Dr. Ken Wilson and Dr. Christa Reiser – Honorary Alumni Award

Dr. Ken Wilson and Dr. Christa Reiser – Honorary Alumni Award


You kind of can’t say, “Ken and Christa or Christa and Ken,” without thinking of both of them — it’s just one word. They became one word. When I asked him about it he said, “Oh, all right if you think it’s important, Rebecca.” And I said, “And I’m also going to nominate Christa.” He goes, ‘Well, that’s great because I really wouldn’t want to do it without her
because I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t have done what I did without
her.” So complementary and so unique. A magnificent duo, you know, they just had
a relationship that was one of equality. They respected each other and worked
easily as colleagues in the same department. She was engaged in her things
in the community and he was engaged in his. They had a strong family life. Ken and Christa both have a wonderful son, Devin Wilson. And he is just a light and a joy, very much like the combination of the two of them. They love to travel. So, Ken and Christa and Devin have been all over the world and done all kinds of
things and trips. One of the big hurricanes that happened early in the
2000s, he and Christa, they wanted to know why don’t people evacuate? Why do they
stay when there’s that kind of danger? And through their research methods and
investigation they found it’s because of pets – especially in those rural areas,
didn’t have anywhere to go that would allow them to take their dogs and cats
and parrots and whatever else they might have. So, through that, some suggestions
and policies that they could then present to different communities to say, “This is what we need for shelters for the next hurricane that happens here.” And
they were successful in getting that to happen. I think one of the interesting
things about both of them is there’s all these other people in their lives –
students and colleagues that become like extended family. They’re just those kind
of people that just collect people. Just good folks.

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