"Though he retired, he never stopped serving his community. Dr. Wood was committed to making the place where he lived a better place than when he found it."
- Sen. Wilken
"An Act naming the William Ransom Wood Centennial Bridge in Fairbanks.".
Senate Bill 77 names the Fairbanks Riverwalk Centennial Bridge in honor of a true visionary and leader for Alaska, Dr. William Ransom Wood.
Dr. Bill Wood arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1960 with his wife Dorothy Jane, son Mark and daughter Karen, to serve as the fourth president of our University of Alaska. After thirteen years of leading the University and shaping it into a world-class institution, he retired from University service and, with his family, decided to remain in Fairbanks.
Though he retired, he never stopped serving his community. Dr. Wood was committed to making the place where he lived a better place than when he found it. He fulfilled that belief everyday of his 94 years. Even on his final days, he was offering words of wisdom and urging national, state, and local leaders to begin or to finish community projects.
Over the years, Dr. Wood was a leader to many; he was the Mayor of Fairbanks, Chair of Fairbanks Area Community Hospital Foundation, founder of Festival Fairbanks, founder of Fairbanks Industrial Development Corporation, and 1985 Alaskan of the Year. He was very active in Rotary International, serving as President, District 5010 Governor, and receiving Rotary's highest honor - the Service Above Self Award.
At the age of 94 years old, Dr. Wood, as executive director of Festival Fairbanks, desired to commemorate the centennial of Fairbanks with a pedestrian bridge over the Chena River to remember and respect the builders of the twentieth century. As Fairbanks celebrates its centennial this year, it is fitting that this bridge be known statewide as the William Ransom Wood Centennial Bridge in honor of a truly remarkable leader.
Thank you for joining me in support of this legislation.