Naturally Inspiring


Forrest Campnell
Forrest Campnell

What first attracted me to the University of Alaska Fairbanks was its reputation for natural sciences, including biology and chemistry. As a senior in Chugiak High School, I entered in the Alaska Statewide High School Symposium and presented my amateur research project at UAF. The engagement, kindness and support shown to me by UAF professors made me want to study in their classrooms and conduct research alongside them.

Friends and family have supported me every step of the way. My loving parents were always there to pick me up; sometimes quite literally. At the age of 12, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and juvenile arthritis. So I focused on my academics, and developed my skills as a scholar so that in order to excel in college.

I’ve also found support and kindness through the donors who support my research and academics. The selfless generosity of donors has had a significant impact on my life. Without this support, I can’t imagine that I would be here with the same successes that I have today. Your contributions eased the financial strain of attending college and allowed me to focus on my academics. Donors like you help students like me succeed. I know wholeheartedly that after I graduate I will look back to my time here at UAF and think of all the individuals who have helped shape the man that I am today.

Forrest Campnell, ’16, BA biochemistry — Recipient of Ronald F. Cosgrave Engineering Scholarship, William J. and Betsy R. Robertson Scholsrship, Gerson Family Memorial Scholsrship, INBRE, BLaST and URSA grants.

James Gilchrest
James Gilchrest

UAF inspires me to be fearless. Thanks to gifts from donors like you, I am able to push myself in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise. UAF is a unique place, and I have gained leadership opportunities that I might not have received elsewhere — I am the vice president of finance for Alpha Phi Omega (the co-ed service fraternity), the president of the Student Veterans of UAF and president of Students Offering Leadership Development. I am also the student assistant for New Student Orientation and a student ambassador.

Thank you for your continued support for students like me. Your donation demonstrates that you believe in students and that you truly wish to create a better future for Alaska. Inch by inch is a cinch. Yard by yard is hard. If we work together, we can make such a big difference in each other’s lives — whether it’s through service or by making a donation. I choose to do both. Last year, I became a UAF donor, and I humbly ask that you join me in giving again this year.

Spc. E-4 James Gilchrest, ’17, BA emergency management and homeland security
Recipient of Student Investment Fund Scholarship 

Lakeidra Chavis
Lakeidra Chavis

Thanks to donors like you, I am the first college graduate in my family. Growing up in rural Arkansas, I knew I wanted to go to college, but it often seemed like an inaccessible or unrealistic goal. As a first-generation college student, I am leading the way for my brother and cousins, who I hope will also be college graduates one day. I absolutely would not be where I am today — a college graduate — without the scholarships I received at UAF. Thank you.

Without the help of scholarships, I would not have had the rich experiences of volunteering and working to help others while also gaining important experience related to my career goals. I was a student phonathon caller last year. It was such a pleasure to speak directly with friends and alumni like you who give so generously to UAF.

Lakeidra Chavis, ’15, BA psychology — Recipient of LarVern I. and George L. Keys Scholarship, Velma Hubbard Memorial Scholarship, Andrew Nerland Scholarship

Corporate and foundation giving

Marisa Sharrah, public affairs officer with Flint Hills Resources, visits with students attending the Alaska Summer Research Academy in the Reichardt Building on the Fairbanks campus. ASRA offers engaging and in-depth experiences in science and engineering to youth from middle school through high school. The Alaska Summer Research Academy promotes creativity and intellectual curiosity through hands-on, open-ended experiences in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Flint Hills Resources has been a longtime supporter of the program along with their support of other areas at UAF.

Recently, Flint Hills renewed its support of UAF with a gift of $110,000. The School of Management, the Alaska Summer Research Academy and the Athletic Department will each receive $20,000. The CTC process technology program and the College of Engineering and Mines will receive $25,000 each. Flint Hills Resources Alaska has been a steadfast partner with UAF for many years. This new gift is above and beyond their $25,000 donation in support of the UA Museum of the North. 

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