Alumni & Friends grows, gives back

Posted: Sunday, March 27, 2011

University of Alaska Southeast’s Alumni & Friends is the go-to organization for people who want to support UAS in a fun and meaningful way. Led by President Jerry Burnett (MBA ‘87, MPA ’89), the board has recently been focusing on two of its goals: Supporting its multi-regional alumni base and encouraging student success through its scholarship fund.

While most of the association’s activities have been Juneau-based, UAS Alumni & Friends has been working on building chapters in regional areas including Sitka, Anchorage and Fairbanks, as well as in the Seattle and Portland areas. The association is actively seeking graduates who live in those communities who would be willing to act as liaisons for the UAS Alumni Association (UASAA), helping to organize alumni gatherings and encourage communication. Right now that effort is event-driven, led by the UAS Office of Development and Alumni Relations with the support of Chancellor John Pugh. As an example, last October UASAA provided discounted seating at a Bill Cosby performance at Anchorage’s Performing Arts Center, with a reception at a nearby wine bar prior to the event. This event attracted alumni from Juneau, Sitka, Kenai and Fairbanks in addition those in the Anchorage area. Currently Ketchikan does have its own chapter of UAS Alumni & Friends.

Next month, UASAA will host its annual Spring Auction and Dinner, a fundraiser for the Alumni Scholarship Endowment at the University of Alaska Foundation. Raising money for student scholarships has been a major goal of UAS Alumni & Friends since its formation in 1987. The scholarship fund was established in 1989. Criteria were recently revised to focus on full-time students who are nearing completion of their degrees. The Alumni Scholarship Fund awards a minimum of two $1,000 scholarships per academic year, but the number of scholarships award in recent years has increased significantly. In the last three years, 27 students have been awarded scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 per year. The number and amount of scholarships is decided upon by the UASAA Board of Directors based on the results of the annual Spring Auction and Dinner. The board expects 2011 to be another banner year for the event, enabling the scholarship committee to make significant awards in the fall.

The Spring Auction and Dinner will be held on April 1 in the Egan Library at the beautiful Auke Lake Campus in Juneau. A reception with no-host bar starts at 6 p.m. with a buffet dinner served at 7 p.m., followed by a live and silent auction at 8 p.m. and ending with a dessert auction. Tickets are $30 per person and can be obtained through the UAS Office of Development and Alumni Relations by phone at 796-6569 or by e-mail at

For more information on events sponsored by UAS Alumni & Friends, as well as how to become a member, visit

• Campbell is the Annual Fund and Alumni Relations Manager at the University of Alaska Southeast.

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