Kake Oyster Farmer Donation Creates $375k Scholarship Endowment for Southeast Alaskan Students
The endowment will provide scholarships and research experiences for UAS students studying in the fields of mariculture and/or fisheries.
Date of Press Release: November 17, 2016
The family of Robert E Henderson has donated $220,000 and just over 30,500 shares of stock from his estate to create the UAS Robert Henderson Memorial Award for Mariculture & Fisheries. The endowment will provide scholarships and research experiences for UAS students studying in the fields of mariculture and/or fisheries.
Recipients must be enrolled full-time in either a 2-year AAS or 4-year baccalaureate degree. Current qualifying degree programs would include fisheries technology, biology, marine biology or fisheries with an interest in mariculture/aquaculture.
Oyster Farmer Tom Henderson, Barbara Cave, Kathy Crenshaw, and Anne Swenson established the scholarship fund in memory of their late father Robert E Henderson of Haines.
Robert “Bob” Henderson of Haines was a beloved high school science teacher, farmer and former mayor of the Haines Borough. He was also known as the father of the town’s $8.7 million permanent fund and continued to help manage it long after his retirement. He was a tireless volunteer throughout the community and left his 14 acre homestead to the American Bald Eagle Foundation under the condition that it be used for agriculture.
His son Tom Henderson, who owns and operates Pearl of Alaska oyster farm in Kake, wanted the fund to support farming of a different sort. Much like his father, he shares his passion through teaching and hopes the gift will encourage Alaskan students from rural communities to pursue a career in mariculture and promote shellfish farming as a strong industry in Southeast Alaska. Mr. Henderson presented at UAS Juneau’s Evening at Egan lecture series in October, “Aquaculture in Alaska – the opportunity of the century”.
Dr. Mike Stekoll, UAS Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, says not only will the Henderson fund give students some hands-on experience but will allow them to assist with faculty research and help prepare them for a future in marine fisheries.