ACC 15th anniversary

ACC 15th anniversary

Alaska Christian College (ACC) has been on quite a journey since Dr. Keith Hamilton first arrived and turned off K-Beach Rd. onto E. Poppy Lane then off Poppy onto a very rough Royal Pl. the end of which was only an old homestead house. On a very similar rainy day in September Hamilton addressed a crowd of over 100 including local officials and former Governor Sean Parnell and his wife Sandy at a banquet in the ACC community event center. Hamilton recalled that first year and remarking to the college’s first class of 18 students that the college “didn’t even have a paperclip to its name.” At the first graduation when he was awarding diplomas Hamilton said each student gave him a paperclip. He then held up a ring of 18 paper clips linked together and said he keeps them on the wall of his office as a reminder, “That ACC has been built on the backs of many people that love Alaska, who love young people especially young Alaskan native people and have given sacrificially here. Many come and work as volunteers from the lower 48 on work teams that make this happen,” said Hamilton. Today ACC is an accredited two-year college with 17 buildings on its 27.5 acre campus with a class of 81 native students earning Associate of Arts degrees. Hamilton took the opportunity to recognize the only original staff member who is still with ACC. Jeff Siemers is the only other founding staff member who is still at the college other than Hamilton and his wife.

After being treated to some traditional Yup’ik songs and entertainment by some of the students the group went outside to join the dignitaries who donned hard hats for a ceremonial ground breaking of a new dormitory to be called Taikuu, Inupiaq for “Thank You.” “It will add 34 beds making us available for 110 students to show up on our campus next fall. It’s an amazing capital project of about $1.7 million dollar project and about $700,000 of that will be through in-kind giving and the rest through private funding. We had to turn students away this fall because we did not have enough beds,” said Hamilton. Sen. Peter Micciche was on hand for the ground breaking and said he was proud of the work ACC and done in Alaska, “ACC programs have redirected many lives and has been instrumental in breaking the cycle of abuse and addiction that is so common in many places around the state,” he said.

Hamilton describes ACC as a bridge for native Alaskans, “We’ll continue to grow our AA degree because we believe that students that come from rural Alaska don’t do well at a four year university when they go there directly from the village so we are bridge to get them from village Alaska into a good higher educational system then off to the University. Our vision is also to reach out to our local community, to meet its conference needs or housing needs, we are open and serving our community just last week 34 of our students were over volunteering at the Food Bank to help them prepare for their soup supper event. It’s an amazing thing to watch God work here. People said it couldn’t be done, but 15 years later the results speak for themselves and yes I got chocked up today as I shared some of our students successes, so I’m excited knowing what’s happening here, ” added Hamilton. For more information about opportunities at ACC log on to

ACC 15th anniversary
ACC 15th anniversary
ACC 15th anniversary
ACC 15th anniversary
ACC 15th anniversary

More in News

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Board of Fisheries approves Kenai River king salmon action plan

The plan adds bait restrictions for in-river fisheries, doubles the sport bag limit for sockeye salmon, and adds a swath of restrictions to the commercial setnet fishery

The Kenai Municipal Airport is seen on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
New Grant Aviation planes to double service’s flight capacity

The first of two Cessna 208B EX Grand Caravans will start transporting passengers on Monday

Stickers are available for voters at the Kenai No. 1 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to hold ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest

City council members approved the program during their Wednesday night meeting

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks in support of a bill increasing state funds for public education in the Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bill seeking to bump use of Alaska Performance Scholarship clears the House with unanimous support

The money is awarded to high-performing high school graduates to help pay for postsecondary education at participating institutions in Alaska

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies

Travis Every, top left, speaks in support of fishing opportunity for the east side setnet fishery before the State Board of Fisheries at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local fishers talk conservation, opportunity before Board of Fisheries in Anchorage

Local fishers from the Kenai Peninsula traveled to Anchorage this weekend to… Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman bill would pay bonuses to nationally certified teachers

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development estimates that the bonus program would apply to about 215 of Alaska’s estimated 7,315 teachers — about 3%

Alaska senators meet with members of the media to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

A map displays a wide-ranging special weather statement, published Tuesday by the National Weather Service, covering Southcentral Alaska. (Map courtesy of National Weather Service)
Strong winds, low wind chills forecast through Friday

Wind chills over night may reach as low as -20 to -40 degrees in much of Southcentral

Most Read