Birth of an institution
"When the Legislature convened in 1917, the idea of establishing an agricultural college at Fairbanks seemed ridiculous to most people at the capital but, as time passed, it was interesting to note how the attitude toward the College was changing and people were more willing to listen to argument in its favor. One prominent pioneer of Juneau said the morning after the Legislature had closed, 'I am almost persuaded to your college.' And, when the bill finally passed, there were seven votes against it in the House but only one in the Senate. The bill was approved May 3, 1917.
"By this act and a subsequent one, the Legislature accepted the four sections of land granted by congress for a site of an agricultural college and school of mines, appropriated $60,000.00 for buildings and equipment, authorized the Governor of the Territory to appoint eight trustees as a governing board and prescribed general rules for its conduct.
"On August 10, 1917, Gov. J. F. A. Strong, of Alaska, appointed the following as trustees of the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines: H.B. Parkin, A.J. Nordale, A. R. Heilig, R.C. Wood, Mrs. Luther C. Hess, Phil Ernst, L. S. Keller and L. F. Shaw. The Board of Trustees held their first meeting September 5, 1917."
- Harriet Hess, remembering the founding of the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines. Excerpted from Farthest-North Collegian, Vol. 3, No. 2, July 1925. The full text can be found at www.alaska.edu/opa/eInfo/index.xml?StoryID=281.