Joseph Thompson Memorialized in Scholarship
by Eric Bennett
ASUAF passed a bill last week that allocates $15,000 of rollover money into a scholarship fund. This scholarship, which is primarily designated for philosophy students, was created inhonor of Joseph Thompson, a philosophy professor at UAF who passed away in August.
“This is to honor the best professor we’ve ever had,” Jonathan Quinones, ASUAF senator and president of the Socratic Society said. “To the very end he wanted to keep teaching.”
While philosophy students will get first priority for the scholarship, the requirements will be based on merit over need. A 3.25 GPA will be necessary to obtain the scholarship and if there are no students in philosophy that can earn it, it will become available to College of Liberal Arts students as a whole.
The scholarship fund is one of the most expensive bills that ASUAF has ever passed. Some senators were concerned that not every student would be able to benefit from the scholarship, which would be funded by money that students pay every semester. However, ASUAF president Mathew Carrick gave a visual demonstration showing that the $15,000 was only 6.3 percent of the total rollover money, which is around $238,000, and that it would potentially benefit 20.4 percent of philosophy majors.
“Every dollar that we do not spend is a failure that we did not benefit the students,” he said. “This money is not for us, it was not intended to sit in a bank account for ever and ever. It is intended to go back to the students.”
Endowed scholarships, which is what the Joseph Thompson fund is, are invested and scholarships are created from the interest earned. Therefore, the scholarship might not be ready until 2019, but will continue to provide scholarships once it has had time to set up.
“If this school is here 100 years from now, students will still be getting scholarships,” Quinones said.
In a past interview with the Sun Star, Thompson said that his favorite part of philosophy was, “The almost unlimited opportunity. If you want to do something here, there’s room to do it, and there’s a venue for it. There may even be a need for it. Whether scholarly, personally, if you want to go out and explore, you can.”