One of the newest directors on The Ferris Foundation Board thinks back to formative days and unique personal experiences on the Big Rapids campus. Christine (Chris) Visner received approval as a director by the university’s Board of Trustees on Friday, Dec. 17.
Visner’s first acquaintance and exposure to Ferris came when it was Ferris Institute, as her father, Dacho Dachoff, became the music director. Visner said she cherishes the opportunity to serve in a similar vein as her father. She was heavily involved in campaigns to erect a carillon tower by the Music Building and place the statue of founder Woodbridge Ferris on campus.
“I can hardly wait to begin my service on the board, as my dad also lent his talents and energy to areas like the Residence Hall Association and Student Government,” Visner said. “Since I am becoming a director, along with my husband, Russ, this is the right time in our lives to share this journey.”
Chris was a student in the Big Rapids Public Schools before her enrollment at Ferris, where she shared her talents under her father’s direction in the concert and marching bands while also serving in Student Government. Visner was the first woman to serve as All College Student Government President and was Ferris State College’s Woman of the Year in 1972. Before committing to full-time parenthood and community volunteerism, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, enjoying several years of teaching math in the East Grand Rapids district. Her honors include induction in Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society and recognition as the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser in 2011 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
“Russ and I want to see that the resources necessary to pursue excellence are available to Ferris’ students, as well as the faculty and staff,” Chris said. “This is an exciting time to serve, support the intentions of the Board of Trustees, and be among the attributes available to the next President of the university. We are very much looking forward to it.”
Six Ferris alumni, including the Visners, and David Pilgrim, the university’s Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Strategic Initiatives, are joining The Ferris Foundation Board.