Valentines: Rebecca Gibson-Wilkins & Luke Wilkins

Alumni couple Luke Wilkins and Rebecca Gibson-Wilkins on their wedding day in 2009.

Alumni couple Luke Wilkins and Rebecca Gibson-Wilkins on their wedding day in 2009. (Photo: Mandy Willis/Inspired Images by Mandy)

Rebecca Gibson-Wilkins, CCAS BA ’03 and Luke Wilkins, CCAS BA ’03, are no strangers to moving across the country—in the 10+ years that they’ve been together, the couple has lived in six different states. But it was a desire to see and experience new things that brought them both to GW in the first place.

Both hailing from small towns—Luke from Michigan and Rebecca from Virginia—each chose GW for its location.

“I loved the urban campus, the city and the diverse student body,” says Luke. “After my interests turned to pre-med courses and majoring in anthropology, the opportunities I found at GW, and within DC, allowed me to pursue those interests easily.”

Rebecca’s experience was similar.

“[F]rom making me realize passions that would eventually lead me to my career, to being on Colonial Cabinet in 2000, to traveling around the world on Semester at Sea my junior year, GW offered me countless unexpected opportunities,” she says.

One of those unexpected opportunities was meeting Luke early on in their freshman year, when they both lived in Mitchell Hall (Rebecca on the 8th floor, Luke on the 5th).

A year later, during the first semester of their sophomore year, the two found themselves in the same biology class—and something clicked. They’ve been together ever since.

Throughout their years at GW, Rebecca and Luke shared everything from bowling at the Hippodrome and Gelman study sessions, to the life-changing time surrounding September 11, 2001.

After graduation, it was time for another move—this time, to New Orleans, LA and Tulane University, where Luke attended medical school while Rebecca pursued a master’s degree in social work. They also added a new addition to the family—their dachshund, Windsor.

Things were going well for the hardworking pair, but life changed again when Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005. Luke needed to move to central Texas to continue clinical training at Texas A&M University, while Rebecca was able to return to New Orleans to finish her master’s program.

Luke’s 2007 graduation from Tulane brought a fresh start for the couple—they moved to Cleveland, OH for Luke’s residency in diagnostic radiology.  Meanwhile, Rebecca attended law school at Case Western Reserve University, which ultimately led to her “dream job” as a public defender.

There was also something else to celebrate. In July 2009, after countless moves and nine years together, Rebecca and Luke were married in Rebecca’s hometown of Abingdon, VA.

“Life had finally settled down for us and it was a fantastic time to celebrate,” says Rebecca.

By 2012, they were on the move again. This time, they headed southeast for Charleston, SC, for Luke’s fellowship in interventional radiology.

But the journey wasn’t quite over—today, Rebecca and Luke live in Charlottesville, VA, where Luke is an attending physician in interventional radiology at the University of Virginia.

Having weathered many changes together, Rebecca and Luke are excited to settle down for a bit and enjoy their new home.

The move to Virginia also gave them the chance to visit GW for the first time since graduation, where they relived memories of Luke’s scooping tenure at Cone E. Island ice cream and lunches at J Street.

Says Rebecca, “It was amazing to see the changes and revisit our favorite places!”

An amazing change is also on their horizon—Rebecca and Luke are excited to welcome their first child this summer.

The family-to-be is looking forward to their next chapter together—no matter where it might take them.

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