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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.

This year’s graduates are from throughout Alaska, as well as across the U.S., and are graduating with degrees ranging from vocational certificates to PhDs in fields including construction, politics/government, business, biology, accounting, tribal management, law enforcement, cosmetology, communication, computer information, health care, justice, psychology, social work, education, chemistry, food and nutrition, process technology, art, automotive technology and more.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s future leaders,” said Sharon McConnell Gillis, Doyon Foundation’s executive director. “Through our scholarship programs, we are proud to be supporting students who will be part of ensuring a strong, healthy future for our state.”

One of these students is Greg Bringhurst, a life-long Fairbanks resident who is graduating this month from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in management and organization. Bringhurst, who is the keynote speaker at the May 16 graduation reception, has overcome his share of challenges to get to this point. In addition to being one of the first in his family to attain a college degree, Bringhurst has also defied the high rate of Alaska Native students who drop out of college, and challenged statistics showing that Alaska Native males are less likely to obtain a college education than Alaska Native females.

“While the overall number of Alaska Natives who graduate with higher education degrees is on the rise, there are still some disturbing disparities. For example, only about one-third of Alaska Native college students are male, and too many drop out after their first year,” Gillis said. “Greg is an outstanding example of a young, successful, Alaska Native leader, and he is an excellent role model for other Alaska Native students.”

In addition to celebrating this year’s graduates, the May 16 reception will also honor former Foundation board members Josephine Malemute and Jennifer Maguire, and recognize past competitive scholarship review committee members Julie Biddle and Bruce Miller. Doyon, Limited board chair Miranda Wright and new president/CEO Norm Phillips have also been invited to speak.

Doyon Foundation was established in 1989 by Doyon, Limited, the Fairbanks-based regional native corporation for interior Alaska. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $4 million in scholarships to more than 2,000 higher education students.

For more information, please contact Sharon McConnell, Doyon Foundation executive director, at 907.459.2051 or mcconnell@doyon.com, or visit www.doyonfoundation.com.