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.