A $2.7 million gift from the estate of longtime university supporter Grace Schaible will benefit students, public radio and art collections at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
The bequest is one of the largest private donations in UAF’s history.
“Grace began her remarkable career in a remarkable way. She was named Outstanding Woman in both her freshman and senior years before graduating from the university in 1949,” said UAF Chancellor Dan White. “We are grateful to have had the opportunity to have shared 73 years with her as a student, staff member, alumna, donor and tireless advocate for the university.”
The largest portion of the gift, more than $2.2 million and nearly 1 million Alaska Airlines miles, will support graduate students whose principal course of study is in disciplines within the UAF Geophysical Institute.
Earnings from the endowment will support two or more graduate fellowships per year indefinitely, enabling more students to study geosciences at UAF. The mileage will allow students to travel for fieldwork and to attend scientific conferences.
“We are extremely grateful to Grace Schaible for this generous bequest,” said Bob McCoy, director of the Geophysical Institute. “Her generosity will have lasting impact on UAF students studying geophysics in Alaska and the circumpolar North.”
The gift is already making a difference. Doctoral candidate Chris Carr used airline miles donated by Schaible to travel to work with collaborators and to give a public talk about her research.
“Generations of graduate students will be able to pursue their science with the fellowships,” she said. “We are grateful to Grace and the rest of the UAF community for their support.”
In addition to supporting graduate students, Schaible’s gift allocates more than $400,000 to other programs throughout UAF. It allocates additional funding to the Schaible Health Care Services Scholarship, which provides scholarships to part-time students at the UAF Community and Technical College and UAF Kuskokwim Campus who are enrolled in health care services programs. The gift will also support KUAC and conservation of art in the University of Alaska Museum of the North’s fine art collection.
Schaible earned a history degree from the University of Alaska in 1949 and went on to attend George Washington University for her master’s degree and Yale Law School for her law degree. She served as Alaska’s s first female attorney general, as well as on both the UA Board of Regents and the UA Foundation Board of Trustees. Her lifetime of service and generosity has helped shape the university and provided support to countless students and university programs. Her gifts to UAF throughout the years have totaled more than $4 million. In 1991, UAF awarded her an honorary doctor of laws degree and in 2017, as part of its centennial celebration, named her one of three philanthropists of the century.
“Grace had many passions in her life, but two of the greatest were supporting higher education through the University of Alaska Fairbanks and, along with that, helping any and all individuals become the best they could be and achieve their highest potential,” said Jeff Cook, lSchaible’s longtime friend and co-executor of her estate. “These bequests to UAF meet these passions perfectly.”
ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Bob McCoy, 907-474-7282, email@example.com. Sue Mitchell, 907-474-5823, firstname.lastname@example.org. Emily Drygas, 907-474-2619, email@example.com. Jeff Cook, 907-687-8767, firstname.lastname@example.org.