Grace Wickersham

Portrait of Grace Wickersham
Portrait of Grace Wickersham

Grace Vrooman (Bishop) Wickersham was born on July 23, 1872.

Grace Wickersham was a member of the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines Board of Trustees from 1933 to 1935 and a member of the University of Alaska Board of Regents from 1935 to 1941.

Grace Vrooman arrived in Juneau in 1900 to be a substitute teacher. She had no intentions of remaining in Alaska beyond that school year. Something changed her mind for she continued to teach in Juneau until she retired.

Dr. Ernest Patty, president of the university in 1958, said, "In the eight years Mrs. Wickersham spent as trustee and regent, she took a deep interest in the affairs of the university. She had great pride in the fact her husband was one of the founders of the university and was pleased she could help build upon the cornerstone he laid."

When notified in her Juneau home of the dedication, Mrs. Wickersham commented that she finally had caught up with Mrs. Hess.

Before marriage, Grace Vrooman and Harriet Primer (Hess) were roommates and fellow teachers in Juneau. Miss Primer's marriage to Luther Hess preceded her nuptials. Mrs. Hess was named a trustee and regent before Mrs. Wickersham, and was first to have a university building named in her honor.