What I’m thankful for

Working at UAA since 1986 has been an amazing experience. Most of our students weren’t even born when I started here. I’m thankful for UAA, what its achieved, and what it has in its future. Consider these additions to campus in the last 27 years:

  • MAC apartments
  • New residence halls and Gorsuch Commons
  • The library expansion including the green light saber roof light and the cool Foucault pendulum
  • Rasmussen Hall and the new home of the College of Business & Public Policy as well as Native Student Services*, Multicultural Center*, Disability Support Services*, Career Services, and the Student Health & Counseling Center* (*new student services since 1993)
  • The University Center One Stop services and academic offices
  • Conoco Phillips Integrated Sciences Building…oh yea, and a parking garage
  • The ANSEP building
  • The Health Sciences building
  • And this fall our new Alaska Airlines Center followed by the new Engineering & Industry building

That’s a LOT.

Yet, UAA is more than its facilities. It’s the students, staff, and faculty who make it what it is. I know it’s easy to complain about parking and food service – believe me those are universal college complaints. But there are real people behind those services, ALL the services and programs at UAA, and they’re trying to make our university a better place.

This year alone the UAA community has lead, coordinated, participated in, or learned from these programs and presenters (this is the short list!)

  • Kenji Yoshino, NYU Law Professor, MLK Student Appreciation Speaker
  • The first Emerging Leaders Conference with Toastmasters International
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ show
  • UAA’s Relay for Life
  • Dan Savage and the Savage World Tour
  • Campus Kick-Off and comedian, Nick Offerman
  • 20th anniversary of A Cappella Festivella with Pentatonix
  • Seawolf Volleyball
  • Alaska Federal Court Judge Beistline
  • The Shopping Cart Parade and the Homecoming Dance
  • Jean Killbourne, author and filmmaker
  • The Big River Musical
  • World Champion, Ryan Avery,
  • Winning the Governor’s Cup in Hockey vs. UAF
  • Candy Chang “Before I die…” artist and juror of No Big Heads
  • USUAA Thanksgiving Day Feast
  • …and I know there are many, many more.

So, take a moment and be thankful for what we have and consider how to get involved in what’s coming in 2014. It’s great to have new facilities and programs.  It’s the people, though, that make a difference. Happy New Year UAA!


Annie Route
Director of Student Life & Leadership
Administrative advisor to TNL

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