The Entrance to the University of Alaska Southeast. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: The University of Alaska is the state’s most important resource

Together, let’s break the record for donor participation.

  • Saturday, November 6, 2021 10:54pm
  • Opinion

Alaskans may not realize the role the University of Alaska plays in the life of almost every Alaskan or in the many communities throughout our state. Many of those you encounter in your day-to-day life received their education through the University of Alaska. Your children are educated by UA-trained teachers, many of the nurses you encounter in the hospital or doctor’s office are university trained, the coffee you grab on your way to work in the morning or the salad you buy for lunch may be from businesses owned by university graduates. Legislative interns and staffers, our best writers and communicators, leaders, pilots, welders and space engineers all attended and earned their degrees from either UAA, UAF or UAS.

As alumni of the university system, we want to tell our story and ask that you join us in an incredible opportunity to support our three universities so that future generations can attend and graduate from our universities, stay here in the state to create their future and contribute to our economy. On Nov. 9 and 10, during UA Giving Day, Alaskans will have the opportunity to participate in an online fundraising event we are calling “49 Hours for Alaska.”

In this two-day fundraiser, participation is the priority. We encourage others to give to the program or area about which they are most passionate. We do this as a community, for when we give to the areas we care about, the cumulative effect makes a huge difference — especially when we spread the word to our friends, family and colleagues. Donations of any size are welcome.

Last year the University of Alaska held its first ever Giving Day. Like many universities around the country, this day celebrated philanthropy in support of higher education. The show of support for UA was tremendous as many Alaskans, including our alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff, rallied to give enthusiastically throughout Alaska as well as from 49 total states and 10 different countries. The generosity of more than 1,100 donors resulted in a cumulative giving total of over $670,000.

Last year we experienced an energy in giving collectively. Donors designated their gifts to specific areas they cared about most. Donations received supported student scholarships, programs and strategic research. We each felt personal joy through our selected giving while joining the larger community in an event that will further the University of Alaska’s mission.

And so, the countdown begins. Please join us this year as we pay tribute to the University of Alaska, an incredibly valuable statewide resource. Together, let’s break the record for donor participation. Please join us and encourage your friends, colleagues and neighbors to join us on Nov. 9 and 10. You can help us spread the word by sharing your UA stories on social media. Use the hashtag #49HoursforAlaska to join the UA Giving Day community. For more information on the 49 Hours for Alaska Giving Day, or to make a gift on Nov. 9-10, visit givingday.alaska.edu.

Katie Bender, Class of ‘10, is vice president of community and public relations manager for Northrim Bank and UAA Alumni Association Board president. Cindy Wright, Class of ‘88, is coordinator for the Fairbanks Wellness Coalition and UAF Alumni Associated Board President/ Chair. Robbie Stell, Class of ‘74, is a former UAS provost, and UAS Alumni and Friends Association Board president.

More in Opinion

Dr. Jay Butler, former chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Feeling grateful this Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccines

The COVID vaccines remain our strongest tool in combating the pandemic and helping us return to our lives and the things we love and cherish.

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: All votes matter

In the beginning, only property-holding white men could vote.

Cristen San Roman. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Is management of Cook Inlet catered to special interest groups?

If these fish are so at risk, why is BOEM able to move forward with lease sale 258?

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Grateful for the hidden ‘good’

Gratitude: Noun The state of being grateful; thankfulness. The state or quality… Continue reading

Homer High School Principal Douglas Waclawski. (Photo provided)
Point of View: What is Homer High School about?

What I consider Homer High’s strength is that we are a place for learning.

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell. (courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Invent your future at UAA

At UAA we’re providing the tools to help students of all ages and skills chart a new course forward.

A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Alaska Voices: Vaccination is the still best protection from COVID-19

The Alaska State Medical Association encourages you to protect yourselves and your community from preventable illness by getting recommended vaccines.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
The sad diminishment of Rep. Don Young

Young seems afraid to demand his party leader defend the dignity of the institution he loves.

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Alaska Voices: Restore our strong campaign donation limits

Without campaign spending limits, the ideal of one person, one vote is no longer really true.

The Final Redistricting Map approved for the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna area is seen on Nov. 9, 2021. (Map via akredistrict.org)
Alaska Voices: The Alaska Redistricting Board’s last-minute gerrymandering failed Alaska

Our Constitution outlines rules for a redistricting process designed to uphold public trust.

This photo shows the trans-Alaska pipeline and pump station north of Fairbanks. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)
Alaska Voices: The permanent fund has been taking care of Alaskans for 45 years

It’s the largest sovereign wealth fund in the nation, the pride of Alaska and this month we celebrate its 45th anniversary.

Dr. Tom Hennessy, MD, MPH (Courtesy)
Voices of the Peninsula: Don’t take medical advice from politicians, athletes or social media

Evidence leads to consensus among medical doctors: Vaccines are the best way to prevent infection.