In an effort to increase opportunities for a Catholic education, the Anchorage Archdiocese has merged two education scholarship funds to provide more financial assistance to students attending local Catholic schools.
After the archdiocese contacted donors earlier this year, Archbishop Roger Schwietz approved combining the Jackson Scholarship with the Archangel Fund, a move that nearly doubles money available to students for annual scholarship payouts.
The Archangel Fund was developed by the Anchorage Archdiocese back in 2002 and was originally intended to grow until it reached $750,000 before it could spin off scholarships. But in 13 years the fund had only grown to $91,000 — far short of its goal and was yet to pay out a single scholarship.
The Jackson Fund, worth about $77,000, was created by Laura Jackson and her late husband Robert in 2003. It has paid out about $3,500 annually for school scholarships.
The Catholic Foundation of Alaska (CFA) is a non-profit corporation that offers opportunities for donors to assist the Catholic Church in Alaska. It also oversees the Catholic school scholarship funds of the archdiocese.
In May CFA’s board of directors suggested that the archdiocese combine the funds to begin generating more money for student scholarships.
According to Laurie Evans-Dinneen, director of the archdiocese’s Stewardship & Development Office, the combined funds are worth about $168,000 and the new name is “Archdiocese of Anchorage Catholic Schools Scholarship Fund.” In September it will distribute scholarships to all five Catholic schools in the archdiocese.
This year each school will receive one scholarship worth $1,663 to help pay for a student’s tuition. Principals from the various schools nominate students in need and the CFA scholarship committee then makes a decision, Evans-Dinneen explained.
“The hopes are to keep growing the fund,” she said, adding that the fund grows through the Catholic Schools Appeal each September when donors are invited to put funds into the endowment.
“The school appeal is for donors to select a specific school or the endowment, or they could evenly split among all choices,” Evans-Dinneen said.
To learn more about financially supporting Catholic education in the Anchorage Archdiocese, go online to archdioceseofanchorage.org/donate.