Wood Center Stories

Stories published with permission from the submitters.


Karl Kassel

Wood Center staff 1975 through 1984

Wood Center has always held a very special place in my heart, and I believe for many others also. Alaska and UAF are unique, and in my mind, a cut above any other state or university. It is the people, their compassion and commitment, and their fierce individualism that makes it so. Wood Center staff has strived to exemplify the finer points of what makes Alaska and UAF a special place. Wood Center is much more than a building. It's a culture that displays what is the best of Alaska. The dominating "stairway to nowhere" is not only the anchoring feature of the building; it is a focal point for student activities, typically adorned with colorful banners highlighting upcoming campus events. The multilevel lounge offers a variety of microenvironments suitable for casual chatting, quiet reading or between-class napping. These are all important features for making a student union a little more comfortable.


Jo Kuchle

UAF Class of  '83

Memories I have of Wood Center are:

  1. Senate meetings on Sunday night. I was elected to Student Senate my freshman year and I was so excited to be involved. Roy Guyersbach (I am sure I’ve spelled that wrong) was the sitting ASUA president at the time. The Senate meetings were always interesting and fun. One of the big desires in 1970-80 was separate place for student government within the Wood Center I was  involved as the student Legislative Coordinator (I think I did that for 2 – 3 years) and one of the things we successfully did was lobby the state legislature for funds to build separate student government offices. Those are still in Wood Center and it was a great, great thing.
  2. The PUB! When I was a freshman, it was such a mysterious place because I was not yet old enough to legally drink and I couldn’t go in. I remember vividly turning 19 and being so excited to go into the Pub – it was like going through a portal! Remember many wonderful Halloween Parties that Robert George would plan. I know the first time I saw the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" (a downright AWFUL movie, but incredible fun to watch in the Pub with a bunch of rowdy people) was in the Pub. I also remember being a group costume – Snow White and the 7 dwarves – with Cynthia, Denise Brand, Gene, Fred Johnson, Bill Zybach, someone else, and me!
  3. The stairway to nowhere was a great thing. The banners were amazing and it was fun to see new ones each week, particularly for PUB events.
  4. The lounge was a place where we hosted many political events with students to interact with sitting or campaigning legislators. 
  5. Gene, of course, would take many a nap in Wood Center. If you needed to find him mid-day, it was often on those funky benches with him taking a nap. I would leave him notes about what time our "gang" would be meeting for dinner.

Of course WC was a major freeway between upper campus and getting to class. You always zipped through WC to warm up on your way to Gruening or wherever. 

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