University of Alaska Foundation creates fund for Ukrainian students

Jim Bowers and his spouse, Cheryl, are longtime supporters of the University of Alaska Anchorage. Bowers started a fund to help Ukrainian students resettled in Alaska attend UAA. (Photo courtesy of Jim Bowers)

The University of Alaska Foundation has created a new fund to support Ukrainian students attending this fall.

The Ukrainian Student Support fund will help them pay for tuition, textbooks and other expenses at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Jim Bowers established the fund. He’s a longtime supporter of UAA student scholarships, and he says he was “haunted” by news footage of destroyed Ukrainian universities in Kharkiv.

“You see a bunch of literally shell-shocked people. Days before, their college has been blown up,” Bowers said. “And I just imagined, what’s life like when you wake up one morning and everything’s what you’re used to and normal, and then that afternoon you’re being evacuated? What are you going to do?”

UAA’s International Student Services office will help incoming students apply for the fund.

According to the New Chance Ukraine Relief Program, 230 Ukrainians have resettled in Alaska so far, and 100 more are awaiting final paperwork. They expect a third of them will be students.

UAA says it’s received inquiries from Ukrainian students who are interested in attending this fall. A spokesperson for the university estimates that it costs $28,000 per year to attend full-time, and they currently could fully fund two Ukrainian students for the year.

Donors can contribute to the Ukrainian Student Support fund through the university’s website.

RELATED: Four Ukrainian refugees are living and working on a retired Alaska state ferry

[Sign up for Alaska Public Media’s daily newsletter to get our top stories delivered to your inbox.]

Previous articleYoungest pilot to attempt solo flight around the world lands in Unalaska
Next articleOutdoor deaths in Anchorage spiked in June, coinciding with sharp increase in unsheltered homelessness