Save UAA Skiing! #saveUAAskiing

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Dear Friends of UAA Skiing, 

Our program is facing, yet again, elimination from the University of Alaska-Anchorage Athletics Department. We are fighting for our student athletes and the future of our team. We desperately need your help before August 31st. Please take a few minutes today and send a letter the UA Board of Regents in support of keeping the Ski Team at UAA.

Due to budget cuts, UAA is seeking to eliminate three collegiate sports, including men’s and women’s skiing in hopes of saving $2.5 million. With the elimination of all three sports, UAA is no longer eligible for NCAA status. 

The UAA Ski Team serves the university’s mission. We boost enrollment. Many of our athletes pay their own tuition. The ski teams recruit top minds who graduate and remain in Alaska, helping to grow and diversify the local economy. Our graduates create jobs and improve our community. This value is immeasurable, but not seen directly by our Athletic Department or UAA Administration as direct revenue. Our program’s impacts are far reaching long after the Student Athletes’ time at UAA.

The ski team serves over 250 hours of direct community service each year and work tirelessly as ambassadors while competing against PAC 12 and Ivy League colleges and universities. Year in and year out we bring the Seawolf brand to a wide variety of potential
students and expanding markets. We are some of your best advertising dollars well spent. 

Skiing is an outdoor Alaskan winter sport and is emblematic of Anchorage, a winter sports mecca. We are helping to promote healthier lifestyles throughout Alaska and fight our state’s growing problems of childhood obesity and drug use. The UAA Ski Team is a vital member of the Anchorage and larger Alaska community. The ski team is already doing the educational mission that UAA Chancellor Sandeen and the UA Board of Regents are seeking to do. 

History:

The Ski Team was the first athletic team at UAA and has been providing opportunities and healthy examples for Alaska’s junior and high school athletes since 1978. With both Alpine and Nordic deeply rooted in the Alaska community, athletes from all over the world come to Alaska to compete and represent the community, state, and school. This shows local kids and teenagers that reaching an elite level in skiing is possible in the State of Alaska. For kids to be motivated they need mentors and people to look up to. Losing the Ski team could result in the decline in interest for both Nordic and Alpine.

Results:

The UAA ski team has many notable alumni, including current alpine assistant coach Anna Berecz, who competed in the 2010 Vancouver and 2015 Sochi Olympics. Current ski team member success’ include Sigurd Roenning, who was named RMISA MVP for the 2019/20 season, Nordic coach Marine Dusser was name RMISA Coach of the Year, JC Schoonmaker made his World Cup debut this year and competed at World Juniors for Nordic Skiing and Liam Wallace also competed at the World Junior Championships for Alpine skiing. In recent years, UAA skiers have posted multiple NCAA Championship podiums.

The UAA ski team has not only had amazing results athletically but also academically. The UAA Ski Team has consistently had the top GPA and graduation rate of any UAA program and being home to 2020 Dresser cup 4.0 GPA graduates Dominic Unterberger, Natalie Hynes and Michaela Keller-Miller.


What can you do to help?

1)    Sign this petition! The support of the community is crucial in the decision making of UAA and the Board of Regents.

2)    Write to the Board of Regents. You can email the board as a whole or individually stating your support for the ski team. Below is a list of contacts:

Sheri Buretta, Chair
sburetta@alaska.edu
907-261-0310 (business)

Karen Perdue, Vice Chair
krperdue@alaska.edu
907-590-2278 (cell)

Dale Anderson, Secretary
dganderson@alaska.edu
907-723-8687 (cell)

Lisa Parker, Treasurer
lmparker2@alaska.edu
907-398-1883 (cell)

John Bania, Regent
jbania@alaska.edu
(907) 660-7707 (cell)

John Davies, Regent
jndavies@alaska.edu
907-388-0193 (cell)
907-474-4927 (home)

Cachet Garrett, Regent
regent.garrett@gmail.com
(907) 455-3999 (home)

Darroll R. Hargraves, Regent
drhargraves@alaska.edu
907-357-4726 (home)

Mary K. Hughes, Regent
mkhughes@alaska.edu

Gloria O'Neill, Regent
goneill@citci.org
907-793-3278 (business)

Andy Teuber, Regent
andy.teuber@gmail.com
907-942-1063 (cell)

Thank you so much for your time and consideration during this difficult time. Your action now is critical to our program.