159_MT_Noah_FB-INYou have to know who you’re not to know who you are”

We’d like to introduce you to another one of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Noah Lovell. Even though we are unable to hold the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic scholarship fundraiser this year, we still want to highlight our 2019 – 2020 Morris Thompson students and honor their hard work and achievements.

A University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) student graduating in May 2020, Noah Lovell is the son of Patrick and Sallie Lovell of Fairbanks, Alaska. Noah’s maternal grandparents are Lilian Evans of Rampart and Joseph Watson Burns of Fairbanks; his maternal great-grandparents are Thomas G. Evans of Rampart and Sally Woods Evans Hudson of Rampart. Paternal grandparents are Yoshiko Yamamoto of Kyoto, Japan, and John Lovell of Chelan, Washington. 

Noah earned Morris Thompson competitive scholarships throughout his college years; he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. Noah’s hometown is Fairbanks, Alaska.

Doyon Foundation: Congratulations on becoming a member of the UAF Class of 2020. Spring semester in Alaska and around the world was upended because of the coronavirus pandemic. How did life change for you?

Noah Lovell: The pandemic and everything going on with it has been the biggest challenge I’ve faced during my education. For a social person like me, distancing because of the virus was difficult. I don’t know where I’d be without my family, friends and faith. I went from having most of my classes held in person to all of them being online.

But it’s also been an amazing reset: UAF is using technology so that students can continue to see their professors and classmates weekly. This challenging time shook the university and all of Alaska, but it has also revealed our resilience.

DF: Like a lot of us, you’ve used this upheaval to take stock of life.

NL: I’ve found a lot of wisdom in these words: “You have to know who you are not to know who you are.” What this means to me is to know what you like but focus more on what you love. I like to paint, and I love to write and play the violin. I’m also very happy and joyful and love to encourage others. I have figured out that I am not a mean person, but extremely easy-going with a lot of dedication to the things I love. I have found my identity and that makes everything else worthwhile.

Don’t let anyone box you in and don’t put anyone else in a box. Take a step back and evaluate the current situation of your life. Ask yourself what could be changed for the better and write it down. Give yourself time to be a student as well as to have fun with family and friends. It’s a balance, for sure.

DF: Does an example come to mind? Maybe a time when you’ve achieved that balance between school and time with friends?

NL: I’m a full-time student but I still manage to get involved in my community. One of the rewards is that you never know who you’ll meet.

For instance, it was a friend’s birthday back in the fall and he wanted to celebrate by having a group of us spend time at a local soup kitchen. I thought we were going to get dirty and work in the kitchen, but they had enough volunteers and so we were invited to sit and talk with people who were eating that day.

I met this awesome guy who truly knew the art of storytelling. A while later, when my mother, grandma and I visited the Fairbanks Correctional Center as part of a prison ministry, there was the man I met at the soup kitchen, visiting an inmate just like in the story he told me. We joked with each other and then he went his way and I went mine. You truly never know who you’re going to impact, and that kind of surprise keeps life interesting.

DF: Is taking time to evaluate life helping shape your plans after graduation?

NL:  My current long-term goal is to earn a master’s degree from the College of Theology and Ministry at Oral Roberts University and work in ministry. I would love to continue on to get a Doctorate in Theology, but it’s always one step at a time. This past year I’ve grown in my faith and because of this I’ve decided I’d like to further my education in something I’m truly passionate about.

DF: What’s it like spending summers among Alaska visitors? You’re an Alaska Native tour guide on the Riverboat Discovery, based in Fairbanks. The tour typically includes a visit to the Chena Indian village.

NL: The Riverboat Discovery is a wonderful opportunity that provided a strong foundation for me.

It’s an amazing job that allowed me to share the Alaska Native culture, specifically the Athabascan culture, with guests of Alaska. As a guide, I performed demonstrations in front of 300 to 800 people and learned valuable skills to carry into my future. The Riverboat has strong leadership and invested in developing its employees. As a guide I was provided customer service, leadership and mentoring training. I’m very thankful for the work experience and I believe it has helped me to develop skills to take into my future.

DF: How has earning a Morris Thompson competitive scholarship benefited you? Has it helped in ways that you didn’t anticipate?

NL: The Doyon Foundation has truly lifted me as a student. Receiving the Morris Thompson competitive scholarship was an honor and true blessing.

Being awarded scholarships from Doyon Foundation provided me with the resources to succeed in my degree and the confidence to excel in school. I was able to pay tuition, buy textbooks and other course-related expenses, and focus on my course load.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank God, my family and my friends who have continued to encourage and support me through my undergraduate education. A big thank you to Doyon Foundation and everyone who has helped me these past four years; here’s to the class of 2020!

Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students forward their education. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. While the event itself is not happening this year, we still welcome your support! You may make a secure online donation on our website or mail a check to Doyon Foundation, 615 Bidwell Ave., Suite 101, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701. To direct your donation to the Morris Thompson scholarship fund, simply note “Morris Thompson scholarship fund” in the notes section of the online form or on the memo line of your check. Thank you for supporting our students!