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Press Release

May 3, 2006  (Radio Actualities) (Photo)

MCNEILS ENDOW NEW SCHOLARSHIP FUND IN HONOR OF TLINGIT LEADER

Chris and Mary McNeil present a check for $100 thousand to SHI Trustee Ethel Lund, SHI Trustee Bob Hamilton, SHI President Rosita Worl, SHI Trustee Nancy Barnes, and SHI Trustee Marlene Johnson.Chris McNeil, Jr., and his wife, Mary, have donated $100 thousand to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) to endow a new scholarship fund.

The fund, named in honor of the late Tlingit leader Judson Lawrence Brown, will support the college education and leadership development of Sealaska shareholders and their descendants, said Chris McNeil, president and CEO of Sealaska.

Judson Brown excelled as a leader throughout his life and continues to be a role model of leadership today, McNeil said.

“What we’d like to accomplish is to inspire Native students to get their education and to inspire leadership,” said McNeil, noting Brown also was his maternal uncle and taught him the value of education, leadership and persistence.

“He’s very special to us, our children and our entire extended family, and this endowment is established to honor him,” said Mary McNeil. 

The Judson L. Brown Endowment Fund initially will award $5,000 annually to a Sealaska shareholder or descendant of a shareholder who demonstrates outstanding academic performance and leadership. The number of awards will increase as the endowment grows.

The endowment will be administered by SHI, which already manages several scholarship funds. SHI is humbled and honored to receive this very significant donation from Chris and Mary McNeil, said Rosita Worl, SHI president.

“It represents the largest private donation we have received to date,” Worl said.

 “Judson was a member of the ANB camp and he was a secretary of the camp that started the Alaska Native land claims,” said Marlene Johnson, vice chair of SHI’s board of trustees. “He was appointed to the Sealaska board immediately after it was formed. So we’re really thrilled to have this in his honor.”

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1981 to administer cultural and educational programs for Sealaska Corp. The institute is governed by an all-Native Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.

CONTACT: Chris McNeil, 586-9205; Rosita Worl, 463-4844
 

Radio Actualities

  1. Chris McNeil, Founder, Judson L. Brown Endowment Fund, TRT:  :18 -- Jud was an Alaskan Tlingit leader who also served as the first chairman of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, was a director of the Sealaska Corporation and also participated way back in the ANB from the time he was a teenager. (Audio)
     
  2. Chris McNeil, Founder, Judson L. Brown Endowment Fund, TRT:  :12 -- What we’d like to accomplish is to inspire Native students to be able to get their education and also to inspire leadership. (Audio)
     
  3. Mary McNeil, Founder, Judson L. Brown Endowment Fund, TRT:  :05 -- He’s very special to us and our children and our entire extended family. (Audio)
     
  4. Marlene Johnson, Vice Chair, Sealaska Heritage Institute, TRT:  :08 -- Shi is just really pleased and thrilled to receive this on behalf of all of our young people. (Audio)
     
  5. Marlene Johnson, Vice Chair, Sealaska Heritage Institute, TRT:  :16 -- Judson was a member of the ANB camp and he was a secretary of the camp that started the Alaska Native land claims. And he was appointed to the Sealaska board immediately after it was formed. So we’re really thrilled to have this in his honor. (Audio)

Photo Caption

Chris and Mary McNeil present a check for $100 thousand to SHI Trustee Ethel Lund, SHI Trustee Bob Hamilton, SHI President Rosita Worl, SHI Trustee Nancy Barnes, and SHI Trustee Marlene Johnson.