New Endowed Award for Geology
February 10, 2014
Ulf, ’95 MS Geology, and Kelly Becker have established a new endowed award, The Becker Family Award in Geology. This fund is intended to assist field mapping and research expenses related to graduate and undergraduate studies in geology. Ulf is enthusiastic about the collaborative learning & field experience he gained at NAU, around the Colorado Plateau, the Basin & Range, and Grand Canyon. He and Kelly want the same for future students – they encourage other Geology alumni to support this or other endowed scholarships intended to benefit the Geology Program at NAU.
Alumni Establishes Class of ’64 Scholarship
February 10, 2014
Phil Whitmore, ’64 BSED Social Science, with the help of 19 other 1964 grads, has spearheaded an initiative to establish an endowed scholarship fund. His dedication to the cause, including hours of personal letters, emails and phone calls, has paid off. As of today he and his fellow alums are more than halfway towards endowing the “Class of 1964 and More Class Gift Scholarship.” This fund will support full-time undergraduates on the Flagstaff campus with priority given to students involved in campus activity. As they celebrate their 50th reunion this year, Phil is hopeful more alumni will chip in and bring the fund to endowment once and for all. He fondly notes to his classmates: “I want you all to know you are a pretty darned good bunch.”
Forestry Alumni Pledge Travel Support
February 3, 2014
Two School of Forestry alumni announced their pledge to establish the Wally Covington Student Travel Award, enhancing NAU’s forestry student experience. Drs. Dan Binkley, ’77 BSF, and Mike Ryan, ’78 MSF, studied with Dr. Covington, one of the nation’s most visible forest scientists, and they both credit him for influencing the course of their careers. These internationally successful experts plan to build this NAU fund to at least $100,000, which will help provide opportunities every year for students to attend conferences, workshops, and pursue other types of professional travel opportunities. They encourage fellow alumni to join them in building this fund and honoring the work of Dr. Covington.
Campaign for NAU an Opportunity to Honor Parents
January 17, 2014
Mike Beatty, ’77 BS Anthropology, began the new year by honoring his parents with the establishment of the John W. & Anne L. Beatty Innovation Fund in Community Planning. Mike’s dad served as the Planning and Zoning Director for the City of Phoenix for 27 years (1951-1978), and thus Mike has secured this support to enhance the student experience in the Community Planning Program. Students will have access to travel, guest speakers, and other educational enhancements as a result of this generosity.
The Montoyas End 2013 with A Major Gift to NAU’s Food Pantry
December 30, 2013
Inspired by the news that there are NAU students who are Pell-eligible but do not qualify for a meal plan, Ernest, ’82 BS Public Planning, and Katherine Montoya ended last year by supporting the beginning of an important new endeavor at NAU. The Montoyas established an endowed fund for the NAU Food Pantry (aka Louie’s Cupboard). This program, launched in October 2013 and managed by Student Support Services, assists students struggling with basic needs, ensuring that all NAU students have access to ample food supplies for themselves and their families. The Montoyas, who coordinate an annual food drive in their community, brought this passion to their alma mater where their investment will help hungry students in perpetuity.
National Initiative Partners with NAUTeach
November 18, 2013
The National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI) admires how NAU answers the challenge to train more math and science teachers and strengthen Arizona's pipeline of students entering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. "There has been a gap, nationally, between the vision for STEM education and classroom practices," says Dr. Pradeep Maxwell Dass, director of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning. "At NAU, the gap is being closed." NMSI's corporate-sponsored funding is crucial to the program's success. "This partnership will improve science and math education in Arizona and across the nation," Dass says.
Mentoring Program Launched with Alumni Support
November 11, 2013
CDR Al Sack, '71 BS in ED, USN (Ret), attributes his success to studying history at NAU, and wants the connection between liberal studies degrees and career achievement to be clear. To achieve this goal, he helped launch the History Department Mentoring and Job Assistance pilot program. "Al's leadership is a testament to the contributions a history student can make to the world," NAU history professor Dr. Chuck Connell says. The program reflects NAU's tradition of strong student-faculty relationships, will improve outlooks and opportunities for NAU liberal studies students, and will hopefully expand to other academic areas.
Retired Science Professor Gives to School of Music
November 4, 2013
Dr. Edwin B. Kurtz, a University of Texas biology professor, retired in Flagstaff and appreciates how NAU shares his priority in developing strong relationships between faculty and staff. A scientist and classical music aficionado, Kurtz gives to NAU's School of Music. Dr. Todd Sullivan, director of the School of Music, is grateful for Kurtz planned gift that will benefit music students in perpetuity. "Legacy gifts complete the evolution of the School of Music," Sullivan explains. "With the excellent faculty and recent facility improvement, we are ready and able to attract the highest caliber of talented music students."
Family Gives to Foster Student Program
October 28, 2013
According to Laurel Morrison, '85 BA, '96 MED, her family supports the Blavin Scholars program because they have witnessed the positive results mentoring can have with students at NAU. "We want students to succeed in college and experience a life better than their childhood," Bill Morrison explains. Sharon Downer, a Blavin Scholar, is grateful for her program mentor, Dr. Sara Alemán. "She and I have the same values, and she's a wonderful role model." Dr. Alemán has prioritized mentoring throughout her career as an NAU sociology professor. "Young people are our gift; it is our job to help them navigate and succeed."
California Couple Supports NAU Football
October 21, 2013
Lynn and Steve Valbuena, despite being neither NAU alumni nor Arizonans, are devoted supporters of both the university's Native American Cultural Center and NAU Football. Their loyalty stems from Lynn's membership in the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which supports Native American initiatives, and Steve's role as Assistant Head Football Coach at Fullerton College, where he coached Chima Ike. Ike, now a defensive tackle for NAU, is inspired by the Valbuenas and says he will someday give back to NAU. "How could I not give back to a place that has given me so much?"
Retired Professor Supports Swimmer Scholarship
October 18th, 2013
Gerald Ladhoff knows the demands placed on student-athletes. Once a competitive swimmer for UCLA, Ladhoff has a deep appreciation for the personal growth that comes through sport—an understanding that unquestionably impacted the athletes he taught over 25 years as an NAU professor of sociology and criminal justice. So inspired by his support and mentorship, one NAU graduate and former student-athlete established an endowed scholarship in Ladhoff's name. Now retired, Ladhoff and his wife, Susan, are generous contributors to the scholarship fund that bears his name and benefits his true passion: swimming. It's a meaningful connection with the Lumberjack community that he calls deeply gratifying. "NAU has given so much life to our family," he said.
Presidents Help CCC and NAU Students
October 17th, 2013
NAU President John Haeger and Coconino Community College President Leah Bornstein have a unique investment in the future of the students on their campuses. They've each personally given $20,000 toward an endowed scholarship that provides financial assistance to students who attend both institutions on their path toward a bachelor's degree. Patrick Hansen received the first CCC2NAU President's Scholarship in September 2012, and the endowment is expected to increase with matching donations. This distinctive collaboration sends a strong message that NAU is focused on student success at all levels.
Administrator Gives Back to Yavapai Campus
October 16th, 2013
As the leader of NAU's trailblazing Yavapai campus, Susan Johnstad believes so passionately in her campus's mission that she committed to give $5,000 per year in scholarship support, the equivalent of a full year's tuition at NAU-Yavapai. The campus offers structured programs in a limited number of degree options, with year-round classes instead of a semester system. It's a faster, more affordable option for students and an economic boon to the region. "This is my dream job, and I feel fortunate to be in a position of helping others achieve their academic and career goals," Johnstad said.
Wyss Foundation Boosts Land Conservation Careers
October 16th, 2013
A new generation of leaders in western land conservation is getting a boost from the Wyss Foundation that will help them launch their professional careers. The Wyss Scholars Program grants partial tuition payments to four graduate students while they complete their master's degrees in environmental sciences and policy at NAU. It also provides up to $5,000 to cover the students' summer research or internships, allowing students to learn the latest in conservation science and policy and apply that knowledge in careers at land management agencies and nonprofit conservation groups.
Suder Foundation Helps First Generation Students
October 15th, 2013
More than 40 percent of NAU's students are the first in their families to attend college, and the Suder Foundation is invested in helping them succeed. As one of seven universities selected to serve as a site for the Suder Foundation's First Scholars program, NAU is receiving $850,000 over the next five years, with $500,000 designated for student scholarships and the remainder for new programming and support. The innovative initiative bolsters NAU's longtime support for first-generation students and enhances the university's ability to help them make a successful transition to college and beyond.
Historic Landmark Gifted to NAU Foundation
October 15th, 2013
The iconic La Posada Hotel in Winslow has long maintained close ties to NAU and its academic programs, and now its future is intrinsically linked with the university.The owners have committed to bequest the hotel, its art museum and gardens to the NAU Foundation. In addition to collaborations in the arts, Native American culture and sustainable practices, La Posada's role will expand to include educational experiences for students in NAU's highly regarded School of Hotel and Restaurant Management and other disciplines on campus.
Johnson Scholarship Foundation Challenges Other Donors
October 14th, 2013
Native American students at NAU are gaining entrepreneurial skills that can impact the economy in their tribal communities. The Johnson Scholarship Foundation has committed $670,000 over five years to support Native students who aspire to be business leaders. With a challenge to others to help grow the fund into a $2.6 million endowment, NAU will open more doors to a bachelor¹s degree while helping build economically viable tribal communities and sparking new interest in the career field.
Pioneer Natural Resources Increases Support to Geology
October 14th, 2013
Pioneer Natural Resources strengthened its commitment to NAU this year, pledging $550,000 to NAU's geology program, pushing its total support to more than $1 million. David Sanders, retiring corporate geoscience director at Pioneer, calls NAU "a textbook example" of why university partnerships work. "NAU geologists have Disneyland in their backyard—the Grand Canyon, Colorado Plateau and the San Francisco volcanic field. Students are able to go out to the field and touch, taste and sleep with rocks. Such experiences produce quality thinkers who contribute at a high level at Pioneer."