Thursday, October 9, 2008

New scholarship benefits UA Geography

Matthew Balazs,right, a senior in the UA Geography Program, is the first Maxwell Scholar at UAF.
An endowed scholarship has been established for the University of Alaska Geography Program, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences. The Dr. Earl Maxwell Scholarship was established to support and recognize as “Maxwell Scholars” outstanding University of Alaska Fairbanks undergraduate students majoring in geography. This gift was initially established by Dr. Maxwell, Ann Tremarello’s father, and redefined by Tremarello to highlight his passion for learning, exploration and discovery. Interest generated from the scholarship’s principal will support one to two “Maxwell Scholars” each year. Earlier this semester, Matthew Balazs, a UAF senior geography student, was recognized as the first Maxwell Scholar.

Dr. Earl Maxwell was born in 1904 and graduated from Washington University with an M.D. in 1928. He served his country during World War II as a flight surgeon and ended his military career as a brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force. Dr. Maxwell was responsible for Medical Services in the Pacific Theatre. He served in Alaska from 1953-1956. After he retired from the military, Dr. Maxwell served as director of research at Alcon Laboratories, one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of eye medicine. The lecture hall on the company’s Fort Worth, Texas, campus is named in his honor. Dr. Maxwell passed away in 1988.

The Tremarellos have supported UAF and UAF Athletics for many years and this new scholarship adds to their longstanding commitment to education and excellence. Ann Tremarello graduated from UAF in 1957 and served the university in several leadership positions for 45 years. Ann was recognized in 1984 by the UAF Alumni Association when she was the recipient of the William Cashen award for alumni support. She was honored again in 1999 for outstanding university support by an alumnus. Her husband, Joe Tremarello, is a 1958 and 1968 graduate of UAF and is well known for his leadership and coaching skills on and off the court. Joe is also a UAF Alumni Association alumni achievement award winner, selected in 1991 for his tireless community service. Joe is one of four inaugural inductees into the UAF Nanook Hall of Fame (Sept. 27, 2008).

Mike Sfraga, director of the UA Geography Program, said he is honored the Tremarellos chose this program. “To have an award in Dr. Maxwell’s name is indeed an honor any institution would celebrate,” Sfraga said. “This very generous gift once again demonstrates the Tremarellos’ continued support of UAF, the Fairbanks community and the students we serve.”

Ann Tremarello noted that her father would be “very proud knowing that his legacy and passion for geography and education are well served through the University of Alaska Geography Program.”

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