Colorado State University’s Bookstore in the Lory Student Center is a great place for students and staff to find their textbooks, Ram gear, and general interest reading materials. Fran Wilson has been helping students and staff find the books they need for a quarter-century and will celebrate her 25-year accomplishment at this year’s Celebrate! CSU Milestones event on May 2.
Wilson moved from Michigan to Colorado in 1979, and started her journey in Fort Collins in 1986. She began her college education at Front Range Community College then transferred to CSU in 1992 to develop her interest in Spanish linguistics.
Wilson received a recommendation from her previous employer at the FRCC bookstore, and applied for a full-time position in the CSU bookstore. She described landing that job as “serendipitous” because it allowed her to work full-time while studying part-time.
Celebrate! CSU Milestones
Colorado State University employees achieving a decade of service or more this year and retirees will be honored at the annual Celebrate! CSU Milestones event Tuesday, May 2, at 4 p.m. in the LSC Grand Ballroom.
Love for languages and diversity
Wilson is a first-generation college student who found her love for education. She is proud of her accomplishment of receiving her degree in Spanish in 2014, and is continuing her schooling in hopes to get a master’s degree in Spanish.
She describes one of her favorite memories at CSU as when she had started taking Spanish classes, her professor couldn’t understand her pronunciation of the Spanish words. Wilson was able to find ways to develop an authentic accent and has become an excellent Spanish speaker today.
Wilson has been able to pick up many languages, which she attributes to working on a college campus. One of her favorite things about working at CSU is that she gets to experience much more diversity than she would in any other bookstore.
“I like diversity, I like cultures, I like people” she said, adding that she appreciates that other people have different interests, which are very important. “It’s like the proverb: ‘If we all pulled in one direction, the world would keel over.’”
Passion for customer service
Wilson has many fond memories of her time working at the bookstore. She has been able to watch CSU change over time, which she describes as “an incredible progression.” She has an overwhelming amount of love for people and she enjoys getting to know different students and staff, and feels that maintaining a relationship with a customer is extremely important..“Customer service is what gets me up and going,” she said.
“The bookstore was my first professional job,” Wilson said.”I have had a chance to mature in the business field, and this has helped me learn professional demeanor.”
She has grown with the bookstore, which was recently named national Collegiate Retailer of the Year.
Wilson remembers many milestones for the University, especially following after the Spring Creek Flood in 1997. She believes that although the flood was a hard time for CSU, everyone was able to come together. She remembers how quickly the bookstore was able make textbooks available for the students.
“The director of the bookstore, John Parry, had us meet outside,” she recalled. “We got priority from publishers and gave a discount after the flood. We even hired magicians to entertain the students waiting in line for books.” Wilson highlights this story to share the spirit that the CSU community has even in hard times.
Wilson is passionate about CSU. She feels that CSU has a great program for students and believes that CSU cares about students’ education. She has an incredible love for reading and enjoys being able to suggest great books to students.
Wilson is incredibly appreciative that she has spent 25 years with the CSU community and is looking forward to the future. Through her many years at Colorado State she has developed a wonderful zest for life.