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Spotlight: Chris Visner

A Conversation With Chris Visner

Chris Visner

Foundation Board Member Chris Visner offers words of wisdom for students at Ferris State University.

Chris 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.

Tell us who you are:

My name is Christine Louise (Dachoff) Visner. I grew up in Big Rapids, and graduated from Ferris in 1972 with a BS degree in Secondary Education majoring in Biology and Math.

How did Ferris influence you to pursue your profession and achieve your goals?

Ferris has influenced me since the day we moved to Big Rapids in 1954. My dad (Dacho Dachoff) accepted a position at Ferris as Director of Music and Professor of Humanities. I was exposed to a life of education and it made an indelible mark on me. My degree from Ferris influenced my success out in the community, not only with my Education Degree but with a Life degree. I feel like I received a Life degree from Ferris on how to live life and be a good person and give back.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear someone mention Ferris State University?

Happiness. I grew up with Ferris and watched it being built. I was very fortunate to be so close to Ferris and it makes me happy to see Ferris so successful. I have spoken to so many alumni who have said that they are so thankful for their Ferris education. This makes me very happy! My favorite memory of my time at Ferris is from my senior year. I was serving as the first woman All-College Student Government President. That is where I met my future husband, Russ Visner. We were married in 1973.

What is something about Ferris that inspires you?

I am inspired by the opportunity that Ferris has always provided to all students who would like to attend college. The education that students receive at Ferris is enhanced by faculty and staff that really care. Students graduate from Ferris with the skills and knowledge to go out into the world and live successful lives.

Every aspect of the Ferris experience has influenced so many because of its core values. Ferris is unique in the fact that the students, faculty, staff and the community all care about each other and respect each other’s thoughts and opinions. These qualities definitely create an atmosphere of excellence.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

The ability I have to give back to all those who have given so much to me. This started by being born into a wonderful family, growing up in Big Rapids with very special friends, attending Ferris and becoming a teacher, marrying the love of my life and creating our family together, and now sharing the joy of being grandparents.

My motivation is the desire to be a good person in all walks of life. I have always tried to instill in myself the best qualities of everyone and every situation I have encountered.

What advice would you give to current students?

You have been given the opportunity to attend a fine college, but it is up to each one of you to do with this as you choose. The education and degree that you receive will open a door to the rest of your life. I encourage you to always keep moving forward, no matter what comes your way. College is not easy; life is not easy! However, with a positive attitude and perseverance, the rewards will come because you will have the strong foundation of your Ferris education and your total experience there.

Written by: Foundation Student Writer Jeremias Gaytan - Junior, Journalism and Technical Communication