News broke of the new university, then to be called Alaska Methodist University, in an Anchorage Times article.
The Anchorage Daily Times ran four front page articles about the university.
In the late 1950s, signs like this one photographed in 1957, were put in place with the permission of the territorial police marking the college site for promotional purposes.
The Grant Hall cornerstone laying ceremony was held on Sunday, July 12, 1959. The following year that building would see it’s first batch of students.
The Anchorage Times published this photo in 1960 of Peggie Steinauer, Henry Meyer, and Richard Augustine looking at blueprints for campus buildings. This was the year the school officially started teaching classes.
APU is known for having some unique classes (we’re looking at you Expedition Alaska). In 1961, one year after opening, the school taught a class on fencing.
This 1962 photo from the Consortium Library archives shows a young Grant Hall. The building was named for Bishop Raymond Grant, a former chairman of the board of trustees.
The university had plenty of spirit in 1963. Check out this picture from one of the original cheer squads!
According to a 1964 issue of the university’s student newspaper, the school lost $300,000 in damages during the 1964 earthquake.
In 1965 Miss AMU, Mary Ruth Nidiffer, was named Miss Alaska. The history major’s talent portion included performing a song from the Broadway Show “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.”
From the 1966 yearbook: students taking notes in a science class.
A 30-meter ski hill and Paul Crews Jump was built in 1967 on a hill with a vertical 80° slope.
What’s not to love about this 1968 of three faculty members sharing a laugh?
Students hunkering down to study for finals in 1969.
Professor Leonard Freese giving an anatomy lesson in 1970.
Check out that camera from this 1971 graduation picture!
Community members bump, set, and spike during a summer picnic.
Our favorite snapshot of life here in 1973? This picture of AMU students getting really into their karate lessons.
If we didn’t know better, we might think this picture from 1974 was from today.
From 1975: Students, faculty, and staff participate in a luncheon.
Throwing it back to this retro picture of Atwood center from 1976.
From 1977: Students studying in the Consortium Library. It was 1970 that legislature passed a bill funding the construction of a library to be shared by APU and UAA. The building opened in 1973.
Who remembers the world that used to be on Grant Hall, like in this picture from 1978? Also, this was the year AMU became APU.
From 1979: APU community members pet a sled dog.
In 1980 APU cosponsored student Clarence Shockley in the Iditarod sled dog race to Nome and he practiced with his dogs on the APU trail system.
From 1981: APU students taking notes during a lecture.
From 1982: A pair of moose hang out outside of Grant Hall.
In 1983 the Mlakar President’s House was built by Frances Mlakar in memory of her husband, John Mlakar. John was a committed board of trustees member and Frances is a trustee emeriti.
From 1984: APU students showing that the school has a long history of outdoor education.
Our favorite photo from 1985? This non-traditional student at graduation.
Can you believe how much the U-Med District has changed since 1986?
Throwing it back to 1987 and this stylin’ graduate.
Did you know APU had a wrestling team in 1988?
…And a volleyball team in 1989. Here they’re pictured at the Wisconsin Invitational.
APU had some quality marketing photos taken in 1990.
From 1991: Professor Carey during a math lesson.
APU community members marching in the 1992 Fur Rendezvous parade.
An APU staffer measures the distance between a Frisbee and a flag during a staff picnic in the summer of 1994.
From 1995: Students greeted the new President, Dr. North, at the airport with a few housewarming gifts: an APU banner, an APU ski cap, a fruit basket, an Anchorage map, and an APU mug with hot chocolate.
Students and faculty chat over lunch in Atwood Center in 1996.
From 1997: students work in a computer lab.
From 1998: Students practice on the rock wall in the basement of Atwood Center.
From a 1999 article in the Anchorage Daily News about new funding for APU. The caption read: “Caitlin Yarborough tutors lab partner Lars Flora as they review quiz results during a chemistry lab last week in Grant Hall.”
From 2000: Students take a load off during class in the outdoors.
From 2001: the Atwood Building fountain. The Robert Atwood Building was constructed in 1965 as the student union building. Atwood was the publisher of the Anchorage Times and a former University trustee. His wife, Evangeline, was the author of books on the history of Anchorage and Alaska. Following her death, Robert had the fountain added to the building in 1988.
From 2002: A student sets up their tent during a class expedition.
In 2003, APU switched from chlorine and implemented the salt-based pool system in Moseley Sports Center.
From 2004: a kayaking class unloads their vessels on the beach.
The APU Journal published this piece in October 2005 about a student from New Orleans who was awarded a free semester at APU following Hurricane Katrina.
From 2006: Philanthropists N.E. “knobby” and Mary Segelhorst donated funds to build a 24 bed apartment style residence for students.
In 2007, Anchorage Daily News ran a story titled “Beloved Brooks. APU registrar signs off after 46 years with university.” Jeanette Brooks, then 75-years-old, started working at APU in 1961, the year after the school opened.
From 2008: Some students spend their weekend glacier climbing with Outdoor Programs.
“It’s a big challenge. But the Olympics are all about seeing what you can do,” student Kikkan Randall said in a New York Times article in 2009. That year she also took second in the World Championships, the first U.S. skier to do so since ’82. This year will mark Randall’s fifth and final Olympic attempt.
From 2010: Students showing that sometimes life is better above the tree line.
From 2011: Students prepare for the Zombie Walk by learning the moves to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” from Dean of Students Ben Hahn.
Climbing Systems students reach new heights in 2012.
Students rafting down the Yukon River in 2013.
From 2014: Doctoral students in Counseling Psychology post fall graduation.
A student performs testing in the octopus lab in 2015.
From 2016: “The ensemble is basically rock band fantasy camp for credit,” said Professor Eric Redding. Each semester, students learn multiple instruments to perform in show that serves as their final.
From 2017: A handful of students traveled to Iceland as part of a class titled “Fire and Ice: Viking Saga, Icelandic Legacy.”