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Sheldon Jackson College
SJC-logo.png
Active 1878—2007(?)
Faculty 17
Staff 18
Location Sitka, Alaska,, USA
Campus Rural
Sheldon Jackson School
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
Richard Allen Memorial Hall on the SJC campus
Sheldon Jackson College is located in Alaska
Location: Sitka, Alaska
Coordinates: 57°3′3″N 135°19′15″W / 57.05083°N 135.32083°W / 57.05083; -135.32083Coordinates: 57°3′3″N 135°19′15″W / 57.05083°N 135.32083°W / 57.05083; -135.32083
Built/Founded: 1896
Architect: Unknown
Architectural style(s): Octagon Mode
Governing body: Private
Added to NRHP: February 23, 1972[1]
Designated NHL: August 7, 2001[2]
NRHP Reference#: 72000193

Sheldon Jackson College (SJC) was a small private college located on Baranof Island in Sitka, Alaska, United States. Founded in 1878, it was the oldest institution of higher learning in Alaska and maintained a historic relationship with the Presbyterian Church. Named in honor of Rev. Sheldon Jackson, an early missionary and educational leader in Alaska, the school was formerly accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Contents

History

Map of Sheldon Jackson College campus
Sheldon Jackson College

Similar to the Carlisle Indian School, Sheldon Jackson College was initially formed as a "training" school for Alaska Natives. The school was founded in 1878 by Fannie Kellogg and future Governor of Alaska John G. Brady for the Tlingit people. Initially known as the Sitka Industrial and Training School, it nearly closed in 1882 after its original facility, located over a military barracks, burned down. The Presbyterian missionary Sheldon Jackson came to the rescue of the school, raising funds through a national campaign, leading to the construction of a new building on the site of the present campus. In 1910, after Rev. Jackson died, the school was renamed in his honor.

The institution added a boarding high school in 1917, and a college program in 1944. The college program gained accreditation in 1966 and the high school was closed the following year.

In 1972, the school was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district.[3] The school was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001.[2][4]

Closure

The school's educational accreditation was reviewed by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and State of Alaska, a process that happens nationally with colleges and universities. About this process, President David Dobler said, "SJC’s current authorization to operate as an Alaska postsecondary institution has been extended until July 2006, and SJC, at that time, will be required to provide the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) with documentation of financial and administrative capacity in order for authorization to be renewed."[5] Similarly, the college was under a "show cause" order from the Northwest Commission and was required to "show cause" why its regional accreditation should not be revoked.

On June 29, 2007, all academic operations were suspended and all faculty and staff were dismissed due to cash flow shortages. The Board of Trustees gathered all staff and informed them that June 29 would be the final day of employment. They were also informed all health insurance coverage would cease at that time.

On July 17, 2007, the Alaska Commission on Post-secondary Education (ACPE) announced the cancellation of Sheldon Jackson College's authorization to operate a college in Alaska. The college appealed the decision, but was ultimately shut down.

In March 2008, the official website for the school went off-line. In the summer of 2008, the college opened its dorms and facilities for use by local workers and companies.

The fate of the school libraries' collection of rare books and artwork is still in question; the collection has been boxed and stored.[6]

Alaska Natives still composed over 25 percent of the last student body.

Sheldon Jackson Museum

Sheldon Jackson Museum is a Native American museum located on the former campus of Sheldon Jackson College. Many of the artifacts were originally collected by Rev. Sheldon Jackson in his travels through rural Alaska. The museum are owned and administered by the State of Alaska. Sheldon Jackson Museum was founded in 1887, becoming the first museum in the state of Alaska.

Library

Stratton Library was an academic library at the college. The library building contains 48,000 items in its collection with over 10 percent of all material being directly related to Alaska's history, including many first edition books and rare periodicals.

Notable alumni

  • Elizabeth Peratrovich, civil rights activist
  • Sandra Marbut, Head Coach of Women's Basketball at California Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Walter Soboleff, Tlingit scholar, Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand President Emeritus.
  • Professor Thadius "Di" Braun, graduated summa cum laude from SJC in 1999. A former Guistwhite scholar (Top-10 U.S. students from 2-year colleges), he held the highest state-wide GPA for fishery students in the state that year. He now serves as Visiting Instructor at Kangwon National University's Samcheok and Dogye campuses in South Korea, near the last two remaining salmon runs in that country.

Notes

External links

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