Gift will provide business students with real-world learning experiences
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) announced Thursday it received a $1 million gift from accounting alumnus and entrepreneur Gary Klopfer, ’81, and his wife Jane Cuddy Klopfer, a celebrated Alaska investment leader. The gift will establish the UAA Student Investment Fund in the College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP), giving students real-world experience using financial industry tools. The gift is the largest, individual gift an alumnus has given to UAA during his lifetime.
“The Klopfers’ inspirational gift demonstrates the multigenerational impact UAA has on the lives of Alaskans. When alumni give back, it is a powerful statement of commitment to future UAA students,” said Chancellor Sean Parnell. “The generosity of Gary and Jane Klopfer is part of the UAA legacy. Generations of students have already benefited from the longstanding support and contributions of Jane’s family to many areas of the university, particularly UAA’s culinary arts and hospitality programs housed in Lucy Cuddy Hall, which is named in honor of Jane’s grandmother.”
According to Dr. John Nofsinger, CBPP interim dean, the gift will provide UAA students the opportunity to manage an investment portfolio and encounter real-life scenarios they can expect to find in the workforce. This valuable training will benefit Alaska’s financial sector long term. In addition, proceeds from the portfolio will be awarded to accounting and finance students as scholarships each year. As the portfolio grows, so will the number of scholarships awarded.
“It is a privilege to be able to use our resources to benefit students,” said Gary Klopfer. “During my time at UAA in the early ’80s, I was the recipient of a $500 scholarship, which really came at just the right time to help me complete my degree. This is an opportunity for me and Jane to pay it forward and help UAA students and the future business leaders of our state.”
The Klopfer gift will help establish UAA as a leading finance hub of the University of Alaska system. It also supports broader strategic goals of the university system’s “For Alaska” fundraising campaign to enhance workforce development, foster educational access and diversify Alaska’s economy.
The Klopfers are business owners and entrepreneurs, well known to community members for founding Anchorage’s popular Snow Goose Restaurant and Sleeping Lady Brewing Company in 1996, which they sold in 2015. They remain active in the hospitality and brewing industry in Alaska as entrepreneurs and investors.
Their gift to CBPP shines light on the college’s commitment to prepare students for leadership at the frontiers of a changing world. The college serves undergraduate and graduate students, offering 15 degree programs and six certificates. Its business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Fewer than 5% of all schools offering degree programs in business at the bachelor level or higher worldwide hold this distinction.
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