Title of Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of documents created by Chris Kyker in her career as a professor of speech, communication, and theater at Abilene Christian University and a member of Women of ACU; as an advocate for public policy respecting aging, mental health, and disability; and as an executive in nonprofit agencies and in Texas state agencies for the benefit of older persons, persons with disabilities, and persons with mental illness. The collection includes correspondence, academic papers, policy documents she developed in a variety of nonprofit and state leadership positions, religious studies, fundraising materials, pamphlets, programs, and memorabilia from advocacy campaigns and conferences, photographs and awards. Also in the collection are papers of Chris Kyker’s husband, Rex Paxton Kyker (1912-1996), professor of speech at ACU; and of their colleagues in the speech and theater department, Lewis and Jerilyn “Jerry” Fulks.
Chris was born Jewell Christine White to L. E. and Grace (Wrye) White on March 30, 1925 in Temple, Texas. She graduated from Lubbock High School in 1942. She earned three degrees from ACU: B.A. in English (1946), M.S. in Secondary Teaching (1959), and M. A. in Communication (1960). She married Rex Paxton Kyker in 1946. She joined the ACU faculty in 1946 and served as a professor and director of theatre. She was asked by the Governor of Texas to establish the Texas Department on Aging. She also was the founding director of the West Central Texas Area Agency on Aging; founding president/CEO of Disability Resources, Inc. of Abilene; founding consultant, Rainbow Omega Inc; executive director of Abilene Mental Health Association; and was a board member of the Texas Silver Haired Legislature foundation, and was a member, speaker, and speaker emeritus of the Texas Silver Haired Legislature. She received ACU’s Distinguished Alumni Citation in 1980 and a Lifetime Achievement award from Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2007. She died in Abilene on September 13, 2017. See also tribute ACU Remembers Chris Kyker.
Gift of sons Rob Kyker and Ricky Kyker; daughters Lindy Fullerton and Dr. Jan Bryan.
The original order of materials was retained in the files. The materials are arranged in four series: Series I: Chris Kyker papers; Series II: Rex Kyker Papers; Series III: Lewis and Jerry Fulks papers; Series IV: Artifacts (many oversized).
Series I. Subseries A. Personal correspondence
Series I. Subseries B. Academic papers
Series I. Subseries C. Texas Agencies
Series I. Subseries D. Texas Silver Haired Legislature
Series I. Subseries E. Local government and nonprofits
Series I. Subseries E1. Disability Resources, Inc.
Series I. Subseries E2. Rainbow Omega, Inc.
Series I. Subseries E3. Mayor's Task Force (Abilene, TX)
Series I. Subseries E4. WWYC
Series I. Subseries E5. PIRC
Series I. Subseries E6. Pruett Gerontology Center
Series I. Subseries E7. Christian Village of Abilene
Series I. Subseries E8. Class of 1946 reunion
Series I. Subseries F. Church
Series I. Subseries G. WACU
Series II. Rex Kyker Papers
Series III. Lewis and Jerry Fulks Papers
Series IV Artifacts
Aging and old age
Texas Silver Haired Legislature
Aging -- United States -- Congresses
Aging -- United States -- Legislation
Texas Department of Aging
West Central Texas Area Agency on Aging
Disability Resources, Inc.
Rainbow Omega, Inc.
Abilene Mental Health Association
Abilene Christian University
Extent of Collection
175 linear feet (160 boxes)
Center for Restoration Studies Manuscripts #487
Center for Restoration Studies
[identification of item], [file or folder name], Chris Kyker Papers, 1946-2017. Center for Restoration Studies MS#487. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.
Open to researchers. Contact Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives to make an appointment.
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