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Event to Honor Helen Atkinson


The University of Alaska Fairbanks will honor Helen Atkinson, who died May 6, with a showing of a 50-minute film she recorded with interviewer Robert Hannon this past March. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 2, in the Murie Building auditorium.

Atkinson, a former University of Alaska regent, was 98. An Alaskan since 1928, she graduated from UAF in 1936 as the first woman to earn a degree in civil engineering. She worked as an engineer for a variety of organizations, including the city of Fairbanks, the Federal Aviation Administration, Golden Valley Electric Association, the state of Alaska and several different mining and engineering companies. Later, she applied her engineering background to journalism, writing hundreds of articles and features about Alaska's many opportunities and resources.

A staunch supporter of the university, she pursued her belief in academic excellence as a regent from 1954-63. She was a current member of the University of Alaska Foundation, College of Fellows, Alumni Association, University Women's Association and Friends of the UA Museum of the North board. The UAF Alumni Association named her a distinguished alumna in 1987 in recognition of her achievements. She received an honorary doctorate of laws from UAF in 2003.

For more information, contact UAF Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning at 907-474-7021 or email summer@alaska.edu.

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