Dr. Ken Wilson – Honorary Alumni Award (posthumous)

Dr. Ken Wilson – Honorary Alumni Award (posthumous)


Ken Wilson was a generous, incredibly
intelligent person who was kind and very insightful. He was a person of high
integrity and moral standards and very, very ethical. He was really a joy to work
with. He really paid attention to his students. He wanted them to learn skills. I
ended up working for him as a graduate student at the Survey Research Lab. He
was real special in that when I was his graduate assistant, and I taught a
research methods course with him, I wasn’t his TA. To him, he said we team-taught together. He would always listen intently and he would just look at you and
he would listen, he would hear you. He was present, he was mindful and he always
wanted to help people. He’s not from here, but became very invested in rural
eastern North Carolina. His scholarly work, his research and his grant work was
always trying to find out the kinds of information that could be of benefit to
the people here in eastern North Carolina. He would survey anything. So, if
he had an idea about something or a question he would always encourage other
people to say, “Hey, go and pursue that and go research it and see what you can find
out.” Or he would volunteer and help people in different community groups and
say, “Hey, let me let me help you with that survey.” He really gave back a lot to his
peer faculty and his students. He was always meeting with faculty and giving
them good advice on, “How do I navigate tenure? How do I navigate this research?”
He would also work on research projects with people to help get them published. He mentored many, many students over the years. He had a way of sharing history
that was very optimistic. And I really appreciated that because he said there’s
ups and downs and ups and downs, so when you’re in the down just know there’s
gonna be an up. His laugh. If anybody has ever been around him, he had this wonderful, deep, resonating laugh. You could hear it forever! I mean, it would echo the
hallways. It was just jolly and loud. One of the things with Ken that I always – he would always laugh at everything I said. I really enjoyed
talking to Ken because the more he would laugh, the more funny stories I would try
to tell. And I don’t know if they were funny or not, they were just kind of, “Oh gah, Ken, this happened.” And he would laugh more. And so I’d tell more stories. And so,
it was very one-sided sometimes. Just really exceptional person,
remarkable. He was super unique. We’re left with being thankful that we had the
opportunity to know such a remarkable person.

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