The University of Alaska Alumni Association, 1923-1939

The University of Alaska Alumni Association
The University of Alaska Alumni Association

When John Sexton Shanly, the senior class of 1923, graduated, he automatically became the entire alumni association. Over the years there were varied interest and activity levels in the Alumni Association, yet it proved to develop and be an important force within the university's history. These were significant milestones:

1927: The first formal meeting of alumni was held November 16, 1927 with George Lingo elected the first president. Initial actions were to make President Bunnell an honorary member of the association and to require regular members to hold a degree from the institution—there being 11 graduates at the time.

1928: In 1928, the association sent a resolution to the Secretary of Agriculture requesting that the Fairbanks Agricultural Experiment Station become the property of the territory and be available for use by the college. Soon after, the association entered into a more or less inactive period from late 1928 until 1934.

1934: At a November, 1934 meeting, those present endorsed President Bunnell's mailing a sheet soliciting information for a permanent alumni file and in an attempt to pull the organization together, Dr. Bunnell started an alumni column in the December 4, 1934 Farthest North Collegian that included news about individual alumni.

1935 : January 8, 1935, another alumni meeting was held where the members endorsed a fireproof women's dormitory and initiated a name change of the institution from the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines to the University of Alaska. Five years passed before another alumni association meeting was held.

1939: February 25,1939, alumni met and endorsed a bill to create a building fund for the University of Alaska in the annual amount of $40,000. A alumni survey mailed by the Collegian showed 111 of 148 graduates to be living in Alaska.

The alumni association sprang into an active life during the next several years. On May 15,1939, the members met and discussed the feasibility of a student loan fund and an alumni directory. Annual dues were assessed at $2.50 which included a year's subscription to the Collegian. Three meetings a year were approved and a resolution passed regarding holding senior examinations earlier than the last week of the second semester.

The first alumni banquet was held in honor of the Class of 1939 at the University Club, a dining room in the basement of the "old women's dormitory." The cover charge was $1.50 and 33 new alumni members were welcomed.

After the university split into three main branches, the University of Alaska Alumni became University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni.



University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni website here