Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. and Holland America Line Inc. have joined forces to donate $1 million to the University of Alaska Foundation for research and education critical to the health of the sea, tourism and hospitality industry training and student scholarships.
A large portion of the $1 million gift, $585,000, provides some of the funding needed for renovation of Cuddy Hall at the University of Alaska Anchorage, which supports the UAA Community and Technical College’s Department of Culinary Arts, Hospitality/Dietetics and Nutrition’s various programs.
The gift will also benefit a variety of activities at the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, including the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP), a statewide outreach and technical assistance program designed to help Alaskans wisely develop, use and conserve Alaska’s marine and coastal resources.
In addition, the companies’ donation will help support “Arctic Odyssey: Voyages of the Research Vessel Sikuliaq,” a year-long exhibit at the University of Alaska Museum of the North commemorating the new oceanographic, ice-navigating research vessel. The exhibit will feature a six-foot physical model and virtual 3D tour of the ship, exciting footage of the vessel in operation, interviews with chief scientists, a webcam tracking the Sikuliaq’s travels and more. A portion of the gift will help underwrite the ship’s commissioning in Seward in 2014. The R/V Sikuliaq is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by UAF.
The Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl is yet another beneficiary of the gift. The “Tsunami Bowl,” as it’s known, is an SFOS sponsored marine science competition for high school students. Due to federal budget cuts, the Tsunami Bowl lost funding this year. The generosity of the companies’ gift will provide support for this year’s event and into the future.
Princess Cruise Lines and Holland America Line, the two largest tour operators in Alaska, employ nearly 3,500 people during the summer season and support more than 1,000 businesses in Alaska. Gov. Sean Parnell made the gift announcement at the Downtown Anchorage Rotary Club Tuesday, Sept. 24. More information about the gift can be found on the UA Foundation website.