William R. Cashen Service Award

William R. "Bill" Cashen '37 was an alumni director, professor and university marshal, as well as a public servant, historian, family man, proud alumnus and friend to many alumni. Cashen set the example for service to the university and its alumni association. This award is designed to recognize and perpetuate his example and inspire all those associated with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Eligibility: Alumni and nonalumni qualify for the award. Only employees of the UAF Alumni Association are excluded.

Criteria for selection: Nominees will be judged on the basis of meritorious service at more than one level of alumni activity. This could include, but is not limited to, serving as a chapter officer, serving on the board of directors, assisting with a project, setting up a scholarship, or serving on a UAF selection committee or advisory council.


2021 William R. Cashen Service Award winner

Russ Knapp '69

Russ Knapp '69. Photo by Paul McCarthy.
Russ Knapp '69. Photo by Paul McCarthy.

Russ Knapp is the recipient of the 2021 William R. Cashen Service Award.

When Knapp graduated from the University of Alaska in 1969 with a wildlife management degree, his best memories were of playing hockey on the outdoor ice rink with the campus club team. After graduation, he returned to upstate New York and entered the construction field.

Knapp was reintroduced to UAF through a hockey reunion in 2005, when he traveled to Fairbanks from his home in Nassau, New York. He has returned every year since. He regularly attends Alaska Nanooks hockey games, both in Fairbanks and on the road. He is active in a variety of groups supporting the UAF hockey program and has been instrumental in preserving Nanooks hockey history.