Renowned ocean liner companies, "Holland America Line" and "Princess Cruises" has recently donated a gift check of $1 Million to the University of Alaska Foundation. Behind the purpose of this sumptuous generosity lies the support of three noble causes that are: research and education on marine studies and oceanographic vessels, various hospitality, business and technical training programs for Alaskan students and scholarships for Alaskan students seeking higher education at the University of Alaska.
President Pat Gamble of the University of Alaska in appreciation says, "This very thoughtful gift is a shining example of how a major private industry in Alaska and the University of Alaska can work together as partners for the benefit of Alaskans across the state."
The Holland America Line and Princess cruises have previously donated to many such educational programmes in the past. In the 1990’s, Holland America line donated $15,000 for a research study on Culinary Arts & Hospitality program to the Alaska University to support Alaska's budding tourism business. Presently, the programme has grown over the years and now graduates about 40 students per academic year.
In 2009, a sum of $100,000 was donated by the Princess Cruises to the University of Alaska for funding the Marine Advisory Program (MAP) of the university. This generous contribution provided salary and administrative support to MAP agents and helped them through their research activities that included ocean resource management and conservation of ocean resources across Alaska’s coastal villages and towns.
Alan Buckelew, President and CEO, Princess Cruises says, "This investment reflects our diligence on both land and sea in the more than 40 years of operating in the state." Reflecting on this noble donation, Stein Kruse, President and CEO of Holland America Line states, "Tourism is Alaska's third largest economic driver, so it is very important to support the development of talent that will help us meet the workforce needs of the future."
Princess Cruises and Holland America Line are the two major tour operators of Alaska State and are the biggest contributors to the states growing tourism industry. These two liners jointly employ around 3,500 people during summers and are responsible for sustaining more than 1,000 business establishments in the state.