Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic

Annie Sanford’s parents are Lena Blair Sanford and Dewayne Sanford, both from Tok. Her maternal grandparents are Mary Tom Tom Blair and William Blair of Snag, Yukon, Canada; her paternal grandparents are Laura Isaac Sanford of Tanacross and Walter Sanford of Chistochina. Annie’s hometown is Tok.

“Normally I don’t volunteer myself to give speeches, but I felt it was important to express how important of a role Doyon Foundation has played in my higher education,” Annie shares as she takes the stage as the student speaker at Doyon Foundation’s Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic Calcutta reception in June. The annual golf classic raises money for the Morris Thompson Scholarship Fund, which honors the memory of the late Morris Thompson and awards scholarships to students exhibiting leadership, integrity and a commitment to excellence.

“There is a lot to take into account when it comes to higher education, and Doyon Foundation has helped take the financial burden off of my shoulders,” Annie explains. “I feel like Doyon Foundation is a third proud parent in my pursuit of a higher education. They stay involved, they provide encouragement, and they are genuinely happy to witness my educational journey.”

“I want to thank Doyon Foundation and their sponsors for supporting not only me but students across Alaska pursuing our educational dreams,” Annie concludes. See the full video of her speech on the Foundation YouTube channel.

Annie is a University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) student who plans to complete her associate’s degree and join the university’s radiologic technology program in 2018. It’s a competitive process; only a half-dozen or so of the top students are selected to enroll each year. “I’m improving every aspect of my application to be among the top six or seven,” she says.

Her goals including graduating from the radiologic technology program in 2020 and pursuing her career in Fairbanks. “I want to work to give back to the community that has given me so much,” says Annie, who hopes to work at the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Clinic or Fairbanks Memorial Hospital before continuing her studies to become an ultrasound technologist.

“Early on, in high school, I knew I wanted to help people medically and not just from your typical office cubicle,” Annie recalls. After high school, while she was trying to figure out what to do, it was a coworker who inspired Annie to go into radiology.

“Due to radiology not being commonly talked about, I wish to mentor future students who want to pursue radiology because I know I would have liked to have someone to talk to who already went through the process and could answer my questions,” she says.

For now, Annie advises other students to stay organized and keep motivated. “Using a planner and whiteboard are essential,” she says. “I highly recommend them.”

Kaylen’s mother is Shari Rempp, whose parents are Glenn and Marjorie Buss. Kaylen’s father is Chris Demientieff, whose parents are Rudy and Alice Demientieff. Kaylen’s hometown is Anchorage.

Kaylen“The greatest challenge I had in going back to school was supporting myself financially,” Kaylen says. A member of the 2017 graduating class of Colorado Mesa University, Kaylen met financial challenges by competing for scholarships, including the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship through Doyon Foundation.

“Doyon Foundation helped me to graduate,” she says. Foundation support helped with tuition as well as day-to-day expenses like rent. Because of the Foundation, she says, “I’m one step closer to becoming debt free.”

Named for the late president and chief executive of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $400,000 over the years to students like Kaylen who share his commitment to excellence, leadership and integrity. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic, starting tomorrow, is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser to benefit these scholarships.

“I devoted my time to working hard and studying,” says Kaylen, who held a job while going to school. She studied radiologic technology and plans to work toward mammography certification. Her goals include becoming a traveling mammography technologist. She graduated in May.

“College can be overwhelming, especially if you must work outside of school. I spent my free time hiking and sewing. It’s important to stay focused and work hard, but remember to have fun!”


Jessica’s parents are the late Catherine Maki and the late Gordon Ruck; her grandparents are Nancy (Senungetuk) Felton, of Wales and Nome, and the late Willard Felton. Jessica’s hometown is Anchorage.

Jessica“Without Doyon Foundation’s support, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says Jessica, a doctoral student in social welfare at the University of Washington. Doyon Foundation scholarships, including the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship, helped her pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my educational successes,” she says. In addition to completing research, writing and exams that will precede her dissertation, Jessica reviews journal articles in her field and advocates for social welfare policy. She volunteers in her children’s school, offers guest lectures at UW and the University of Alaska Anchorage, and plans to resume a role with the Alaska Native Dialogues on Racial Equity. She also serves as a co-president of the Native Organization of Indigenous Scholars.

“The stress of multiple demands can become overwhelming,” she acknowledges. “I’ve had to learn to limit what I take on.” Her advice to other students: Remember that persevering to Graduation Day takes more than going to class and cranking out papers.

“Do what brings you internal happiness and satisfaction, help others, always tend to your relationships. Stay connected to who you are and where you come from. Forgive. And always do the best you can.”

Named for the late president and chief executive of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $400,000 over the years to students like Jessica who share his commitment to excellence, leadership and integrity. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic held in June is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser to benefit these scholarships.


Jarynn’s parents are Lucille Stickman and the late John Cunningham II. Her maternal grandparents are the late Jessie Stickman and the late Donald Stickman; her paternal grandparents are Betty Cunningham and the late John Cunningham. Jarynn’s hometown is Palmer.

JarynnJarynn is a May 2017 graduate of Minnesota-based Century College, where she earned an associate’s degree in computer science. Her plans include enrolling in the fall in the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

She says that being awarded a Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship through Doyon Foundation demonstrated that the Foundation is as supportive as family when it comes to seeing college students succeed: “The Foundation gave me the opportunity to fully invest my time into my education. I am very thankful.”

Named for the late president and chief executive of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $400,000 over the years to students like Jarynn who share his commitment to excellence, leadership and integrity. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic held in June is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser to benefit these scholarships.

Jarynn’s long-term plans include completing her bachelor’s degree in two years and then working in software development. She advises others to maintain perspective when it comes to potential setbacks on the way to earning a college degree.

“Our education journeys may seem daunting at first. But all our efforts will pay off in the long run. We’ll become a better version of ourselves,” she says.

Among her biggest challenges: Recognizing when it’s time to ask for emotional or academic support.

“I’ve learned that struggling is nothing to be ashamed of,” Jarynn says. “It’s OK to reach out for help. Balancing your priorities – school, work, family, health – is the key to being successful.”

Emily’s mother is Janice Joseph of Rampart; her grandmother is Jenny Joseph of Rampart and her grandfather is Arthur Joseph of Tanana. Emily’s father is Mark Sexton; her grandmother is Beverly Sexton and her grandfather is Bill Sexton, all from Fairbanks. Emily’s hometown is Fairbanks.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset“The biggest challenge I faced during my education has been distance from home,” says Emily, a Marquette University student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Getting over homesickness has been essential.”

Emily has had a Doyon Foundation scholarship in each semester. “Especially for a student attending college so far from Alaska, these generous scholarships truly help decrease the high cost of education,” says Emily, a current Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship recipient.

Named for the late president and chief executive of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $400,000 over the years to students like Emily who share his commitment to excellence, leadership and integrity. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic held in June is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser to benefit these scholarships.

Emily’s goals include graduating in 2018 with degrees in accounting and political science before going on to become a certified public accountant and attending law school. She’s interning this summer at a Milwaukee investment company.

During the school year, Emily is involved in the Native American Student Association. She also volunteers as a reading tutor with the First Nations Studies Program in Milwaukee public schools. “It’s been rewarding,” she says. “Most of these students are first-generation college students like me, so I brought them on a tour of my campus. It was the first time many of them had been on a college campus or talked about attending.”

Her advice to students: Apply for scholarships, get involved early in student groups and make time to volunteer. “It’s been an incredible experience to serve as a mentor,” she says.


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.”

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