Karen Wilkerson, director of the Upward Bound program at Abilene Christian University, died Oct. 23, 2018, at age 47 following an illness. Memorial arrangements are pending.
Before joining ACU’s staff in 2002 as an advisor in the university’s Talent Search program, she worked in the Upward Bound program at McLennan Community College. She was named Upward Bound director for Abilene Christian in 2006. She was a leader in the national community of TRIO professionals, having served as president of the Texas Association for Special Student Services Programs.
Wilkerson earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M University and a master’s in educational psychology from Baylor University. She mentored hundreds of local high school students who come from low-income households to be the first in their families to attend college. Colleagues respected her as a passionate and trusted guide to young people in Abilene.
Among survivors are her husband, Gerald Wilkerson (’92), and their children, Donovan and Victoria. The Wilkersons are members at Abilene’s Minda Street Church of Christ, where Gerald is an elder.
— Ron Hadfield
Oct. 23, 2018