Carpe ursus: seize the Bear

Every campus has a few students who seem to be visible everywhere, socializing and joining activities, getting the most out of the college experience. At Lenoir-Rhyne, Chris Wilson ’24 is one of those students.

Chris Wilson appears in Ada and the Engine

“Growing up in my home church in New Jersey, we had a pastor whose motto was ‘Get in and get busy.’ Wherever I go, I want to fit in and get involved,” said the youth and family ministry major.

Whether he is DJ-ing at a fraternity party, drumming in the percussion ensemble, delivering lines with the Playmakers, leading a prayer at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast, podcasting from his church or appearing at another event, every day Wilson is living life at LR to the fullest.

“I just try to make time for everything,” Wilson explained. “Everything I do is a chance to find something in common with other people, to make connections that help them and help myself, too.”

Chris Wilson with his fraternity

While Lenoir-Rhyne has given Wilson access to explore a wide range of interests and activities, the university has also allowed him to explore and align his personal sense of purpose with his professional goals.

“I was a music education major when I started at LR. It took some time for me to figure out my calling. I always wanted to work with young people, but I decided I really wanted to do that from the angle of youth and family ministry,” he said.

As an intern and camp director with a summer program through his hometown church in Concord, North Carolina, Chris felt inspired to provide a voice for the children and teenagers he saw every day by watching his mother take children in the community under her wing alongside him and his brother.

Chris Wilson with drumline

“I think it’s harder for younger generations to connect and communicate with older generations,” said Wilson. “I want to bridge that communication gap, create a comfortable space free of judgment, and provide spiritual and emotional support to help them through their challenges and experiences.”

For his major, Wilson has another year of coursework as well as internships with local churches that he believes will guide him to his next step, whether that is attending seminary or a different graduate program, going straight to work for a church or taking a path he hasn’t explored yet.

Chris Wilson headshot

“I’m really grateful because most of my expenses are covered with scholarships and grants. Somebody’s generosity has made it possible for me to be here, and I’m thriving,” said Wilson. “So, the reason I get in and get busy? It’s my job to explore all the opportunities that are out there for me.”




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