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News Archive


January 1, 2010 - Happy New Year from the Doyon Foundation
To all of our students, alumni, donors, sponsors, volunteers and other supporters - Happy New Year from all of us at the Doyon Foundation!

We're very excited about the coming year - providing scholarships, hosting events, sharing opportunities and offering other support our students need to succeed. Continuing to work with our generous donors and volunteers on fundraising opportunities, including our 10th annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic this year. Growing our alumni association and helping them to connect with each other and our current students. Sharing important news through our Web site, e-newsletter and blog. And much more!

If you're a current or potential student looking for support, we encourage you to get in touch. If you're an alumnus wanting to reconnect, please visit our Web site to see how you can get involved. And if you're a potential donor, sponsor or volunteer who wants to find out how you can support the Foundation this year, please contact us.

We look forward to working with each and every one of you in the coming year to strengthen and move the Foundation forward in our goal to help our students succeed!

Doris Miller
Doyon Foundation Interim Executive Director


November 16, 2009 - Doyon Foundation Welcomes New Board Members, Elects Officers

Doyon Foundation recently welcomed two new members to its board of directors. Julie Anderson and Shane Derendoff were elected to the board at the Foundation’s annual meeting last month. Anderson and Derendoff fill the seats vacated by outgoing president Dawn Dinwoodie and outgoing board member Edward Hebert.

The 2009 – 2010 Foundation board of directors, which also includes Wesley Roberts Dalton, Lorraine David and Victor Nicholas, had its first meeting last weekend. During that meeting, Derendoff was elected board president, Dalton was elected vice president, and David was elected secretary/treasurer.

View the Foundation board members’ biographies here or click here to read the press release.

October 19, 2009 - Doyon Foundation Moves to New Office

Doyon Foundation will be moving office locations effective Monday, October 19, 2009. The Foundation will be moving from its current location at the Doyon, Limited building at 1 Doyon Place, Suite 300, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 to its new office in the Jimmy Huntington Building at 714 4th Ave., Suite 302B, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701.

The Foundation will be closed during the transition. The office is expected to close at end of day on Friday, October 16 and reopen on Wednesday, October 21.

While the Foundation’s mailing address will change, all other contact information, including phone, fax and e-mail, will remain the same.

Doris Miller, the Foundation’s interim executive director, said the move will provide more room for the Foundation staff and the students served by the Foundation. In the future, she said the Foundation may offer computers, workspace or other resources to students at its new and expanded location.

Click here to read more.

Doyon Foundation Awards $232,460 in Scholarships at Ceremony

The Doyon Foundation awarded more than $232,000 in scholarships to 238 students at a scholarship award ceremony, Friday, August 28, 2009. The ceremony took place at the Doyon, Limited Chiefs Court at 1 Doyon Place in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Click here to read more.

Megan Hosken Joins Foundation as Administrative Intern

Megan Hosken recently joined Doyon Foundation as an administrative intern. Before joining the Foundation staff, Hosken was employed with Information Insights in Anchorage, where she worked on the Alaska Home Energy Rebate Program.

Hosken, a 2008 West Valley High School graduate, plans to attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks, obtain a bachelor’s degree, and pursue a career in dental hygiene.

She is the daughter of Carl Demit, Jr. of Northway and Shelley Hosken of Tok. Her grandparents are Carl Demit, Sr. and the late Mable Demit of Northway, and Doug and Cheryl Hosken of Tok.


Foundation Honors 2009 Educator of the Year

Rudolph “Rudy” Hamilton was recently selected as Doyon Foundation’s 2009 Educator of the Year. The award recognizes a Doyon shareholder who has proven their devotion to helping direct the future through education, by promoting Alaska Native education and supporting Alaska Native students. Hamilton was presented with the award at the Doyon, Limited Annual Meeting of Shareholders on March 20, 2009 in Fairbanks, Alaska.

To read more, click here .

Doyon Foundation Holds Anchorage Potluck

The second Doyon Foundation alumni, family and student potluck was held in Anchorage on April 18, 2009. The event took place at the Native Student Services office at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Click here to see photos of the event.

Doyon Foundation Unveils New Vision, Updated Mission and Purpose

The Doyon Foundation board of directors recently participated in an intense planning session and ultimately approved a new, long-term vision for the Foundation, and set a series of goals to work toward over the next three to five years. The board also updated the Foundation’s mission and purpose.

To read more, click here

Officers Elected to Doyon Foundation Board

At their December 10 meeting, the Doyon Foundation board of directors elected officers for 2009. Dawn Dinwoodie will remain president of the board, while Wesley Roberts Dalton will serve as vice president, and Lorraine David was elected secretary/treasurer. Dalton and David are the board’s newest members, having been elected during the Foundation’s annual membership meeting on October 18, 2008.

For more information on the Foundation’s board members, click here.

October 2008: Miller to Serve as Interim Executive Director

Doris Miller, who joined Doyon Foundation as the scholarship program manager in September 2007, has been selected to serve as the Foundation’s interim executive director following the departure of Sharon McConnell, who began a new position with Doyon, Limited on October 20, 2008.

Doyon Foundation Executive Director Accepts Position with Doyon, Limited

Sharon McConnell, who has served as executive director of the Doyon Foundation for the past six and a half years, recently accepted the position of vice president of communications at Doyon, Limited. McConnell will assume her new position on October 20, 2008.

To read more Click here

Alumni Association Hosts Summer Cookout

On August 21, the Doyon Foundation Alumni Association hosted the first-ever alumni cookout at the Pioneer Park Wilderness Area in Fairbanks. Doyon Foundation alumni, friends and family members attended the event, which featured a BBQ, potluck and networking opportunities. To view event photos, find out about upcoming alumni association events, or to get involved, visit Alumni Home Page or contact Tracy Snow at 907.451.0543 or via e-mail Tracy Snow.

2008 Graduation Reception

In May, we held our annual Doyon Foundation graduation reception in Fairbanks, where we honored the 71 students who are graduating this spring with higher education degrees. We had a remarkable turnout of approximately 40 people, who came to celebrate our graduates’ recent accomplishments.

I invite you to read more about the reception in the May 17 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner article, which may be found here.

I’d like to thank everyone who attended the reception, including our special guests and valued donors, who make it possible for us to provide the financial support our students need to succeed.

And to our 2008 graduates, I say we are so very proud of what you have achieved to date, and what you are sure to achieve in the future.

- Sharon McConnell
Doyon Foundation Executive Director


2008 Morris Thompson Golf Classic Sponsors

Doyon Foundation would like to thank the following companies for their generous support of the 2008 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic. For further information on the individual companies, please click on their name to be linked to their Web site.

Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic Sponsors :

Platinum Level Silver Level Grand Door Prize Sponsor Golf Ball Sponsor Bronze Level Insurance Hole in One Sponsor Other sponsors 
2008 Golf Classic Volunteers

May 8, 2008: Doyon Foundation Honors Nearly 60 Graduates at May 16 Reception

This spring, nearly 60 Doyon Foundation students will graduate with higher education degrees ranging from certificates to doctorates. Their accomplishments will be celebrated at the annual Doyon Foundation graduation reception on Friday, May 16 from 3 – 5 p.m. at the Doyon, Limited Chiefs Court at 1 Doyon Place in Fairbanks, Alaska. Media and the public are invited to attend.

To read more Click here

May 8, 2008: Doyon Foundation Honors Nearly 60 Graduates at May 16 Reception

This spring, nearly 60 Doyon Foundation students will graduate with higher education degrees ranging from certificates to doctorates. Their accomplishments will be celebrated at the annual Doyon Foundation graduation reception on Friday, May 16 from 3 – 5 p.m. at the Doyon, Limited Chiefs Court at 1 Doyon Place in Fairbanks, Alaska. Media and the public are invited to attend.

To read more Click here

Students Share Insights on Mentorship and Support

Recently, Doyon Foundation and the Doyon Foundation Alumni Association conducted a student survey to determine how the association can more effectively mentor and support our students. All of the respondents were entered in a drawing for an iPod shuffle, which went to student Janna Gurtler – congratulations, Janna!

To read more Click here


Do I pay taxes on my scholarship funding?

With the April 15th deadline approaching to file income taxes, students may wonder whether or not to declare their scholarship funding as income. Per federal tax regulations, money received as a qualified scholarship is generally excluded from a recipient’s gross income. Therefore, a scholarship recipient does not pay tax on their scholarship funding. Please consult your tax advisor for additional information.

Short-Term, Vocational Funding Available

The Doyon Foundation reminds students that short-term, vocational funding is available year-round, on a first-come, first-funded basis. This funding is specifically for individuals who do not meet the criteria for part-time student status, but who want to attend a short-term, vocational course. Students will receive funding equal to the cost of the course, not to exceed $400, and may receive funding once per year. For more information, contact Doris Miller at 907.451.2050 or by e-mail millerd@doyon.com.

Updates Requested From Past Scholarship Recipients

In an effort to better track student success, the Doyon Foundation is requesting updates from past scholarship recipients. To assist in this effort, please send information on what school you attended, what degree(s) you received and when, what field you are now working in, and where you are currently living. To submit an update, contact foundation@doyon.com or 907-459-2048.

New Alumni Association Web Site

The Doyon Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the new alumni association section of the Foundation Web site. In the new section, alumni can learn about the association, create a personal account, read about other alumni, stay up-to-date on association news, and find out about current opportunities to get involved! Visit the new section today!

Board Members Elected at Annual Membership Meeting

Two members were elected to the Doyon Foundation board of directors during the Foundation’s annual membership meeting, held October 20 in Fairbanks.

Esther Combs was elected to retain the shareholder seat she has held since spring 2007, when she was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Sarah Sherry. Victor Nicholas was also elected to fill the Doyon, Limited seat, a position previously held by Josephine Malemute. Both board terms are for three years, expiring in 2010.

Doyon Foundation welcomes Nicholas and Combs to the board, and extends its deep gratitude to Malemute for her years of service.


New Doyon Foundation Poster

If you'd like a poster, you may pick one up at our office at 1 Doyon Place in Fairbanks. Or click here to view it online.


Wanted: Student Photos

The Doyon Foundation wants your photos! The photos will be used to acknowledge students in future e-newsletters and on the Foundation Web site. Please ensure you have permission from the photographer prior to submitting the photo. To submit a photo, please e-mail it to foundation@doyon.com or mail it to Doyon Foundation, 1 Doyon Place, Suite 300, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701.

Doyon Foundation Welcomes New Employee

Doris Miller
Doris Miller hired as new scholarship program manager.

The Doyon Foundation is proud to announce that Doris Miller has recently been hired as the Foundation's new scholarship program manager. Miller is a Doyon shareholder from Dot Lake, Alaska.

In her new position, Miller will be working to raise awareness of the Foundation's scholarship programs and new alumni association. She will also be providing students with assistance throughout the scholarship application process.

"I look forward to working directly with the students and watching them achieve their educational goals," said Miller. "I am available to assist them and I intend to be one of their biggest supporters!"

Prior to coming to the Foundation, Miller spent 17 years working at Tanana Chiefs Conference, where she was involved with various programs, including health services, mental health and alcohol programs, and quality management and administration.

Doyon Foundation to Award $376,932 in Scholarships to 320 Students on Friday, August 3

This Friday, August 3, Doyon Foundation will announce the recipients of the 2007 – 2008 basic scholarships for the fall semester and competitive scholarships for the fall and spring semesters. An awards ceremony and reception will take place from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Doyon, Limited Chiefs Court at 1 Doyon Place in Fairbanks. The ceremony will include a keynote address by Doyon alumna Tracy Snow, as well as remarks from Doyon Foundation board president, Dawn Dinwoodie, and Doyon, Limited chairwoman, Georgianna Lincoln. Media and the public are invited to attend.

During the ceremony, a total of $376,932 in basic and competitive scholarships will be awarded to 320 Alaska Native higher education students. A total of 228 $800 basic scholarships will be awarded to full-time students for the fall semester, and 40 $400 basic scholarships will be awarded to part-time students for the fall semester. Additional basic scholarships will be awarded for the spring semester later this year.


In addition, the Foundation will award 52 competitive scholarships, ranging from $2,000 - $7,000, to full-time higher education students. Of the $178,532 in competitive scholarships, half of the amount will be funded to recipients for the fall semester, and the remainder will be funded in the spring semester.

“Through this scholarship program, we are making an investment in the education of our youth, which we believe will ensure a strong, healthy future for all of us, and reap benefits for many years to come,” said Sharon McConnell, Doyon Foundation’s executive director.

Among this year’s competitive scholarships are awards from the Morris Thompson Scholarship Fund, which honors the late Morris Thompson who retired as CEO of Doyon, Limited in 1999, and the Rosemarie Maher Memorial Fund, named for the late Rosemarie Maher who served as the Doyon, Limited president and CEO from 2000 – 2001. Also included is a $2,000 scholarship, established by the Fairbanks Native Association, to be awarded to a non-traditional student.


The Doyon Foundation scholarships are funded primarily through corporate and individual donations, as well as fundraisers including the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic.


“If it weren’t for the Doyon Foundation, more and more students would have to choose less expensive options, which could mean not finishing their degree or not attending school in the first place,” said Amber Kocsis, one of the 2006 – 2007 Morris Thompson scholarship recipients. “A donation of time and money to the Doyon Foundation is an investment in Alaska’s workforce.”

Doyon Foundation was established in 1989 by Doyon, Limited, the Fairbanks-based regional Native corporation for interior Alaska. Since inception, the Foundation has served the educational and cultural needs of Doyon’s shareholders by providing scholarships, as well as advocating for strong, healthy families and communities by offering educational and cultural programs.

For more information, please contact Sharon McConnell, Doyon Foundation’s executive director, at 907.459.2050 or mcconnell@doyon.com, or visit www.doyonfoundation.com.


May 14 Doyon Foundation Reception Celebrates Graduates, Honors Shareholders

Doyon Foundation will host its first annual graduation reception on Monday, May 14 from 3 – 5 p.m. at the Doyon, Limited Building Chiefs Court at 1 Doyon Place in Fairbanks. Media and the public are invited to attend.

The reception will recognize the accomplishments of the more than 50 Doyon Foundation students who are completing their higher education pursuits this spring. Among these students are six graduates from Project ENHANCE (Encouraging and Nurturing Highly Accomplished Native Certificated Educators), which worked to increase the hire and first-year retention rate of certified Alaska Native and American Indian teachers. Other students, from all over the state and country, are graduating with degrees ranging from certificates to PhDs in fields including law enforcement, interior design, civil engineering, journalism, nursing and environmental science.

The reception will feature keynote speaker, Beth Leonard, who is currently working as a term assistant professor of Alaska Native Education at UAF, and will be receiving a PhD in Alaska Native and Cultural Studies from UAF this month. As both an educator and a student, Leonard understands the importance of education first-hand.

“It’s important to encourage young people to complete high school and go to college or vocational school. Higher education benefits not only the individuals involved, but also the larger Alaska Native community,” she said. The May 14 reception will also honor past Foundation board member Shane Derendoff for his four years of service, and Athabascan elder/author Catherine Attla, who will receive an honorary doctoral degree during UAF’s upcoming commencement ceremony.

“The reception recognizes some outstanding shareholders who have already contributed greatly to our region, as well as shareholders who are just embarking on their careers, and who will undoubtedly do great things in the future,” said Sharon McConnell, Doyon Foundation executive director.

Doyon Foundation was established in 1989 by Doyon, Limited, the Fairbanks-based regional Native corporation for interior Alaska. Since inception, the Foundation has served the educational and cultural needs of Doyon’s shareholders by providing scholarships, as well as advocating for strong, healthy families and communities by offering education and cultural programs.

For more information, please contact Sharon McConnell, Doyon Foundation executive director, at 907.459.2050 or mcconnell@doyonfoundation.com, or visit www.doyonfoundation.com.

Doyon Foundation Board Approves New Scholarship Plan

The Doyon Foundation board of directors recently approved a new scholarship plan, which will increase the amount of annual scholarships awarded by more than $250,000 during the 2007 – 2008 fiscal year. This fiscal year, the Foundation awarded approximately $310,000 to Alaska Native students pursuing higher education. During the next fiscal year, the Foundation expects to award $558,000 in scholarships.

“Our mission is to support our students in their quest for higher education, as we know that education is the key to a successful future, not just for our students, but for our region, our state and our nation,” said Sharon McConnell, Doyon Foundation executive director.

“Over the past year, we have made a concerted effort to talk with our students about what they need to succeed. We’ve heard over and over from students that the financial burden of going to school is huge, especially as tuition continues to rise each year,” added Dawn Dinwoodie, president of the Doyon Foundation’s board of directors. “Supporting students with scholarships is core to our mission, and we are extremely pleased to be able to do this. While these scholarships are not going to pay everyone’s way, they will certainly make a difference.”

The main changes to the scholarship plan include:
  • Basic scholarships doubled to $400 per semester for part-time students, and $800 per semester for full-time students. In addition to the fall and spring semesters, students can also now receive funding for the summer semester.


  • New short-term, year-round vocational funding now available. Vocation students who do not meet the criteria for part-time student status may apply at any time throughout the year to receive funding for vocational courses. Students will receive funding equal to the cost of the course, not to exceed $400, and may receive funding once per year. Funding is provided on a “first come, first funded” basis. A total of $20,000 will be awarded during the 2007 – 2008 fiscal year; $10,000 will be awarded July 1 – November 30, 2007, and $10,000 will be awarded December 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008.


  • Competitive scholarship awards increased by $20,000. In addition to the 30 competitive scholarships currently awarded, several new scholarships will be added, including four $2,000 Natural Resources Health competitive scholarships; one $3,000 Morris Thompson Native Language and Culture competitive scholarship; one $7,000 PhD Morris Thompson competitive scholarship; and one $2,000 Morris Thompson Committee’s Choice competitive scholarship.
“My family is not financially able to pay for my college, so I have to find ways to do that through scholarships. The Doyon Foundation is helping very much,” said Dorothy Walker, Doyon Foundation’s 2006 – 2007 Committee’s Choice $3,000 competitive scholarship recipient.

Funding for the increased scholarships comes from a variety of sources, including major corporate sponsor, Doyon, Limited.

“These scholarships would not be possible with Doyon, Limited,” Dinwoodie said. “They significantly increased their contributions, and we are deeply grateful for their support.”

Doyon Foundation was established in 1989 by Doyon, Limited, the Fairbanks-based regional Native corporation for interior Alaska. Since inception, the Foundation has served the educational and cultural needs of Doyon’s shareholders by providing scholarships to Alaska Natives, as well as advocating for strong, healthy families and communities by offering education and cultural programs.

For more information, please contact Sharon McConnell, Doyon Foundation executive director, at 907.459.2050 or mcconnell@doyonfoundation.com, or visit www.doyonfoundation.com.