UAA Logo History

UAA Logo History

This Information was gleaned from a 1985 article by Lew Freedman that appeared in The Anchorage Daily News.

A "Seawolf" is a sea creature popularized by stories in the Tlingit Indian culture of Southeast Alaska.

Prior to 1977, University of Alaska Anchorage school teams were known as the Sourdoughs and the logo was a smiling goldpanner. Late basketball coach Bob Rachal led the lobbying for the switch to Seawolves. Then UAA Vice Chancellor Lee Picard admitted that he hadn't gotten used to the new Seawolf yet, and that the Sourdough logo was attractive, though not without flaws. "It (The Sourdough) was good until we got to San Francisco and everyone said, 'Here comes the loaf of bread.'"

From 1977 through 1980 UAA used the Seawolf. It was designed to reflect the Tlingit Indian art style and associated myth. Being that the Seawolf shape and form were never precisely described, people seemed to think it looked more like a lizard. "I liked the sea slug," Picard said, "The lizard I liked."

The second Seawolf rendition came in 1980 and lasted five years. The design lost the stylized Tlingit look and took on more realistic "wolf like" characteristics. It conveyed a more powerful message and the design incorporated a trailing wave of water. In this way it kept with the traditional Seawolf mythology.

The current logo unveiled at the 1985 Athlete-of-the-Year Banquet, evolved in 1984 after UAA Athletic Director Ron Petro formed a study committee to examine the logo issue. The logo committee consisted of student body representatives, faculty and coaches. They sought out proposals from Anchorage design firms. It was designed by Clark Mishler Associates of Anchorage for $7,000 and approved by Chancellor David Outcalt. The logo returned to a simplified version using elements of the Tlingit art style. Petro said he liked it and it will grow on people. "It's an Alaskan type of look." he said. "It's recognizable, something more flowing. It's more of a modern design."