Northrim Bank and its affiliate, Residential Mortgage, have established an endowed scholarship with a $100,000 donation to the University of Alaska Foundation in memory of Chris Knudson.
Knudson died Sept. 13, 2013, after a lengthy battle against cancer. The scholarship will be available for UA students majoring in accounting beginning in 2014 at $4,500 per year—a $1,500 scholarship for students at each university. Northrim Bank will make additional contributions during initial years, until endowment earnings can support the annual $4,500 scholarships.
“We wanted to honor Mr. Knudson’s legacy at Northrim Bank and when asked, Chris noted that he wanted to support students who were in the accounting field,” said Joe Beedle, president and chief executive officer of Northrim Bank. “This scholarship will be a lasting tribute to inspire students in accounting throughout the UA system.”
The Chris Knudson Northrim Accounting Scholarship will be available for students, including part-time students, in pursuit of an Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts degree at all three of UA’s major universities in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau, as well as their associated community campuses.
Jo Michalski, chair of the UA Foundation’s Board of Trustees, said the gift illustrates how private donations to the university translate into investments in the state’s economy. “Students from across Alaska will benefit from this contribution, which acknowledges the life work of Chris Knudson while helping to meet the state’s workforce needs. Everyone needs a good accountant.”
Knudson was executive vice president, chief operating officer for Northrim Bank and a director of the board of Northrim BanCorp. and was a charter officer, along with founders Marc Langland and the late Arnold Espe, who started the financial institution in 1990. He began his business career at Peat Marwick and Mitchell, now KPMG LLP, in 1975. A graduate of the University of North Dakota with a degree in accounting, Knudson was a staff auditor for KPMG. One of his first jobs was auditing the First National Bank of Fairbanks, which he subsequently joined in late 1977 when Langland became president. Soon Knudson was named vice president and controller.
Knudson served as vice president and controller of Alaska Pacific Bank from 1982 to 1983; worked at Alaska Pacific Bancorporation in the same positions from 1983 to 1985; and then switched to Key Bancshares of Alaska from 1985 until 1987. From 1987 to 1990, he was senior vice president and chief financial officer before joining Northrim in 1990.