Legacy of Generosity

In June, UAA received a $1 million gift from entrepreneur and alumnus Gary Klopfer, B.B.A. Accounting and Finance ’81, and his wife Jane Cuddy Klopfer, a celebrated Alaska investment leader. The gift establishes 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.

Part of a 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.

The gift provides UAA students the opportunity to manage an investment portfolio and encounter real-life scenarios they can expect to find in the workforce, explained CBPP dean John Nofsinger, Ph.D. 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. “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 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, and helps establish UAA as a leading finance hub of the University of Alaska system.