Willard Dunham, former Seward mayor and founding member of the Alaska SeaLife Center Board of Directors, died March 1, leaving behind a lasting legacy in Seward.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 9 at 3 p.m. at the Alaska SeaLife Center, which will also be honoring Dunham by renaming one it’s conference rooms after him.
“The Alaska SeaLife Center has chosen to rename its Bay Conference Room after Dunham,” according to a press release from the center. “Prior to 2010, the majority of board meetings occurred in this room, which overlooks Resurrection Bay and the eider habitats. Seller’s and spectacled eiders were Dunham’s favorite species to watch at the Center.”
Dunham was a founding member on the SeaLife Center’s Board of Directors, having served on the board since its incorporation in 1990. He was also the longest standing member, serving and both board chair and board secretary.
“I think that this facility can, and will be, one day known worldwide for what it does and for the opportunity it has for Arctic research,” Dunham said in a 2015 interview.
He lived by his words, advocating for ocean research, for the advancement of the SeaLife Center and the development of the city of Seward as whole.