Naturally Inspiring


2011 Donor Reception celebrates philanthropic giving at UAF

The 2011 UAF Donor Reception, “Giving Comes Full Circle,”  was held on November 16, 2011 in the Regents' Great Hall. The annual event celebrates philanthropic giving at UAF and special recognition is given to an individual, corporate and foundation donor. This year’s honorees were Bill and Betsy Robertson; Fairbanks Memorial Hospital; and Rasmuson Foundation. Thank you to the many donors whose generosity makes an impact on our students and programs, and helps to change lives and inspire future leaders. In the photo at right, Chancellor Brian Rogers welcomes reception attendees. 

Cooperative Extension Service welcomes $100,000 gift

Anonymous donor generously supports valuable community outreach programming

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service has received a sizable donation from an individual donor.

Pete Pinney, interim vice provost for Outreach/director of Cooperative Extension Service, said a $100,000 donation to the University of Alaska Foundation was made anonymously in December, and is dedicated to Extension program activities. The donation is one of the largest in Extension’s 79-year history.

“We’re very grateful to receive the donation,” he said. “In these difficult times for the economy, such a gift says a great deal about the public understanding of the important role of university service to Alaskans and the confidence in staff and faculty to fulfill that role through the Cooperative Extension Service.”

Extension has offices in 10 Alaska communities and serves 60,000-70,000 Alaskans annually as a gateway to the university system. Extension provides research-based practical information through workshops, classes, individual contacts and hundreds of free publications that are available online and through district offices.  Information and programs cover a variety of topics, including energy, healthy living, home economy and food preservation, agriculture and horticulture, community development and 4-H and youth development.

Extension programs exist at land-grant colleges and universities in every U.S. territory and state as part of the largest informal information system in the world. For more information, contact Pete Pinney at 474-7246 or

Inspiring Lifelong Learning: The RG and Onnie Bouchum Multicultural Scholarship

When RG Bouchum learned to read in his late 70s, after nearly a lifetime with less than a fourth-grade education, there was suddenly no stopping him. It was a glorious day for daughter Dorothy Jones when she received an e-mail—the first written correspondence he’d ever sent her—but soon he topped that by writing a book, “One Man, One Book,” about his life.

RG and his wife Onnie Bouchum
valued education, says professor emeritus Dorothy Jones, who retired as assistant to the chancellor for equal opportunity in 2001. After Onnie passed away a few years ago, Dorothy says, “I wanted to do something to honor my parents, neither of whom had any high school experience, but they inspired others to continue learning,”  so she created a scholarship in their name.

RG (“he says his name stood for “Real Good,” laughs Dorothy) encouraged more than a few people to go back to school, including a friend of Dorothy’s sister, a single mom who completed her education and is now a teacher.

Sadly, RG passed away in November 2007 at age 90. A regular attendee of the UAF Scholarship Breakfast, he was honored in the program and missed by all at his table. But because of the RG and Onnie V. Bouchum Multicultural Scholarship, and the devotion of his daughter Dorothy and other family and friends, his example continues to motivate and move UAF students.

Dr. Neil & Mrs. Rosemarie Davis

Long-time Alaskan and UAF supporter and alumnus Neil Davis is the author of many technical articles written during his years as a scientist with NASA and the Geophysical Institute, UAF. In 1976, he began a regular newspaper column illuminating aspects of science for the general public which became the book Alaska Science Nuggets. Neil Davis writes fiction as well, and readers have found it just as appealing and enjoyable as his nonfiction. Just published is a nonfiction book, Mired in the Health Care Morass, in which he discusses the problems of health care in the United States.

While studying geology at UAF, Neil’s own education was launched because of a modest Sears-Roebuck scholarship. “I had no qualifications other than poverty for receiving it, but it was the awareness that someone else was willing to help me get an education that did more for me than the actual money.”

At the “Rise & Shine to the Best & the Brightest,” our 11th annual Scholarship Breakfast held April 8, 2008, Dr. Davis gave this heart-warming speech.

Back to Top