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University of Alaska Fairbanks ‘Giving Day’ nets over half a million dollars

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 4:12 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Last week was the home of “UA Giving Day” where the Universities of Alaska banded together to raise funds for various scholarships and programs.

According to Theresa Bakker, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Alumni Relations Director, the fundraiser was triumphant as the UAF alone raised over a half million dollars.

“Giving Day was a huge success!” Bakker exclaimed. “It was better than we even could have imagined. We made 59% more than last year. UAF alone raised $661,000 dollars [with] 748 donors, and that’s significantly more than last year. So we were blown away!”

Bakker continued, “[This] was the second year in a row now that we had Giving Day, and his was a collaborative effort. We worked with the UA Foundation and all three universities, and more than a million dollars was raised by all three universities together, [with] over 1,100 donors. So by all measures a success.”

Along with the funds raised by donors across the community, UAF’s own Chancellor made good on a promise he made at the start of the event.

“Chancellor Dan White made a really ambitious challenge,” Bakker explained, “and that was part of the fun with Giving Day is that we had challenges from our donors and corporations who support UAF - and that made it more fun. People could unlock a challenge if they helped make a total number of gifts for certain challenges, and the Chancellor offered $1000 that he would donate personally for every 100 donors to UAF - and since we had more than 700 donors, thank you Chancellor White for your $7,000 donation.”

Due to the system in place for donations, donors were able to contribute to a wide variety of programs and colleges, some being brand new according to Bakker.

“One of the really exciting things about Giving Day is that people can donate wherever they want,” she said. “They get to choose, and we had some exciting new funds this year including, for the first time, a special fund that will support first generation students at UAF. Other donors chose to support athletics - we had a really great response from our community in supporting athletics - but all kinds of programs, from the college of liberal arts, scholarships... every school and college in fact. Then we also had programs at UAF like our Large Animal Research Station which is LARS. A lot of people know about that one because of the musk ox on Instagram. And IARC (International Arctic Research Center), we also had a climate change fund this year for the first year [that] people could donate to. So it was exciting in that we had multiple funds and programs across campus that were able to be supported through Giving Day.”

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