KNBA - KBC

As Heard on Morning Line: Alaska Pacific University Tribal College?

Jun 13, 2017

Dr. Robert Onders visits KNBA June 13, 2017. Onders is the President of APU.
Credit Koahnic Broadcast Corporation

Alaska Pacific University has long been a respected Alaskan higher education institution, founded in Anchorage in 1958 as Alaska Methodist University, with groundbreaking dedication June 29, one day before the US Senate voted for Alaska Statehood. 

A newer Alaska Native Executive Leadership program is also offered, and perhaps foreshadows the direction APU is embarking on - emerging as a tribal college in a cooperative effort with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.  

Spearheading the effort is Dr. Bob Onders, MD., MPA., JD.

Onders has been the interim President since February, and says the tribal university approach is really a return to the original intent of the school.

"In 1957, Dr Peter Gordon Gould, an Aleut from the village of Unga on the Aleutian chain, founded and Chartered Alaska Methodist University. He envisioned a college which would provide a quality, private education for future Alaska leaders, and in particular Alaska Native Leaders."

The new iteration of APU will be the second tribal college in Alaska.  Onders says Alaska's geography and tribal affiliations make for a unique situation for a tribal college - oriented in 

Over the years, and with a name change in 1978, the small liberal arts college had grown to university status to include Undergraduate and Graduate degrees, professional studies and an honors program that allows for early earning of dual credit.  

To get to know Dr. Onders, check out the following Question & Answer session on APU's website:

https://www.alaskapacific.edu/q-a-with-apus-new-interim-president/

A History of the Alaska Methodist University, can be found online here:

https://alaskaumc.org/about-2/history/alaska-methodist-university-history/