UA Journey

Willard "Buck" Whitaker

Willard "Buck" Whitaker in front of the Whitaker Building on the Fairbanks Campus

The Whitaker Building was built in 1973, bringing all UAF emergency services under one roof. The building was officially dedicated to Williard "Buck" Whitaker on May 19, 2001.

Today, the building houses the University Fire Department, UAF Police Department, UAF Dispatch Center and the Center for Health and Counseling.

Whitaker served as the university's first paid fire chief from 1967 – 1978. Chief Whitaker was instrumental in developing the community partnership between UAF and the Fairbanks North Star Borough that created the current University Fire Department. It was his vision and pursuit of excellence that helped create one of the best fire departments in the state and an excellent opportunity for assisting young adults to obtain a college and lifetime education in the fire services.