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Alumni Spotlight: Jim Parise '87

Jim Parise on top of mountain in Alaska

Jim Parise '87 (left) with daughter Maren on top of a mountain in Alaska. Jim and his family live in Juneau, the state capital.

Name: Jim Parise
Year of Scecina Graduation: 1987
College/University: Ball State University 
Degree: B.S. in Finance with a minor in Economics
Current Position: Director of Fixed Income Investments
Employer: Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation

By Rose Branson, Donor and Alumni Relations Coordinator

Jim Parise '87 traveled the farthest among his classmates for his 30th class reunion this past October. It's 3,200 miles from his current home in Juneau, Alaska, to Indianapolis.

For the past 17 years, Jim has been living a life of adventure on the Last Frontier.

“After 30 years, I still feel like a member of the Scecina Community even though I live thousands of miles away. That feeling will never go away and giving is one small way to feel connected and help current students experience what I did at Scecina,” said Jim, who makes it a point to travel home for his reunions every 10 years.

Jim grew up at St. Simon parish and attended grade school there before heading off to Scecina. While at Scecina, Jim was on the wrestling team and enjoyed socializing with friends during and after school.

“I wrestled at Scecina under Coach Mark Steinmetz, who was tough as nails but cared deeply for his wrestlers. Wrestling at Scecina also taught me how to deal with defeat,” said Jim. “It could be humiliating to lose in front of your family and friends, but it made me realize the world kept going and those close to me only cared that I gave it my all.”

Jim also joked that he felt he was not a great student compared to his peers at Scecina, but he went on to do very well at Ball State University.

“When I arrived at college, I did much better than I or my parents thought I would and I attribute it all to my experience at Scecina,” said Jim. “In college and in life, the Catholic education I received proved invaluable.”

Jim and his wife, Kelly, and their four children, Maren, Nick, Anna, and Matthew, live in the state capital of Juneau, where Jim is Director of Fixed Income at the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC). He is responsible for investing the $11 billion bond portfolio that is part of a $60 billion overall investment portfolio for the APFC.

The APFC manages the assets of the Alaska Permanent Fund and other state investments. The Permanent fund was created in an amendment to the Alaska Constitution upon completion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. It set aside some oil revenues into a dedicated fund for future generations who would not have the oil as a resource.

On a daily basis, Jim is trading bonds and speaking to the major Wall Street banks in order to manage the portfolio.

Although his adopted state has its own Alaska Time Zone, Jim works New York hours, so he gets out of work at 2 p.m. and enjoys his afternoons fishing, hiking, and exploring with his family.

“I have been in Alaska for 17 years and it has been a wonderful experience for me and family,” says Jim.

Jim concludes that, “Scecina sent me into the world with a moral compass that helped guide me through many different challenges and experiences after high school.”

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