Ed Rasmuson, one of the strongest supporters of our university, passed away yesterday. A lifelong advocate for education, Ed believed universities like ours are key to building a strong, resilient state. As we mourn his passing, we remember all he achieved through his leadership and vision.
Even if you didn’t know Ed, you knew his work and experienced his impact. Ed served on our Board of Trustees for an incredible 27 years, including two as its chair, and was awarded the title of Trustee Emeritus by APU in 2017. At the same time, he also served on the Board of Regents for the University of Alaska, the Board of Trustees for Sheldon Jackson College, and the Board of Directors for the University of Alaska Foundation. His dedication to higher education in Alaska is undeniable.
Philanthropy was also a hallmark of Ed’s life and career. After leading National Bank of Alaska, Ed focused on developing the state’s arts and education through the Rasmuson Foundation. Thanks to his leadership and generosity, the foundation has benefitted every corner of our campus. Over the years, financial support from Rasmuson Foundation helped to strengthen our Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program, design a master plan for the Kellogg Campus, renovate Grant and Gould Halls, foster the artists that enrich our campus, support programs that increase enrollment and retention, and so much more. Rasmuson Hall in Atwood Center is named in his honor.
We are grateful for Ed’s lifetime of philanthropy and all it provided for our students and our 7,800 graduates. We are honored to continue carrying out his vision for higher education in Alaska.