Kirby Wilbur (ICPES 73) has always taken an interest in politics, but instead of heading to the Capitol or a lobbying firm every day, he wakes up before the crack of dawn and heads to the KVI radio station in Seattle.Wilbur is a radio talk show host for the daily political show Morning Drive.
“I spread my message through the media,” said Wilbur, “and I think I am making a difference.”
Wilbur was immersed into the political world during his summer with The Fund for American Studies through his internship at the American Security Council where he learned about national defense and security. Wilbur says his hands-on experience helped him see how Washington really worked. He feels that he learned more about politics and economics during his summer at Georgetown University?than during any other college program.
“TFAS was the most academically rigorous program of my entire college career, and I liked that,” said Wilbur. “It was my favorite and best experience.”
After graduating from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in history, Kirby worked as a real estate appraiser and founded his own firm called Liberty Consultants in 1984. He made the transition into radio nine years later after calling in during a talk show program. The producers took an interest in his opinions and asked him to be a substitute talk show host. Eventually, he was hired permanently for the late night show, and a year and a half later, he was promoted to host of Morning Drive .
“I apply what I learned from my TFAS professors to my work today,” said Wilbur. “Dr. Viksnins especially had an impact on me. I remember some of his phrases and one-liners and actually use them for my show sometimes.”
On Morning Drive, Wilbur covers many topics including culture, current events, elections and transportation from, what he calls, “a Reagan conservative prospective.”
Of all the aspects of his job, Wilbur enjoys interacting with his audience the most. He broadcasts at many local events where he gets the opportunity to mingle with his listeners. He often works directly with his audience at KVI’s “Operation Support Our Troops” (OSOT) charity functions. “Holidays From Home,” their current project, collects items for care packages for the troops overseas. Through the show, Wilbur has also had the opportunity to meet a range of interesting people including President Bush and Richard Simmons.
Wilbur’s responsibilities and interests extend far beyond his talk radio show. He has a wife and two sons, is an Elder in his church, and he participates in political campaigns.
Looking back on his time in the classroom at Georgetown University, Wilbur admits he never thought he would be a talk show host.
“I’ve been preparing for this career all my life and didn’t even know it.” His advice to TFAS students and recent alumni is to, “stay focused, and when opportunity knocks, let it in.”