ISER receives $288,000 for the Harold E. Pomeroy Public Policy Research Endowment

Pomeroy Gift, photo courtesy of Erin Hooley (UAA Advancement)ISER has received a $288,000 check from the estate of Roxolana Pomeroy, for the Harold E. Pomeroy Public Policy Research Endowment. Dolly Farnsworth and John Havelock, longtime friends of the Pomeroys, presented the check to ISER on October 17. (In photo, left to right, John Havelock, Dolly Farnsworth, ISER Director Heather Hudson, CBPP dean Rashmi Prasad.)

Roxolana Pomeroy established the endowment in 1985, to honor her husband, Harold Pomeroy, who died in 1983. Both Harold and Roxolana Pomeroy took a keen interest in public policy in Alaska and were active in state and local government during the early decades of statehood.

The endowment supports faculty research on Alaska public policy, and ISER faculty will determine which issues to study in the future. Since receiving the original endowment in 1985, ISER has used it to support research on the critical issues of Alaska Native subsistence and health care.

About the Pomeroys

Harold Edward Pomeroy was born in Burbank, California in 1902. From 1932–1936, he was mayor of South Gate, California. He was in the U. S. Army from 1943-1947, serving in North Africa, Italy, England, and Austria, where he was executive officer of the Austrian Planning Unit during the Allied occupation of Austria.

He moved to Alaska in 1949 and homesteaded at Bear Cove on Kachemak Bay. He served as director of the Alaska Territorial Civil Defense from 1954–1958, first chairman of the Kenai Peninsula Borough from 1963–1966, and on the state’s Agricultural Task Force from 1982–1983.

Roxolana Eurydice (Skobelska) Pomeroy was born in 1924 in the Ukraine. She studied at the University of Vienna and was a courier for the anti-Nazi underground during World War II. After the war she worked as an interpreter for the Allied occupation of Austria. During that time she met Harold Pomeroy.

In 1948, she emigrated to the United States and in 1949 moved to Alaska. She and Harold Pomeroy were married in 1955. They developed a sawmill and small farm and sold timber and vegetables in the Homer area. They moved to Soldotna in 1963 and later to Anchorage.

Over the years Roxolana Pomeroy was a land law examiner for the Alaska Division of Lands, senior administrative officer at McLaughlin Youth Center, and chief administrator of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute. She and her husband also helped the Tolstoy Foundation buy the land that in 1967 became the Old Believer community of Nikolaevsk, near Homer. She died in 2008.

Read more about the lives of Harold and Roxolana Pomeroy in the UAA/APU Consortium Library’s collection of their personal and professional papers.

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