SW: Donald and Jan O’Dowd

Former UA President stresses importance of giving Donald O’Dowd, past president of the University of Alaska (1984-1990) and his wife Jan O’Dowd have been loyal donors to the University ever since Dr. O’Dowd assumed the UA Presidency.  Now retired and living in California the O’Dowds continue to remain active supporters U of A. “We started giving to the University because we felt it was an obligation to support the institution that we worked for. We have done this at the other Universities we were affiliated with and we continue to do so to today. “We still give to support UA because we continue to believe in the University and its mission.  The University will need even more private support in the future and we are pleased to make an annual contribution to insure the well-being of the University in the years ahead. “We are also gratified that our gifts are being used to...

SW: Jeff and Susan Cook

Former leadership continues to support UA Past University of Alaska Regent and past member of the UA Foundation Board of Trustees Jeff Cook and his wife Susan have been loyal donors to the University since before there was a Foundation (1974). “We started supporting the University because, as members of the Fairbanks community we saw how much the University strengthened and connected with, all the businesses in town.  During my time in real estate, working for Flint Hills, and on the Board of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Foundation I saw first-hand what a great recruiting tool the University is – allowing us to attract high quality employees to live and work in Fairbanks. From the University’s programs for High School students, through its technical programs in Petroleum Technology and Nursing to the OSHER Lifelong learning program for older students, the Georgeson Botanical Garden, and...

UAS: Kathy Ruddy

Kathy Ruddy, passionate supporter of Alaska Native language and knowledge Kathy Ruddy has been a devoted donor since 2003 championing support for the Cyril George Alaska Native Knowledge Collection at the UAS library and establishing the W.G Ruddy Glacier Valley Rotary Scholarship Endowment. “I’m inspired to contribute to the university to ensure that Tlingit language and culture continues to thrive in the community for future generations. I was inspired to give in recognition of Cyril George and Dick Dauenhauer. The legacy of those two individuals needs to walk into the future. I want to help ensure that the collections are available for many students to come.” I get a lot of joy from it. Think about the future; how you would like to be remembered” says Ruddy.

UAS: Kolene James

Kolene James, UAS graduate and loyal donor “I’m an alum and I started as a Wooch.een club member at UAS. In my time as an undergrad we saw the benefits from the folks who donated to the Foundation. We were able to use the funds to host really culturally relevant events and I never forgot that because it made my time as an undergrad special. Once I graduated I knew it was my turn to contribute. My time here was just enriched by the donations of other alumni so I wanted to provide those programs to enrich our students’ experience. I invite you to check out the beautiful programs hosted on our campuses by coordinators like us throughout Alaska and give to what inspires you.” Speaking of the regular contributions that James has been giving as a UAS employee through payroll deductions James says, “It doesn’t hurt – I barely miss it from my paycheck. I have two college students and a middle...

UAA: Sue Linford

Linford’s loyalty shines celebrity spotlight on UAA’s Culinary Arts Loyalty, dedication and commitment are all marks of a life-long friend of UAA, Suzanne (Sue) Linford. This September marked Linford’s 24th year supporting UAA’s Culinary Arts, Hospitality & Restaurant Management program and volunteering at the Celebrity Chef Invitational, UAA’s signature, black-tie event to support culinary student scholarships and maintenance of state-of-the-art learning facilities. Linford owns Linford of Alaska Inc., a local wholesale food distribution company that has been serving Alaska since 1973. Each year, Linford sponsors a table for her employees to enjoy the Celebrity Chef Invitational while she volunteers in the kitchen, cooking and plating dishes for guests alongside celebrity and local chefs, culinary students and community volunteers. She even has a chef’s jacket embroidered with...

UAF: Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli

The View Vast Beyond Us As a poet, Peggy Shumaker looks for telling details. Joe Usibelli does the same as an engineer. Yet, Shumaker observed in a recent poem, such details can crowd out the bigger picture — “the view vast beyond us.” No worries. When it comes to building a good place to live, Shumaker and Usibelli clearly haven’t lost that broader view. “It’s our home,” Usibelli said in 2011 when asked why he and his family contribute so much to Alaska’s communities. “And there are a lot of people in the home who need help, so we help them.” Usibelli, chairman of the Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. board, and Shumaker, a professor emeritus of English at UAF, have made the university one of their focus areas when delivering that help. Shumaker began giving Alaskans insightful lines of poetry decades ago. She started writing as a young child with “spectacularly mismatched” parents in Tucson,...