University of Alaska gets $1 million donation

Kaz Alvarez/Sun Star Reporter
Oct. 8 2013

Princess Cruises Lines and Holland America donated $1 million to the University of Alaska system, which has provided some University of Alaska Fairbanks programs some relief from budget cuts.

Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, jointlyowned by Carnival, jointly donated $1 million to the UA Foundation. These funds were split between the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Southeast and University of Alaska Fairbanks. Prior to being purchased by Carnival, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line were the largest tourism companies in Alaska.

According to Megan Riebe,  Associate Vice President of Development at the University of Alaska Foundation, some of the funds are meant for the R/V Sikuliaq, a global class ice-capable research vessel owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ SFOS. The ship was launched Oct. 13, 2012 from  Marinette, WI. The funds will support a future, year-long exhibit on the new vessel in the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Students with a polar express will have free access to this exhibit. Currently, the vessel is finishing acceptance trials and is estimated to arrive in Seward, later this fall.

According to a press release sent to UA schools on Sept. 24, from the Office of Development, funds will also be given to the SFOS Ocean Sciences Bowl, also called the Tsunami Bowl, which has received federal budget cuts. This program puts high school students through an intensive, science competition. The donation will provide the program with funding for several years with  multiple disbursements, which will allow future Tsunami Bowls to be funded as well.

The funds will also be used to create several system-wide scholarships focused on business, tourism, hospitality and marine sciences. Additional portions of the gift will benefit the University of Alaska Anchorage’s new Lucy Cuddy Hall to house the Culinary Arts/Hospitality and Restaurant Management Department.

“This gift represents the largest commitment, impacting the most areas of the UA System, and it will be paid over 4 years. It is now our job to use the gifted money wisely,” Reibe said. “Our goal would be that this relationship continues well into the future.” 

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