Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic

The sun was shining, golf balls were flying and scholarship funds were growing at the 16th annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic, which took place June 16 and 17 at the Chena Bend Golf Course on Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. The two-day event included a skills tournament and reception and Calcutta on Thursday, and the golf tournament and banquet on Friday. Find event photos on Facebook.

CEO Aaron Schutt

Doyon, Limited president and CEO Aaron Schutt

Doyon Foundation and Doyon, Limited thank the 120 golfers, 50 sponsors and over 50 volunteers who came out to support this year’s event, which raises money for the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship Fund. The fund was established to support college students exhibiting the qualities most admired in the late Morris Thompson – vision, dedication to excellence, exemplary leadership and integrity. To date, the fund has made it possible to award 678 Morris Thompson competitive scholarships totaling $710,680. Last year alone, the Foundation awarded 10 of these competitive scholarships totaling $58,000.

“These scholarships are only made possible by the generosity of our supporters. Many people came together to organize and participate in this event to make it a success, and we are very grateful for the support,” said Doris Miller, Doyon Foundation executive director.

The skills tournament on Thursday featured three events – a putting contest, longest drive contest and chipping contest. Winners of those contests are listed on our website.

Student Speaker Krysten Walker

Student speaker Krysten Walker

At the Thursday evening reception and Calcutta, guests heard from two Morris Thompson recipients – alumni speaker Aaron Roth and student speaker Krysten Walker, who each shared about what Doyon Foundation’s support has meant.

“Looking back on it now, I think it was my greatest accomplishment while I was in school,” Roth said of his scholarship. “(Doyon Foundation) was always there. I could always count on them. They were a constant. That level of support and predictability is invaluable to a student,” added Roth, who graduated in 2013 with degrees in finance and management and later got a job with a Doyon subsidiary.

“When I started my freshman year at Stanford, my Doyon Foundation scholarship meant that I could spend time getting settled into campus instead of spending 30 hours a week at a campus job … When I started my sophomore year, my Doyon Foundation scholarship meant that I could be president of my sorority … Going into my junior year, my scholarship meant that I could stay on campus for the summer and work on launching the redesigned Stanford Law School website … And now, entering my senior year, Doyon Foundation means so much more. With the help of Doyon Foundation, I will be graduating on time and debt-free next spring,” said Walker, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in science, technology and society from Stanford University.

Calcutta guests also bid on a variety of attractive live auction items, including trips to the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, Nevada, and Tulalip Resort and Casino in Washington state, a his and hers golf package from Callaway, a Prudhoe Bay experience, and a seven-day cruise on Holland America. In the Calcutta, guests bid on the golfer team they thought would win Friday’s tournament.

On Friday, there was a three-way tie for first place in the golf tournament. Congratulations to team 21 (Milo Griffin, Glen Anderson, Anand Vadapalli and JP Hoff), team 24 (Todd Vincelette, Antone Contento, Jay Sadler and Avery Thomas), and team 25 (Rick Boyles, Tom Walsh, Scott Jepsen and Joe Marushack), as well as to the winning Calcutta team buyers Sophie Minich and Aaron Schutt.

While amounts are still being tallied, preliminary estimates indicate the event raised nearly $80,000. The total amount will be announced on the Foundation website, blog and social media channels once finalized.

Interested sponsors and golfers are encouraged to mark their calendars for the 2017 golf classic, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, June 22 and 23 in Fairbanks.

For more information on the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic or Doyon Foundation scholarships, please visit or contact 907.459.2048 or

Each year, Doyon Foundation awards Morris Thompson competitive scholarships to students who exhibit the qualities we admired most in the late Morris Thompson – vision, dedication to excellence, exemplary leadership and integrity. This year is no different.

As we prepare for the upcoming Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic – our largest annual fundraiser benefiting the Morris Thompson Scholarship Fund – we invite you to get to know some of our 2015 – 2016 Morris Thompson scholarship recipients.

Geoffrey Bacon

Geoffrey BaconGeoffrey, of Fairbanks, Alaska, is the son of Glenn and Adele Bacon, and the grandson of Michael and Eleanor Michel, and Joseph and Frances McCullough.

A graduate of Cornell University in May 2016, Geoffrey holds a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations. He now plans to use his foundation in labor relations to “transition into other human resources areas and continue the work of improving people’s lives.”

During the pursuit of his degree, “Doyon Foundation provided me financial assistance with a generous scholarship,” Geoffrey said. “Thank you again for helping me achieve this educational and professional goal.”

Geoffrey advises current students to “Have a clear vision of where you want to be in the long-term. That vision will help you clarify what are important goals you need to achieve now or in the near future that will help you achieve that vision.”

Jordan Craddick

Jordan CraddickJordan has lived all over Alaska, and spent his early years predominantly in Southeast Alaska. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington, but will move to Fairbanks later this year. He is the son of Steve and Vicki Craddick, and is the grandson of John Kristovich and June Parsons, and Randolph Kalkins and Caroline Demientieff.

Jordan attends the University of Washington, where he is a third-year graduate student pursuing a PhD in history – Alaska Native history. He begins his dissertation research this summer and hopes to graduate in May 2018.

After receiving his PhD, “There are many things I would like to accomplish,” Jordan said. “First and foremost I intend to teach. Providing students with a history told from an indigenous perspective is necessary if we are to counter the biased narratives that persist to this day. Next I intend to continue my research and writing with the hope that my projects will be of use to the Native community at large. Finally, I would like to be involved in the preservation and dissemination of indigenous knowledge.”

Scholarship support has been “critical,” Jordan said. “It demonstrates a real investment in the future not just in monetary terms but also in the advancement of indigenous career prospects. For me personally, this support demonstrates confidence in what I can and will achieve. For that I am forever grateful.”

Jordan describes education as “an empowering process that allows us to focus not so much on what we are, but rather, what we will become. For many of us the pursuit of knowledge will never end and the journey is the reward.”

Jordan advises current students to “take the time to explore what interests you and what you’re passionate about. Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged by measures of aptitude, education is a process which means persistence is the key.”

Jarynn Cunningham

Jarynn Cunningham_photoJarynn, originally from Palmer, Alaska and currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is the daughter of Lucille Stickman and the late John Cunningham II. She is the granddaughter of the late Jessie Stickman and the late Donald Stickman, and Betty Cunningham and the late John Cunningham.

A sophomore at Century College, Jarynn is working toward an associate’s degree in computer science. She plans to go on to receive a bachelor’s degree and then “start my career in software development that will hopefully one day be beneficial to our community.”

Receiving a scholarship from Doyon Foundation “makes me feel like I have people outside of my friends and family who are equally invested in the success of my educational goals,” Jarynn said. “I have a great appreciation towards the Doyon Foundation because without the scholarship I wouldn’t be able to fulfill my goals without falling into debt.”

During her own educational journey, Jarynn has “learned that education allows us to reach our full potential, dream bigger dreams and aid in social mobility. So the way I see it is that education is a lifelong journey and that everyone should have the opportunity to embrace it.”

Speaking to current students, Jarynn said, “Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it. Whether that be academically, financially, or socially. Everyone needs someone by their side to help guide the way to success.”

Kyle Demientieff-Worl

Demientieff-Worl, KyleKyle, originally from Fairbanks and Juneau, and now living in Anchorage, is the son of Beverly Demientieff and Rodney Worl, and the grandson of Alice and Rodolfo Demientieff, and Rosita Worl and Rodolfo Rodriguez.

Kyle is a senior at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he will graduate from in August 2016 with a bachelor’s of arts in anthropology, and a minor in Alaska Native studies.

Following that, “I will be applying to graduate schools this fall to continue my education in the field of linguistics or language revitalization. I hope to use my education to help our community bring new life into our Native languages,” Kyle said.

Education is important to Kyle as it “broadens our horizons and creates new opportunities. It allows us to see what our community needs and take action to creating a solution.”

Kyle’s scholarships from Doyon Foundation “made it possible for me to complete my undergraduate without having to also take on a full-time job or take semesters off to pay for tuition. I was able to focus on my education and graduate with honors. I am grateful for all the support Doyon Foundation has given me throughout my undergraduate degree.”

“Be involved in your community,” Kyle encourages his fellow students. “It will give greater meaning to your education and motivation to complete your degree.”

Krysten Walker

Krysten Walker - preferredKrysten, originally of Maple Valley, Washington and currently residing in Stanford, California, is the daughter of Robert and Dawn Walker, and the granddaughter of Virginia Sweetsir and the late David Sweetsir, Sr., and Jan and the late Bob Walker.

She is a junior at Stanford University, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s of science in science, technology and society, with a concentration in innovation, technology and organizations.

For Krysten, “Receiving a Doyon Foundation scholarship means graduating from Stanford debt-free and on time. My Doyon Foundation scholarships have been able to fill the gaps in my institutional financial aid, leaving me with time to find my place on campus without worrying about spending all of my free time at work.”

Krysten describes her time at Stanford as “life changing. My classes have challenged me to examine the world around me critically. Outside of class, my dormmates and sorority sisters have taught me infinitely more. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know such a diverse group of people and I’ve really valued every minute of my Stanford experience.”

To her fellow students, Krysten advises, “Stay true to yourself. I’ve found that it’s easy to get stuck in the trap of taking hard classes because everyone else is doing it and then stress about your grades, sacrificing your health and well-being for something that isn’t meaningful to you. Find value in what you do and success will follow, whatever success means to you.”

Darren Whitworth

Whitworth, DarrenDarren, originally from McGrath, Alaska and currently residing in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is the son of Carl and Marcia Whitworth, and the grandson of the late John and Cecelia Andrews, and the late Rudolph and Ethel Whitworth.

Darren graduated in May 2016 from Regent University with a master’s of divinity, with a concentration in chaplain ministry.

“Although it seems the learning has only begun, I hope to put my education to work in my local community, and in communities around the world,” said Darren, who plans to serve and pursue a career in the chaplaincy field. “While being open to the lead and guidance of the Spirit of God, I hope to accomplish my life’s purpose, and destiny, which I believe involves serving the people of Alaska, as we build healthy, vibrant, prosperous communities to the glory of God.”

Darren values education because, “When it comes to each person finding and fulfilling his or her own purpose in life, an education can help them find, and develop his or her own strengths. I believe as we seek an education, we maximize our potential in bringing forth our gift or contribution to the world,” he said.

Receiving a Doyon Foundation scholarship was important to Darren because “Instead of channeling my energies to a part-time job, or a work study program, I am able to devote my attention, time and energies to my academic course work,” he said. “Your support also shows how much we as Athabaskans value education, so it is a privilege and an honor to receive financial contributions from Doyon Foundation, as I feel compelled to take more responsibility for the assets you have entrusted to me.”

To current Foundation students, Darren said, “I would encourage you to be yourself, because the minute you try to be someone else is the first minute we lose the personality, character, and person you bring into our world – you are a blessing. Another word of advice, I would encourage you to run your own race. Given your own life circumstances, you may have to balance school with work and a family, so even though the program is a three- or four-year program, it is okay to complete it in the length of time that is good for you.”

Doyon Foundation extends an enormous “thank you” to the 120 golfers, 50 volunteers and 50 sponsors for “chipping in for education” at the recent 15th annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic! The 2015 event took place Thursday and Friday, June 18 and 19 in Fairbanks, Alaska. See event photos on Facebook.

2015 MTMGC Winners - Stewart Thompson, Dennis Mullen, Frank Thompson, Micah Bartlett

This year’s golf classic was remarkable for several reasons – gross income (before expenses) from the Calcutta, live auction and golf classic totaled more than $255,000! Plus, the tournament field sold out within two weeks of mailing out the invitation, and all 18 holes were sponsored.

A total of 120 golfers on 30 teams participated in the 2015 event. Congratulations to this year’s winning teams, including the first place golf classic winners, Micah Bartlett, Stewart Thompson, Dennis Mullen and Frank Thompson, who were also the winning Calcutta team buyer! See the full list of tournament winners, as well as winners of the putting contest, longest drive contest and chipping contest, on the Foundation website.

The Calcutta, held Thursday evening at the Wedgewood Resort, featured a live auction. Thank you to all who participated, especially the auction winners, who successfully bid on items including several all-expenses-paid trips and collectors golf bags.

A total of 50 individuals also volunteered their time at this year’s event. See the list of volunteers on the Foundation website.

The 2015 golf classic brought in more than $152,000 in corporate sponsorships. The Foundation thanks all 50 sponsors, including $15,000+ doctorate-level sponsors Doyon Family of Companies, KeyBank and Key Equipment Finance, and Sodexo. See the list of sponsors on the Foundation website.

The annual golf classic raises money for the Foundation’s Morris Thompson competitive scholarships. With the support of golfers and sponsors, the Foundation awarded $46,000 in scholarships to 14 students during the 2014 – 2015 academic year. Read about this year’s recipients in a previous blog post.

Jennifer Romer, a $5,000 graduate competitive scholarship recipient, was the student speaker at this year’s Calcutta. Romer, an Athabascan/Yup’ik originally from Fairbanks and Bethel, is a graduate student at New York University, where she is pursuing a master’s of science in sports business, professional and collegiate operations. In her address, Romer spoke on “life-long learning as it relates to a main component of our culture and my career.” She also thanked Doyon, Limited and Doyon Foundation employees and volunteers for their tireless effort.

“Doyon Foundation has provided me with financial support that has contributed to successfully completing year one of two of my graduate studies,” she said.

The 2016 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic will take place Thursday and Friday, June 16 and 17.

For more information on the classic or how to get involved, email or call 907.459.2098.

Each year, the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for the Morris Thompson competitive scholarships awarded annually by Doyon Foundation. This year alone, the Foundation awarded $46,000 in scholarships to 14 students.

RichardRichard Cole

Rolla, Missouri

Undergraduate Competitive Scholarship

Emery Riddle Aeronautical University

Bachelor’s of Science in Aeronautical Science

“Pursuing an aviation curriculum … is very expensive and the scholarships from the Doyon Foundation have offset some of those costs. Without the Doyon Foundation, I may not be able to complete my degree with all the FAA flight ratings.”

EstherEsther Frykman

Fairbanks and Northway, Alaska

Committee Choice Competitive Scholarship

University of Alaska Anchorage

Associate’s of Applied Science in Nursing

“This is a wonderful scholarship and it definitely encourages me to continue to work harder and continue my pursuit of excellence. It has been an immense help with my living expenses, allowing me much needed time to focus on my education.”

Sheila George

Galena, Alaska

Certificate, Associate or Undergraduate Competitive Scholarship

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Bachelor’s Degree

“Doyon Foundation helped me advance my education by supporting me and giving me the funding to afford the costs of classes, books, dorm room, etc.”

Bethany Green

Galena, Alaska

Committee Choice Competitive Scholarship

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy

SharonSharon Hildebrand

Nulato, Alaska

Graduate Competitive Scholarship

University of Alaska Southeast

Master’s Degree in Public Administration

“The Foundation has continuously provided support financially and encouragement over the years, since the very beginning of my journey.”

MMaraara James

Fairbanks, Alaska

Committee Choice Competitive Scholarship

University of Alaska Anchorage

Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies – Languages

“Doyon Foundation provided me with financial support in pursuing my university degree.”

LorettaLoretta Lolnitz

Koyukuk, Alaska

Competitive Scholarship

University of Alaska Anchorage

Associate’s of Arts in Construction Management

“Doyon Foundation has provided scholarships that kept me sustained while I was attending college. It gave me hope for the year, that I can get help if I try for scholarships.”

PatrickPatrick Lovell

Fairbanks, Alaska

Committee Choice Competitive Scholarship

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering

“Doyon Foundation has allowed me to excel academically, by assisting me financially. One of the biggest problems in our community, and across the United States, is student loan debt. However, as a scholarship recipient from Doyon Foundation, I am able to focus better during school without the stress of financial burden.”

DeannaDeanna Mayo

Fairbanks, Alaska

Certificate, Associate or Undergraduate Competitive Scholarship

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Associate’s of Arts in Applied Business

“Doyon Foundation has helped me a lot while I attended school. They gave me a chance to apply for scholarships, which helped me out a lot with school and living expenses.”

JenniferJennifer Romer

Fairbanks & Bethel, Alaska

Graduate Competitive Scholarship

New York University

Master’s of Science in Sports Business, Professional and Collegiate Operations

“Doyon Foundation has provided me with financial support that has contributed to successfully completing year one of two of my graduate studies.”

EmilyEmily Sexton

Fairbanks, Alaska

Certificate, Associate or Undergraduate Competitive Scholarship

Marquette University

Double Major in Political Science & Economics

“College is a major investment and Doyon Foundation makes the costs less daunting for my family and I. The scholarship assistance from Doyon Foundation is absolutely essential in covering costs and making my education a reality.”

ChanelChanel Simon

Fairbanks, Alaska

Certificate, Associate or Undergraduate Competitive Scholarship

University of Alaska Anchorage

Bachelor’s of Business Administration

“By receiving a Doyon Foundation scholarship I can focus more on my education.”

JessicaJessica Ullrich

Anchorage, Alaska

Doctorate Competitive Scholarship

University of Washington

School of Social Work Doctoral Program

“Doyon Foundation is dedicated to helping communities develop Alaska Native leaders. I feel encouraged and supported by my regional corporation to step up into the leadership roles. The financial aid helps a family, a community, a tribe, the state and a nation because we are all connected.”

Clarissa Zeller

Anchorage, Alaska

Committee Choice Competitive Scholarship

University of Alaska Anchorage

Bachelor’s of Science in Biology