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Management senior leads a UAA team as director for long-running rugby festival

Tucked away in Hillside at the Alaska Mountain Rugby Grounds, more than 600 people gathered on June 7 and 8 for the 23rd annual Midnight Sun Sevens Rugby Festival. The event featured 30 teams from across Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, the Lower 48 and even one from South Africa, taking advantage of the Last Frontier’s abundant summer sunlight to play matches until late in the evening.

You wouldn’t be remiss if you’ve never heard about the festival during its first 22 years. New festival director and UAA business management senior Tran Dai Phu chalks that up to the event never being widely publicized prior to his involvement. Before he took over as director, Phu describes the event was mostly known to rugby players and fans, likening it to an exclusive summer retreat.

Referred to in previous years as the Midnight Sun Sevens Rugby Tournament or Championship, Phu rechristened it as a festival to attract people who wouldn’t normally watch a rugby match. Come for the beer garden, food trucks and live entertainment, stay to see one the fastest-growing sports in the U.S. in action.

Tran Dai Phu_ 2019 Festival Director

UAA business management senior and festival manager Tran Dai Phu at the 23rd annual Midnight Sun Sevens Rugby Festival at the Alaska Mountain Rugby Grounds. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

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