An anonymous donor is being very friendly to UAA, to the tune of $7 million.
Chancellor Fran Ulmer announced May 1 that an anonymous donation had been made that would go towards opening the Integrated Science Building and endowing a scholarship fund providing annual assistance to students.
The one-time only donation will triple the amount of needs based scholarships currently available. Of the total donation, $5 million will be placed in an endowment, with $1 million worth of scholarships available next fall.
However, the donor placed two restrictions on the gift. One was that they remain anonymous, and the second that $6 million of the gift be used for student scholarships, particularly benefiting women and minorities to “the fullest extent of the law.”
UAA was the 15th university to receive such an award. Across the nation other schools, all that have women leading them, have received donations as low as $2 million (Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Mich.) and as high as $10 million (Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.) All of the donations come with the same stipulations, all from an anonymous donor. So far, the awards have totaled $75 million.
Ulmer said that her office was sent a letter in March, with no return address, outlining the gift. She said that she has no idea who the donor is, and didn’t know if the donor was from Alaska or outside.
UAA will use the money to create the “Seawolf Opportunity Scholarship” or “S.O.S.” The scholarship will provide tuition assistance for up to four-full years at UAA, will include $2,000 worth of either on-campus housing or licensed childcare, and $1,000 in Wolfbucks in their second, third and fourth years of attendance.
The donor told UAA that $1 million could be used in any manner they chose. In the announcement, made in the ANSEP building, Ulmer announced that rest of the donation would be used to supplement the money given by the state legislature to complete the Integrated Science Building.
The legislature approved $1.025 million for the opening of the building, short of the $2.3 million needed to open the building on schedule.
“We’re thrilled, it’s a great gift for the students,” Ulmer said.
UA President Mark Hamilton, who was present at the announcement, acknowledged the connection between UAA’s chancellor and the rest of the women who lead other colleges receiving the same award.
“Not only do we have to thank her for leading the university, we also have to thank her for choosing the right gender,” Hamilton told the crowd.
“S.O.S.” scholarships will be distributed starting in fall 2009. Currently, 58 percent of UAA’s full-time degree seeking students receive some kind of financial aid. The Integrated Science Building, a 120,000 square-foot facility dedicated to science classrooms and laboratories, is set to open this fall.
Universities that recently received anonymous donations:
University of Alaska Anchoarge, $7 million
Norfolk State University, $3.5 million
Purdue University, $8 million
University of North Carolina-Asheville, $1.5 million
University of Iowa, $7 million
University of Southern Mississippi, $6 million
University of North Carolina-Greensboro, $6 million
University of Maryland-University College, $6 million
University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, $5.5 million
Penn State-Harrisburg, $3 million
Michigan State University, $10 million
Binghamton University, $6 million
Hunter College, $5 million
Montclair State University, $5 million
Kalamazoo College, $2 million
University of Hawaii Hilo $1.5 million