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The APU Log Moves On

An old friend is about to go through a transformation as Alaska Pacific University changes our “look” with the installation of a new sign at the entrance of university. In 1986, APU alumnus and woodcarver, Harry (Bud) Goodyear, helped a group of students carve the APU log out of a massive tree that was alive and well in 1788 when Captain Cook explored nearby tidewaters. This Alaska Pacific University log has endured road grime, blizzards, and the weight of countless students through the years as they have had their pictures taken while they balanced atop the carved beam. Our neighboring school has a variety of glitzy signs, but APU has long been distinguished by grandness of the Alaska Pacific University log.

Through the years however, APU’s log has been picked at, partially burned by vandals, assailed by the harsh Alaskan winter weather, and perpetually assaulted by micro-organisms and fungi. Before our very eyes, the log has rotted away leading to the decision to replace the sign in the next few days.

The new sign will be rustic, yet modern. The blue and yellow image should be an effective tool to help local residents recognize the entrance of Alaska’s oldest college and university. But as with any cherished symbol of an institution’s identity, many will wonder about the beloved carving and ask, “What will become of the remnant face of the log?” It has been such a part of APU’s identity for so long.

The log will soon be removed and taken to Valley Sawmill where their sawyers will remove the rot on the back portion of the log. The facing will then be restored, sealed, and protected with the intention of putting the log’s undamaged lettering up on the face of Grant Hall as an art installation.


  1. Julie Wasser says:

    Not all progress is a good thing. Some history makes a difference to the future generations. I do not like that you are thinking of removing the log. It’s a landmark of the past and memory for the future. If you loose all the landmarks of the past, I believe there is power in remembering where you came from. Ak has so few. Keep the Log.

  2. Hello,
    I am an APU alumn & a fellow colleague has brought this to my attention.
    Who is a good contact for this transformative project?
    Are there any design renderings for the replacement sign?

    I have been considering approaching APU with a Pro Bono design proposal for campus gateway signage. I pass by the school entrance almost everyday and for the last year – i have been considering design possibilities for the entrance to be reinterpretated & updated – but still retain the APU character. The Log is quintessential APU and I would like to discuss with someone about it’s future.

    As an APU Outdoor Studies grad & a trained landscape architect – I feel as though I might be able to assist in avoiding the tragic mistake of installing a new commercially designed and fabricated sign which does not convey the essence of the university – its mission – and its students/staff/alumni.

    Chad Taylor – APU ’01

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