speaks during the Celebration of Life for his father, Dr. Alan Boraas, at Kenai Peninsula College in Soldotna, Alaska on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Erik Boraas speaks during the Celebration of Life for his father, Dr. Alan Boraas, at Kenai Peninsula College in Soldotna, Alaska on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

State Rep. Gary Knopp introduces bill to change College Road to Alan Boraas Road

A state bill introduced by Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Kenai/Soldotna, would change College Road, near Soldotna, to Alan Boraas Road, in honor of the late Kenai Peninsula College anthropology professor.

College Road stretches from Kalifornsky Beach Road to Easy Poppy Lane, running in front of Kenai Peninsula College. Boraas is credited with locating numerous Dena’ina heritage and historical sites along the stretch of road, according Knopp’s sponsor statement for House Bill 208.

Changing the name of the road is a way to “honor the tremendous impact that Alan had on the Kenai Peninsula and around the state of Alaska,” Knopp said in his sponsor statement.

The effort to change the name in honor of Boraas comes directly from the University of Alaska and the “local community,” Knopp wrote.

At their Tuesday meeting, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly passed a resolution supporting HB 208.

The resolution, which passed the assembly unanimously, said Boraas was a “pillar of the community.”

Boraas moved to the Kenai Peninsula in 1972 and spent much of his career studying the history of the Kenai Peninsula. Along with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, he helped develop a Dena’ina language program. The Kenaitze Indian Tribe granted Boraas honorary membership in 2002.

Boraas received several awards and recognition for his work, including the American Book Awards’ Book of the Year award for “Dena’ina Legacy, K’tl’egh’I Sukdu: The Collected Writings of Peter Kalifornsky,” the Log Cabin Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and the Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence from the University of Alaska Foundation.

The House Transportation Committee will be convening in Juneau at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, to take public comment on HB 208.

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