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The 2015 Commencement is the 27th for Chancellor John Pugh and 16th in his time as Chancellor. His retirement at the end of this month sparked an email poll of the UAS community. Here are some responses to "What will you miss most about Chancellor John Pugh?"

By: Katie Bausler

I remember one meeting we had when he announced he was so excited (about what I cannot remember) that he told us “I’m so excited I’m about to pee my pants!” I also dearly remember his campaign to get students to go the their classes in the morning: it was called “Get Off Your Ass and Go to Class.” John would have breakfast in the cafeteria with any students willing to get up on time. Mostly I will miss his devoted advocacy of faculty and his various plans and programs. He has left UAS an entirely different institution from when he arrived in 1987. Katy Spangler, Professor of Education
I’m going to miss John’s laughter. I think all of us will. But mostly I’m going to miss how he would drop in our student programs and events. While I’m sure his primary motivation was to see and meet with students, the impact his presence had on the staff who worked hard to plan and implement the events was immeasurable. Sometimes we didn’t even know how John knew about the events – he would just appear. And the staff would comment later how great it was for the Chancellor stop by. Often times, it’s the little things that mean the most. Lori Klein, Director, Student Resource Center
I will miss Chancellor Pugh’s signature laugh! Eric W. Scott, Director of Campus Life
When I worked for the School of Management in 2013 I truly appreciated his down to earth, “I’m just John” demeanor. That quality, one of many, allowed me to relate to him with candor even when he was the Chancellor. I hope he enjoys retirement and keeps golfing. Cyndi Gleason, Field Auditor, Department of Labor & Workforce Development
His contagious smile and his approach to golf. Bob Love, TVEP Coordinator
UAS Sitka Campus
I will miss Chancellor Pugh’s soft southern drawl and his Christmas cards. All the best in retirement to John and his wife, Karen Ramsey Student Services Tech.
I will miss him and know that I will continue to see him participate in the community. I always appreciated he remembers my name. It makes a huge difference when the campus leader remembers who you are and stops to ask how you’re doing. This speaks volumes! I most appreciate how involved Chancellor Pugh is involved in the Native community. This is something I always express to colleagues in education and refer to Chancellor Pugh’s example. I will miss him at UAS! Especially since my daughter will be a freshman this fall at UAS. Michelle D. Martin, MAT
I’ll miss his generous spirit. I never saw him share a stage with anyone, or shared that stage with him, where he wasn’t delighted to feature or celebrate those next to him. He saw the success of UAS as a collaborative effort, not a one-man show. Rod Landis, Professor of English, Ketchikan Campus
UAS Co-director of Composition & Assessment
Years ago (the summer of 2002) I had the incredible opportunity to be a student employee in the Chancellor’s Office — I learned a lot from the people I worked with — in my opinion, the best of the best worked in that office — Scott Foster, Vicki, Lorraine, and sadly other people whose names I’ve since forgotten. My summer of working in the office led to experiences I might not have had otherwise — a print and television advertising campaign, leadership opportunities, and encouragement that led up to my graduating. Chancellor Pugh was always an encouragement to me, a smiling face who took time to talk to me. As the years have gone by he still remembers me and shows genuine interest in me and my family. Whether it’s on campus or at the grocery store Chancellor Pugh is always a welcome sight. He’s an example to me of what it means to be involved in the community — he is a caring man who I am honored to know. Thank you Chancellor Pugh for all the work you’ve done and for being a positive role model to students and alumni. Jennifer Thorsteinson (Loesch), 2007 Graduate
Foremost I’ll miss his delight in his job, colleagues and students. I’ve always found John very approachable. In both his public presentations and more personal interactions, he has always had an easy conversational style and upbeat tone. He has always appeared to me to be a good listener and to value his employees. I think he has taken great pride in his accomplishments at UAS as well he should. I wish him a well-deserved, contented and healthy retirement. I imagine he will continue to be involved in some aspects of the campus and that his “spirit” will continue to watch over UAS. The campus was lucky to have his guidance these many years. Beatrice Franklin, Egan Library/ILL
A hard act to follow, Chancellor Pugh. You set the standard for what a University Chancellor can do for a community of learners. Denise Caposey, UAS Alumni (Class of 1996)
Bachelor of Education and Early Childhood Major
  • I will miss his infectious enthusiasm around all things that celebrate our students and graduates – he genuinely embraces any and all opportunities to showcase their accomplishments.
  • I will miss the notes (email and paper) that he would send expectantly to acknowledge an employee’s effort or quick action to a particular request.
  • I will miss how he would point out aspects of the good work that we do in the presence of others, acknowledging his appreciation and value of us as employees.
  • Like everyone, I will miss his smile and warm greetings whenever I would see him around campus.
  • And I will thank him every time I look at the new Freshman Residence Hall for his vision and drive to create a place where students can more easily find community and access to the campus during their first year.
I know Chancellor Pugh will still be involved with UAS following his retirement, as he will continue to have a place in our lives as we are daily reminded of his legacy. Deborah Rydman, Career Services Advisor
What can I not say about Chancellor Pugh, his leadership has been extraordinary, as his love for UAS. I will miss his wonderful smile and his positive and friendly nature. He is always there with a cheerful greeting for everyone he meets; students, faculty, staff, and community members. Always ready with a kind and caring comment, a laugh and a smile bringing a bright spot in our days. When I am out walking at noon, I always enjoy seeing him on his noontime walk around campus. He will be missed in so many ways... Kristi Allen, Administrative Secretary
UAS Egan Library

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