The other day I received an unlikely call to my cell phone at work. I assumed it was my wife. When the man introduced himself as calling on behalf of the UAA Alumni Association, I wondered how he had obtained my cell number, and I was sure he was going to ask for money. I was beside myself when he went on to ask me if I would be willing to attend the homecoming gala and receive the Rising Leader Alumni of Distinction Award. My wife and I will be attending the black tie event on October 1 to receive the award. The following information was excerpted from a press release about the event and award.
University of Alaska Anchorage(UAA) Alumni Association announces 2011 Alumni of Distinction award recipients Eric Wohlforth, Joan Fisher and Dan Bigley to be honored at Green & Gold Gala
ANCHORAGE, AK – The UAA Alumni Association will honor three outstanding Alumni of Distinction at its upcoming Green and Gold Gala in Anchorage Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 at the Hotel Captain Cook. The Green and Gold Gala will bring together alumni, friends and the community in support of UAA.The elegant ‘black tie’ event will help kick off Homecoming Week at UAA and will celebrate achievements of alumni, showcase University success and raise important UAA scholarship support.
UAA Alumni Emerging Leader Award: Dan Bigley, M.S.W. ’09, Director of Therapeutic Foster Care Services, Denali Family Services
Awarded to an alumnus who has made a significant impact in their industry or profession or contributed to the community and has strived to make a difference in the lives of others. The nominee must have received their degree within the past 10 years.
A grizzly bear mauled Dan Bigley in the summer of 2003 on the shores of Alaska’s Russian River and left him for dead. The odds were against him, but Dan survived, and after many surgeries and rehabilitative efforts he was able to pick up where he left off several years ago. With the support of UAA’s Disability Support Services, Dan earned his M.S.W. in ’09 from UAA with a 4.0 GPA. He now works with youth and families facing trauma, sexual abuse, substance abuse, behavioral disorders or mental illnesses. Dan is currently writing a book about the bear that nearly killed him and left him blind. Read Dan’s full story at greenandgold.uaa.alaska.edu under “I am UAA.”
Read more on the UAA website UAA Alumni Association announces 2011 Alumni of Distinction award recipients