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GCI Donates $20,000 to APU with Donovan Walsh Scholarship

Jan 18, 2021 | Education, Telecom & Tech


In an academic year wrought with challenges and change, GCI is providing an extra boost to students through a $20,000 donation to Alaska Pacific University in honor of Donovan Walsh, an Alaskan who suddenly passed away in late August 2020.

Donovan was the son of Bob Walsh, a longtime GCI employee beloved by all who have worked with him. As GCI’s Director of Rural Affairs, Walsh played a key role in delivering connectivity to small, rural communities statewide. Walsh retired from GCI in 2019.

APU will use the donation to administer the GCI Donovan Walsh Scholarship. Ten scholarships will be awarded to students based on need. While these scholarships are available for all current and incoming students, preference will be given to students from rural Alaska and Alaska Native and Native American students. The university will oversee the student application and selection process.

“With deep roots in Northwest Alaska and a lifetime of advocating for rural Alaska, Bob’s impact both on the state and GCI are immeasurable,” says Senior Vice President & General Manager of GCI Business Martin Cary.

“Our hearts are with the Walsh family. The GCI team is pleased to be able to honor the family and Donovan’s memory through the Alaska Pacific University Donovan Walsh Scholarship.”

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Donovan was born in Nome and grew up hunting, fishing and camping in Alaska. He was devoted to his family, friends and loved ones. An accomplished athlete, he enjoyed mountain biking, downhill and cross-country skiing, running, and wrestling with his nephews.

Students can apply for the scholarship through the APU’s scholarship webpage. Students will be expected to fill out a short application and submit a biography and essay explaining why they are applying for the scholarship and how it will help them meet their goals. 

“While this academic year has been unusual, our students have repeatedly demonstrated their resiliency,” says Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, president of APU.

“We join GCI in honoring the Walsh family and Donovan’s memory. We appreciate GCI’s support of our students through these extraordinary times and are proud to continue offering programs that serve our state’s Indigenous and rural students.”

Over the past 20 years, GCI has donated more than $6 million in scholarships to hundreds of Alaska students attending accredited colleges and vocational/trade schools across the nation.

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