Rasmuson leaves stocks worth more than $5 million to APU

Posted: Tuesday, January 09, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The late Elmer Rasmuson left Alaska Pacific University 100,000 shares of Wells Fargo stock, which at Monday's market price means more than $5 million, officials say.

Cheryl McGrew, the Anchorage school's development director, said the gift will go into the school's APU Foundation. The university embarked upon a $20 million fund-raising drive in 1999, and Rasmuson's gift brings the total raised so far to about $17.2 million, she said.

Rasmuson placed no restrictions on use of the money. Although no decisions have been made about how it will be spent, it probably will go for programs and scholarships, McGrew said.

''I think it's a tribute to how philanthropic he was,'' McGrew said, ''to how he felt about higher education in general.''

Rasmuson died last month at age 91. The son of missionary parents, Rasmuson rose to become mayor of Anchorage and chairman of National Bank of Alaska, the state's largest and oldest bank.

He was one of a small group that organized APU in 1957 as Alaska Methodist University and helped secure the funding to get it going.

The $5 million bequest was pledged during Rasmuson's lifetime, and is one of many large donations he made to APU and the University of Alaska over the years.

About 575 students attend APU, which grants bachelor's, associate's and master's degrees.

Rasmuson left all of his approximately $400 million estate to charity, making him the most giving philanthropist in modern Alaska.

Most of the money will go to the Rasmuson Foundation.

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