Princess Cruises and Holland America Line donate $1 million to University of
Gift supports environmental stewardship, workforce development, statewide
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Sept. 24, 2013
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Princess Cruises and Holland
America Line have joined forces to donate $1 million to the University of
Alaska Foundation. The gift will provide funding in three main areas: research
and education critical to the health of the sea; training programs that
prepare Alaskans for the tourism and hospitality industry; and scholarships
that support Alaskans seeking higher education at the University of Alaska.
"This very thoughtful gift is a shining example of how a major private
industry in Alaska and the University of Alaska can work together as partners
for the benefit of Alaskans across the state," said University of Alaska
President Pat Gamble. "The reach of this donation is impressive and will leave
an indelible mark on the lives of many UA researchers and students."
Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, the two largest tour operators in
Alaska, approached the University this spring with a desire to collaborate
with the Foundation in a way that bolstered the state's tourism industry.
Together, the two lines employ nearly 3,500 people during the summer season
and support more than 1,000 businesses in Alaska.
While details are still being solidified, the $1 million commitment by the
cruise lines will fund several areas including an oceanographic research
vessel, marine education, a renovation of the current culinary and hospitality
training facilities, and scholarships aimed at those wishing to pursue
technical, business, and hospitality degrees.
The donation builds upon previous gifts by both cruise lines. In 2009,
Princess Cruises donated $100,000 to the university's Marine Advisory Program
(MAP). The gift provided salary and administrative support for MAP agents to
help coastal residents use, conserve, and manage ocean resources that often
provide the economic backbone of Alaska's coastal towns and villages.
"Princess Cruises is dedicated to environmental stewardship worldwide, and in
particular, in Alaska," said Alan Buckelew, President and CEO, Princess
Cruises. "This investment reflects our diligence on both land and sea in the
more than 40 years of operating in the state."
In the early 1990s, Holland America Line donated $15,000 as seed money for a
study that showed the need for a Culinary Arts & Hospitality program to
support Alaska's burgeoning tourism business. Currently the program graduates
an average of 40 students per academic year, but the industry could easily
absorb double the amount, according to an Alaska Department of Labor forecast
study in 2012.
Since then, Holland America Line has donated more than $1 million to the
University of Alaska to support various programs, including culinary arts and
hospitality, food service, tourism education and the Museum of the North.
"We are pleased to join in providing this gift to the University of Alaska
Foundation to help fund environmental, tourism and hospitality studies," said
Stein Kruse, President and CEO, Holland America Line. "Tourism is Alaska's
third largest economic driver, so it is very important to support the
development of talent that will help us meet the workforce needs of the
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell made the announcement and officiated the check
presentation today at the Anchorage Downtown Rotary luncheon meeting.
Contact information for members of the media:
Holland America Line:
Ralph Samuels, Vice President, Government & Community Relations (907-264-8027)
Bruce Bustamante, Vice President, Community & Public Affairs (907-264-8044)
University of Alaska:
Megan Riebe, Executive Director, University of Alaska Foundation
SOURCE Holland America Line; Princess Cruises
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