On Oct. 8 more than 100 UAA graduates joined the Homecoming Luncheon from across the country to reconnect with their alma mater while raising donations, sponsorships and gift matches to benefit UAA programs and scholarships. In just one hour, the gathered alumni raised more than $12,000, which was carried forward to UA Giving Day in the form of an Alumni Association Matching Gift Challenge.

Typically a ticketed breakfast taking place at the Alaska Airlines Center, this year’s Homecoming Luncheon was held online for the second year due to coronavirus safety precautions. Thanks to sponsorships from Kaladi Brothers Coffee, Siemens, Odom Corporation, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Alaska Communications, Chugach Alaska Corporation, MSI Communications, Northrim Bank and R&M Consultants, the event was open to the entirety of Seawolf Nation.

Despite the change, the afternoon alumni celebration featured many of the hallmarks of an in-person Homecoming event, including complimentary grab-and-go lunches prepared by UAA Culinary Arts, a performance of the alma mater by the UAA Glee Club and an address from Chancellor Sean Parnell.

This year, the UAA Alumni Association was thrilled to welcome keynote speaker and alumna Princess Daazhraii Johnson, M.Ed. Teaching and Learning ’17, to share her story advocating for community and amplifying Indigenous voices. Johnson is the former executive director for the Gwich’in Steering Committee and is a founding member of the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition. Most recently, she served as creative producer on the Peabody Award-winning PBS show Molly of Denali.