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Stroecker to be named 2007 distinguished alumnus

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: 907-474-7902


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The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni Association will honor lifelong Fairbanksan and local philanthropist Bill Stroecker with the 2007 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Stroecker will receive the award at a Sept. 21 luncheon at the Princess Riverside Lodge. The event is part of the alumni association's annual reunion, scheduled for Sept. 20-22.

Stroecker was born in Fairbanks in 1920. He graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute in 1940 and earned a business degree from the University of Alaska in 1942. He served in the military during World War II. For the past 60 years, he has served in multiple positions at Key Bank and its predecessor, First National Bank. Though retired, Stroecker still serves as an advisor and holds an office.

Along with a half-century of professional accomplishments, Stroecker is well known for his volunteer and philanthropic efforts in the community. For more than four decades, he has served on the board of directors for the Alaska Goldpanners. In addition, he is a longtime board member of the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation and the Friends of the University of Alaska Museum, a 60-year member of the Salvation Army, a member of Fairbanks Rotary and co-trustee for the Marion Stroecker Weeks Foundation, which makes annual donations to more than 40 local charitable organizations. He shares his musical talents by playing his trumpet with "The Frigid Aires" band and has been recognized with multiple community awards in recent years.

"[Stroecker] is an exceptional human being. He gives of himself freely and is a wonderful role model," said Jo Heckman, '79 and '85, who nominated Stroecker for the award. "He has made a permanent mark on our community in his personal life and in the many roles he plays with the agencies and organizations through which he selflessly serves and volunteers his time and energy."

The Distinguished Alumnus Award was first given in 1962 and recognizes service to UAF, business or professional accomplishment, and distinguished human service.

The association will also honor six other alumni during the awards luncheon.

The 2007 Alumni Achievement Awards for Business and Professional Excellence will go to Kelly Drew, '81, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UAF, and Thaddeus Dumas, '67 and '72, a longtime K-12 educator and assistant dean for diversity at the University of Louisville.

The Alumni Achievement Award for University Support will go to Sue McHenry, '70 and '76. McHenry is an advisor with UAF's Rural Student Services program. Recently retired Alaska Chamber Chorale director and UAF instructor Marvilla Davis, '87, will receive the Alumni Achievement Award for Community Support.

Nevada Bovee, '96, vice president of marketing at Northern Schools Federal Credit Union, is this year's winner of the William R. Cashen Service Award. The award recognizes outstanding service to the alumni association.

The association will also make its first presentation of a new award, the Lenhart J.H. Grothe Resources award. The award--which honors a deceased alumnus who has made significant contributions to the fields of resource, mining or agriculture--will be given to tin miner Lenhart Grothe, '59.

The awards luncheon is just one of many activities scheduled as part of the 2007 alumni reunion. Other events include a tour of the Cold Climate Housing Research Facility, a presentation by volcanologist Jon Dehn, an alumni author book signing and the annual construction and ignition of the alumni's Starvation Gulch bonfire. For a full schedule and to register, visit www.uaf.edu/alumni .