Mission Statement of Alaska Pacific University
Honoring Alaska’s Indigenous heritage, exemplifying excellence, and preparing paths
APU provides a world class, hands-on, culturally responsive educational experience in collaboration with our students, communities, and Tribal partners
Wisdom, Respect, Reciprocity, Relevance, Responsibility
Learning, Growth and Innovation
Community Engagement and Impact
(Approved May 2018)
A Brief History of Alaska Pacific University
Alaska Pacific University, chartered as Alaska Methodist University by the Territory of Alaska in 1957, dedicated its campus on June 28, 1959, one day prior to Alaska achieving statehood. When the first students enrolled in classes beginning October 1, 1960, campus facilities consisted of Grant Hall, the academic and student center; and Gould Hall, the student residence. As enrollments and programs grew significantly, a student center, apartment, and residence hall complex was constructed. This complex was later named Atwood Center. After a 1977 reorganization, academic programs were restructured, and in November 1978 Alaska Methodist University was renamed Alaska Pacific University to better reflect its educational mission and geographical location. The Ruth and Homer Moseley sports center was added to campus facilities in 1986, the Carr Gottstein Academic Center in 1992, and the Segelhorst Residence Hall was opened in 2007. Given in trust by former trustee and dairy farmer Louise Kellogg, the Spring Creek farm at the Kellogg Campus, located in Palmer, AK, is being developed as an environmental learning center and has been used to support APU programs since 2001.
Alaska Pacific University stands on the shoulders of its predecessor, Alaska Methodist University, one of the most recent of the more than 1,200 United Methodist educational institutions founded in America over the last 200 years. An emphasis on higher education has been vital to the denomination since its founding by John Wesley in the eighteenth century. Today 128 United Methodist-related schools and colleges exist in the United States. Alaska Pacific University continues to maintain affiliate membership among these universities, while remaining independent. Although the university is firmly rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition of United Methodism, it espouses no narrow sectarian or doctrinal creed and indeed welcomes in its community of learners and teachers all who wish to engage in the search for truth. While faithful to its tradition, APU celebrates diversity and pluralism. In 1991, the university established the Cardinal Newman Chair of Catholic Theology through an endowment from the Catholic Archdiocese. The Newman Chair is a significant example of the university’s ecumenism. Further, the university promotes the dignity of work and living through love and respect for others. In this context, any labor performed in the service of caring for God’s world and advancing the well-being of the human family is considered a sacred calling.