Alumni Achievement

Sweethearts Stories

September 2007
Patrick ’09 and Sarah Woolley Houston 2011
"We started out as friends in a group that celebrated “Adventure Fridays” exploring Georgetown. It wasn’t until that summer that Sarah confessed she had a crush! We started dating in 2008 and married 8 years later. Now we’re adventure partners for life, currently on a long-term bicycle tour!"
July 2012
Arie and Morgan Swindell Angeledes, both ’16
"We met during our freshman year at Southwestern University on the 3rd floor of Kurth Hall. While studying for our First-Year Seminar about zombies and vampires, sparks began to fly. Our first date consisted of dinner at Dos Salsas (Arie’s favorite restaurant in Georgetown) and “Taken 2” at City Lights Theatre on October 5, 2012. We got married on December 1, 2018 and can’t wait to see what the future holds! Happily ever after happens at Southwestern!"
September 1976
Reb ’70 and Nancy Harris Bacchus ’69
"Appropriately, we met in Dr. Luksa’s Marriage and Family sociology class is the fall. After a first double-date in January, 1967, to Temple, we spent hours together on campus walks, on the phone, riding the back roads, and occasionally making out in the chapel balcony. Grades suffered. Reb’s family had purchased a small ranch about four miles from SU after his dad retired from a Navy career. Even though Reb lived on campus, we also spent time at his parents’ home. In the fall of 1967, he transferred to UT; we married in January, 1969. I commuted from Austin back to Georgetown for student teaching my last semester. We thought we were all grown up at 20 and 21."
August 1989
Eric Arias and Elizabeth Knox, both 2008
"We met at the Sunshine Cottage School for the Deaf in San Antonio while we were in preschool. We lost touch for a number of years, but then our mothers recognized each other in the produce department of an HEB in San Antonio when we were teenagers. We got in touch, hung out lots, started dated in our senior year of high school, then eventually made our way to Southwestern together! We got married shortly after we graduated, and now our six year old daughter tells us she wants to go to Southwestern too!"
September 1955
Russel ’57 and Jane Rogers Matthews ’59
"I had dated Russel’s room mate, Dickie. I was asked out to dinner by Russ. It was a matter of three months before I was given the Phi Delt necklace and serenaded by the fraternity and him with “So In Love.” We have been married sixty-one years."
June 1947
Verlon ’48 and Mildred Mangrum Feller ’49
"It started when I was asked to accompany Verlon and 3 of his friends to sing at a revival meeting at DaVilla United Methodist Church, one of Verlon’s ministerial student appointments near Cameron, Texas."
March 2003
Steven and Tiffany Robertson Harben, both ’06
"We had two classes together and sat right next to each other. We definitely noticed each other but never interacted. We were put in a study group together and found out we were both heading to Dallas for Spring Break. Steven asked me to a movie over break, and we have been together every since! Three beautiful kids and 16 years later!"
In 1986
Brian and Carol Rushing Bruckner, both ’90
"Study breaks at the Phi house junior year"
August 2001
Nathan and Krista Fithian Mery, both ’05
"A boy walked up to me surrounded by my volleyball teammates and introduced himself. We spent the next month hanging out and studying together before we went on our first date. We’ve been together since."
January 2003
Andrew ’05 and Michelle Ransom Richey ’06
"We met in Scenic Painting taught by Desi Roybal and were friends for a year and a half. We started dating and fell in love in our London Semester Abroad in 2004. We moved abroad after Michelle’s graduation, got engaged in Taiwan in April 2007 and were married at the chapel on Southwestern’s campus in August 2009. We have moved back to Georgetown and are expecting our 2nd child this summer. Thank you Southwestern!"
September 1987
Richard ’74 and Barbara Priesmeyer Crozier ’75
"In the Fall of my senior year at SU, someone told me of a freshman girl from Gonzales named Barbara Priesmeyer. Being from a small town near Gonzales, I intended to look her up and introduce myself. Not too long after that, while in the Pike house watching the KA Old South Ball across the street, decked out as a Southern Belle, I saw Barbara for the first time. A thought was put into my head so clearly that I remembered it over ten years later, “You will marry her.” However, deciding that she was obviously a “KA Woman,” I never got around to actually meeting Barbara while we were at SU. But I never forgot her or that strange clear message that “You will marry her.” Some 15 years later, a good friend of mine from Gonzales called and asked me to attend a party in Gonzales; he had someone he wanted me to meet. I agreed and he introduced me to Barbara Priesmeyer. The rest is history. We married a year later and have had 29 glorious, blessed years together."
August 2011
Gus ’14 and Hillary Richard Crimm ’15
"Gus sat in front of me in a history class. Gus would wear a baseball cap to class every day and would accidentally leave it underneath his desk. I would grab it for him and give it back. We eventually struck up a conversation and the rest is history."
April 1985
Brian ’87 and Julie Reeves Wieters ’88
"Our study sessions in the old “barn” part of Cody Library, in addition to watching “All My Children” (aka “Kids”) in the Pike House tube room. Our first date was April 20, 1985 and we were married in March 18, 1989. So grateful to have lived this much life together enjoying our 3 kids and 28 years of marriage. We will be forever grateful to have met during our time at Southwestern."
September 1947
John ’48 and Joann Evans Foster ’52
"In the late 1940’s (at least) we sat in alphabetical order in all of our classes. I can’t remember if it was a biology or English class, but John Foster sat behind me. The day we met, I hadn’t done my homework for that class and intended to copy my friend’s across the aisle. John grabbed my arm so I’d turn around and said, “Do not copy!” Believe it or not, a friendship began with that conversation. Our first date was to a Phi Delta Theta party, and from then on, we dated exclusively. I was only 16 years-old because in the small towns where I grew up, I was allowed to skip grades, and I loved him until his death in 2012. We were one of the first couples to marry in the Lois Perkins Chapel on Dec. 18, 1951. At that time, all female students were required to have a long white dress. I asked my bridesmaids to wear those, and the ADPi pledges made ‘fur’ muffs for them to carry. Maid of honor Betty Ann Clendenin Slaughter’s father performed the ceremony, and the reception was held at the Phi Delta Theta House off campus. The rehearsal dinner was held at Mrs. Gillette’s house, home of my ADPi little sister, Jane Gillette Miller Giddings."
September 1986
Lee ’90 and Chrisie Moulds Merritt ’88
"We met in Chemistry Lab."
August 1975
Mitch and Karla Babcock Hankins, both ’78
"We met in the Business Office before school started during Freshman Orientation. Mitch’s roommate reported that when Mitch returned to his dorm room he declared, “I just met the girl that I’m going to marry!” We then ended up in Dr. Francis O’Brien’s Introductory Government class and went on our first date to a Pi Kappa Alpha party in early September. We dated throughout college (only breaking up once for one week). We married on August 12, 1978 and will celebrate 40 years this upcoming August. We hold Southwestern University very close to our hearts filled with wonderful memories and life-long friends!"
September 1975
Bernard and Deborah Moon Williamson, both ’79
"I met my beautiful bride at SU during the fall semester of our freshman year in 1975. She was a stunning brunette from the Gulf Coast town of Lake Jackson, and I was a plain ol’ boy from Mineral Wells. She was actually dating my roommate at the time, but I soon had the sense to put an end to that. We dated the remainder of our college years and got married in Lake Jackson after our graduation in 1979. We have been married 38 wonderful years; have two beautiful daughters who have graduated from college, gotten married and have awesome lives of their own. We don’t get to return to Georgetown very often, but when we do, we see all of the wonderful changes on campus and are happy for current students who we hope may be lucky enough to find the special love of their lives like we did. But we do miss our own “traditions” from the late 70’s - midnight runs to Ramgro for a late night snack; going out to explore the “booties;” sliding down the Admin’s fire escape slide; meals and fellowship in the circular commons; bowling downstairs in the SUB and romantic walks around the campus and to the fountain in the evenings. We both received awesome educations which have served us well in life but were most blessed to have found each other on that beautiful little campus in Georgetown, Texas."
September 1991
Brandon Parrish ’95 and Dora Nemeth-Parrish ’93
"Dora entered the Commons one evening in the fall of 1991 for dinner. Brandon was already sitting and dining there with his KA buddy. He asked who that brunette girl was. His friend said that’s Dora; but she is already taken, so forget it. Brandon said I bet you that I will marry her! Dora later indirectly (through Sarah) asked Brandon to go to a Zeta function. That night they went country dancing at the Lumber Yard (with Chana and Bear) and fell in love… In 1996, they got married."
October 1976
Mark ’77 and Catherine Neely Ellis ’78
"I had participated in a 6 week summer school trip to Graz, Austria with other Southwestern students in 1976. In October, Catherine’s brother Jack, who had been on the trip invited everyone to his RA room at the Phi House to watch a “slide show” of our trip. (Yes, this was 1976) Catherine was there, and after the show she approached me near the back stairwell at the Phi house and asked me to the ADPI Fall party. We were two small town Methodist kids who had a lot in common and were fortunate to find each other. In October of 1978 we were married. We just celebrated our 39th anniversary and are blessed with two wonderful daughters and three very special grandchildren."
August 2004
Nick ’05 Taylor Aiken Faerber ’08
"We were in biology class and lab together. He was also on the baseball team and I was an athletic training student. I left a note on his bicycle after an exam and the rest is history. We married in September 2009 and now have four and two year old boys. "
September 1957
Sanford ’66 and Charlotte Darden Reed ’65
"We are high school Sweethearts who both decided to go to Southwestern and got married while we were there."
September 1989
Jon Porter ’93 and Nisa Sharma ’92
"It all started at Reggae Fedt with Michael Smith and the Killer Bees. We had already met, but that night, we talked on the veranda until the band started packing to go, then we talked for four more hours. After that moment, it was forever."
December 1997
Aaron and Beth Houck Hawkins, both ’01
"We were mailbox mates, SU Box 6711. Small as Southwestern is, we never ran into each other at the mailbox in the old Commons. But come finals time at the end of our first semester, Beth found out that Aaron had a class with her friend, Mo, and he had borrowed her notes. So Beth went with Mo to retrieve her notes in time to study for finals. We met and talked about the upcoming Toga party that always happened the weekend before finals. Neither of us pledged, but of course we all went to Toga! We had a great time (and we even still have that invitation that the Phi Delts put in our mailbox!) We got married soon after we graduated, and we now have two beautiful children. This December marks 20 years since we met our freshman year, and we are so thankful for the relationship that Southwestern nurtured."
January 1979
Bill ’79 and Gail Watson Engvall ’82
"I met my wife of 34 years at SU. It was after winter break and we were having a party at the KA house. I came rollerskating (yes you read that right rollerskating). Gail was sitting on the arm of the couch and I told her we should go rollerskating. Apparently she thought I meant right then and gave me a “move along” look. We never dated at SU but met again a couple years later at a comedy club in Dallas. We fell in love and are still in love 34 years later. If I had not met her at SU, we wouldn’t be together today."
December 1985
Leslie and Laura Michulka Penney, both ’89
"I asked Laura to go to the SUB and she said no, multiple times. She said I was a dweeb with funny hair. She later said yes, funny hair and all. The rest, as they say, is history. Other stuff happened in between. We just celebrated 24 years of marriage."
October 2009
Ben ’12 and Kamna Tripathi Parafina ’13
"It all started almost two years before I ever set foot on campus. My Dad lived in Portland, OR and I was visiting in the summer before my Junior year. While my father was at work all day, the couple next door would spent time with me. They were in their 30’s or 40’s, both retired Dr’s, with no kids, and they loved hanging out with me. After spending lots of time exploring the city together, they mentioned that I reminded them of their nephew who was considering a school very near to my hometown of Round Rock–Southwestern University. It was 15 minutes from my house and I’d never even heard of it. I considered the school and went ahead and applied. In the end, of the seven applications I submitted, SU ended up being the best place for me! We met about a year later, but barely spoke to each other since out families had asked us to meet. Another year later, October 1, 2010, we started dating and this October we’ll be celebrating our 8 year anniversary."
February 1976
Ronnie ’76 & Roxy Moorhouse Sherwood ’77
"I’d seen Roxy around campus but never had a chance to visit with her. I was taking family growth & development with hopes of raising my GPA as a biology pre-dental student. It counted as either biology or education credit, so Roxy showed up to get her education credits as she received degrees in theater & English with an education certification. From day one, I had my eye on her, but never really thought she’d go out with me. One day I finally got the courage to call but she wasn’t in. Fortunately, she thought to ask her roommate to get my name thinking I might call. The next day I wouldn’t even look at her, and as the bell rang I high tailed it to the SUB for mail call. Her post office box was beside mine and as I turned away there was a tap on my shoulder. “I heard you called me last night,” she said. I melted and stammered and eventually asked her out. It turned out to be her only weekend all semester without a theater rehearsal. We had a wonderful evening, EXCEPT she couldn’t tell which twin I was! Yes, my twin brother, Donnie ’76, was dating Teresa Coble ’77, and we were pretty much identical. We shared a car so we generally double dated too. (By the way, Donnie & Teresa have been married since August 1977.) Roxy came down the stairs at LK expecting Donnie to be holding Teresa’s hand or something but instead Teresa stood right between us. She soon figured out which Sherwood I was, and we both had a great time ending up at a friend’s apartment in Austin listening to humorous stories about growing up in Bay City, Texas. The goodnight kiss was the best ever, and we never dated anyone else. We married on New Years Eve in 1977, and Roxy has been my best friend through thick and thin. We still drop by Sonic for date night and love to reminisce about our days at Southwestern."
August 1970
David ’71 and Nancy Anderson Clyde ’74
"As an incoming senior determined to graduate in the spring of ’71, I (David) had written an independent study paper over the summer and returned to campus early to turn in the project. I had also ended a two year girl friend relationship during the summer and I was anxious to check out the freshmen girls. I believe this was the week before classes started, so I had some time on my hands, I remember sitting in the Commons eating dinner with fellow Pike, Paul Hawk Louis. The food line was so long that it extended into the dining area where we were. I was captivated by a coed standing with Janice Hager, a girl friend of fellow Pike, Rick Holland. We were a fair distance away from the girls and without my glasses on, I was forced to ask Paul, “Do you see the girl with long brown hair, talking with Janice Hager? Is she good-looking?” Paul confirmed my assessment. When I got back to Ruter, I called Rick and asked him to get some information from Janice about this mystery girl. Some time later that night, he called back and said her name was Nancy Anderson, was from Virginia but had grown up overseas. Knowing that the Pikes had scheduled a party on the first Saturday after school had started, I asked Rick to arrange a blind date for me, which he did. Within the next couple of days, we had an awkward first meeting in the Commons after a meal. Later that first week, we had a chance encounter in the library which turned into a Coke date. When the Pike party rolled around, we had a fun time talking and laughing and getting to know each other’s background. We got back to the girls’ dorm a little before curfew, so we took a short walk over to Mood Hall, and sat on the steps. Not only did she let me kiss her, she kissed me back. I think I developed love at first kiss. We became girl and boy friends. Became dropped, then engaged and were married in August of 1973. Although joined together legally and physically, it took us five years to bond together spiritually. As we both reached a point where we made God the center of our marriage and Christ our Savior, we found the glue that has kept us together ever since. And we haven’t stopped kissing."
September 1975
Gene and Carla Hawkins Brown, both ’79
"We met on move in day of our Freshman year 1975. I was a Music Major and Gene was Pre-Med which was changed later to Sociology. We were part of a group of students who went out together and started dating after Christmas. Gene pledged PKA and I pledged DZ our Sophomore year. From there we enjoyed the whole gambit of fraternity and sorority life on campus. Our Sophomore year I was wearing a PKA drop, our Junior year his PKA pin. We had a “Pinning Ceremony” that included singing from both the sorority and fraternity in front of the old Laura Kuykendall dormitory. Finally, our Senior year we were engaged. We married on May 5, 1979, in the Lois Perkins Chapel with President Durwood Flemming officiating. We chose to have our wedding at SU so that all our college friends could attend. The next weekend we graduated from SU and went on to Ft. Worth for graduate work at TCU. We’ve been married 38 years and have been blessed with 2 wonderful children and 1 grandson. We greatly enjoyed our time at SU. We fondly remember the intramural games, musical concerts, and great times with friends."
January 2005
Seth and Kalie Trueper Brown, both ’08
"It all started with Intro to Anthro with Dr. MelJohn."
August 2003
Travis and Lauren Brown Nelson, both ’07
"Travis and I met one night when meeting up with new friends at the Cove for a milkshake! I went with my friend Kandace and we met up with the boys. (Truth be told, I didn’t think Travis was very nice!) But, we ended up hanging several times after that, including an off campus party about two weeks later. He kept showing up and I started to think he was really cute and shy. Travis’ friends kept telling me to go talk to him. I tried, but Travis was not giving me the time of day. I about gave up at that point, but as we all left the party, Travis turned to me and whispered, “I can’t believe I am walking out with the most beautiful girl here.” Swoon! The rest is history! Five and half years later, he took me back to the Cove and got down on one knee to propose. Now, over 13 years later, we are married with a precious two year old son, Samuel, and another on the way in May 2017. True love found at SU!"
Fall 1963
Tom and Judy Whittenberg Connolly, both ’65
"Tom and I were in an ethics class under Dr. John Score. The class of 8 had 4 boys on the back row and 4 girls on the front row. Tom’s best friend was also in the class and by chance, his fiancé was one of my roommates in LK. With a little encouragement from his friend, we began dating in the spring of 1964. By Thanksgiving we were engaged, and married on June 5, 1965. Tom has served pastoral charges in the Southwest Texas Conference and the Central Texas Conference (now retired) and I taught elementary school for 31 years. And to think it all began because he thought I had good looking legs from the back row of an ethics class!"
Fall 1969
Mike and Helen Andes Florence, both ’70
"We met in the fall of our senior year playing touch football on the science hall lawn. We graduated and both became high school teachers. In June, 1976 we were married, and this year 2019 we will celebrate our 43rd anniversary."
April 1999
Drew and Kate Fimbel York, both ’02
"We met at the Pike Pajama Party (details are not relevant!) the end of our freshman year; Drew had just pledged PKA and I was an ADPi. It was just before finals week, so everyone was about to leave for the summer. I actually had to ask Drew out for our first date several days later. We saw each other several times over the summer, even though we were living several hours apart. A wedding in 2004 at the Lois Perkins Chapel on SU’s campus, two great kiddos, several moves, great careers, and nearly 20 years since we first met…still going strong!"
August 1997
Luis and Jennifer Alcala Acero, both ’01
"We met in Chemistry. Luis wouldn’t stop whistling in lab which annoyed me, but he did get my attention."
August 1960
Les ’63 and Carroll McBride Selander ’64
"Carroll was on campus early for Freshman Orientation and I (Les) was there early working in the commons. We met one afternoon at the swimming pool. We were both enrolled in the 3yr Engineering course of study so had something in common from the start. We started having meals together and then dates to the theater in town. The Commons didn’t serve Sunday evening so we fell into the habit of walking to Gus’ Drug Store for BBQ sandwich on Sunday evening. Sometimes I’d borrow a car for a date in Austin. Only 30% of students had cars and most were generous in loaning them out since they rarely had to buy gas - a borrowed car was expected to be returned with more gas than it had when it left. I left Southwestern in `62, joined the USAF and was stationed in Biloxi, Miss. In Aug `62, Carroll joined me there and we were married in a small, beautiful Episcopal Church. Now, after 55 years of marriage, I thank God for allowing me to meet Nancy Carroll McBride at Southwestern University."
August 2009
Jason and Katie Sokolyk Catron, both ’13
"We met in Alpha Phi Omega and had Spanish class together. We started dating at the end of sophomore year, right after Katie’s birthday, and have been together ever since. We were married on June 27, 2015 in the Lois Perkins Chapel at SU!"
March 2007
Matthew ’07 and Amanda Figueroa Anthony ’10
"We met at Destination:Service and once we came back we took two long walks around the baseball and soccer fields where we really got to know each other. It took me seven years after our first date at Wildfire in Georgetown to ask her to marry me, but now we have been husband and wife for almost two years now."
September 1976
Jeff ’78 and Sally Victorin Weaver ’80
"Playing volleyball in the gym, I spied Jeff and his Pirates Basketball teammates also in the gym. I was smitten from the start. His teammate and roommate Kenny introduced us. Jeff asked me out during Rush week and I knew I shouldn’t go! I knew he would ask someone else out if I said no. So, we snuck out to Austin for dinner and a movie. The rest is history! We married in Austin, Dec. of 1979. 38 years later we are still on a great adventure. We have lived in a lot of different cities in Texas, but Georgetown holds the most special place in both our hearts."
November 1975
Ricky ’79 and Lezlie Moore Gravens ’78
"I was at Southwestern a year before Rick arrived on a baseball scholarship. My friends and I were friends with the guys on the baseball team. I first saw Rick (with a WHOLE lot of hair!) going into Ruter from the Commons and I thought to myself, “if that boy looks half as good coming at me as he does walking away, I want to go out with him!” I met him through the other guys on the baseball team, managed to take him away from a “hometown honey” and we’ve been together ever since! Married 38 years, 2 great kids, 2 beautiful grandkids!"
January 2005
Tim ’00 and Danielle Brown Stapleton ’05
"It all started in Houston, at the wedding of two of our friends (Danielle’s ADPi sister, Emily Austin ’04 and Tim’s Kappa Sigma brother, Tyson Hinds ’00). Tim flew from California (where he lived at the time) and Danielle drove from Georgetown (it was her senior year). Danielle noticed Tim early in the evening and asked her best friend who the cute guy was. Several people were shocked the two hadn’t met yet since Tim had been on campus for several alumni events over the years. (There’s even a photo from Kappa Sigma Alumni Weekend that we’re both in!) When the two were formally introduced, Tim looked at Danielle and said, “I definitely would have remembered meeting you.” The rest was history… they danced the night away and talked and laughed until the wee hours of the morning. Over the next few months love blossomed, several flights were made between Texas and California, and Danielle eventually followed her heart to the Bay Area. Three years later, they tied the knot!"
July 1981
Brock ’86 and Betty Gibbs Curry ’85
"We met at SU check-in/orientation, August 1982, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves… We met at SU while we were in high school. In the summer of 1981, we attended a jurisdictional youth camp of the United Methodist Church. Betty lived in San Angelo and Brock lived in Lubbock. We were in a small group that met daily(?) for the entire week. Each of us claims the other was immediately smitten, but seeing as each of us was “in a relationship,” nothing blossomed. Betty started SU that fall. The following fall, Betty was volunteering to check in new students as they arrived on campus. When Brock approached the table, we looked at each other and said, “I know you.” Though we were on rival teams at orientation held at Greene Family Camp, there were still no Romeo/Juliet sparks. Betty invited Brock to his first college off-campus party: the ADPi’s Roaring ’20s Party. We had a great time and Brock got to hang with a bunch of upper class folk. We’re pretty sure there was a goodnight kiss, but still no kindled flames. For the next two years, we got to know each other better as we “dated each other’s friends,” as we like to say. It wasn’t until we each asked the other to different Greek parties that the romance really started. In one conversation, Brock had his date to a Pike party and Betty had a date to her ADPi party. We married in 1990, about 9 years after first meeting and about 6 years of dating. Twenty-eight years later: so far, so good."
March 2002
John ’03 and Melissa Raudales Zinda ’05
"We met at a party in college; Jack was a Phi Delta Theta and I was independent. He came up and introduced himself to me and at a few parties I attended thereafter. We went on our first date in March 2002 to Chili’s in Georgetown."
September 1955
Van Phillip ’59 and Mary Beth Chambers Hunt ’58
"Fresh out of serving in the US Navy for four years, Van was standing in the registration line and had no idea what he was doing. Some of his hometown Georgetown friends introduced him to sophomore Mary Beth, who was also there in the registration line and she offered to help him choose his classes. Van thanked her and she went in line one way and he another. Whether by chance or God’s hand, they both left the Administration Building at about the same time so Van invited Mary Beth to the Den for a soda. He talked and she listened and listened and listened. Then he invited her to the movie – it was Red Skelton’s “I Dood It”, during which Van was laughing hard and looked over to see Mary Beth had fallen asleep! Shortly after that, we were always together and were engaged in October and married the next year, September 8, 1956. They have been blessed with a wonderful family, good health, and just last year celebrated 60 years of marriage in a wonderful surprise dinner hosted by their 4 children, 7 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren on the lawn of their 150+ year old country homeplace in Buna, Texas. Following the dinner, they renewed their vows, officiated by their son-in-law, a United Methodist pastor. Van says some of the best advice they were given prior to marriage was “never go to bed angry.” He says they didn’t, although sometimes they stayed up all night! Van and Mary Beth began their family while living in Beaumont, where they both worked as teachers. Having grown up a country boy, Van also wanted his family to experience life in the country and in 1966 he discovered the place in Buna, which city girl Mary Beth had to adjust to, but soon grew to love. The Hunt homeplace is a beautiful tribute to the labors of love and talent poured into it by Van and Mary Beth over the years, and is a place where generations continue to gather to experience life surrounded and nurtured by their loving family."
August 2007
Eric and Brittany Zimlich Kegley, both ’11
"We first met on campus during orientation week, where we were both on the same team for Pirate Training. From that point on we hit it off, although we didn’t officially begin dating until the following year (June 2008). We loved to take evening walks around the circle of campus, something we tried to do every night. Brittany was a communications/accounting double major, and Eric was an accounting major active in Greek life (Phi Delta Theta), and baseball. We finally got engaged in 2012 and then married in 2013."
January 1974
John and Iris Bullard Foster, both ’75
"I had had my eye on members of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity ever since I arrived at Southwestern. However, I had only glimpsed John Foster from afar and wondered how tall he was. One night in January 1974, Marty Shelton Strong called and asked if I would consider going to a Pike Party with her lab assistant, John. The date got off to a stormy start, and we were drenched by the time we got to Austin and the party. I remember feeling like a drowned rat in my double knit polyester vest and slacks. Plus, I only came up to his shoulder, so slow dancing was odd. However, he called me the next week to go to a basketball game on campus and then to a movie followed by homemade daiquiris in the house. Gradually, we saw more of each other, especially when I studied beneath a tree on the grounds of the science building when he was in the lab. After being accepted to medical schools elsewhere, he chose Baylor College of Medicine, in part because I grew up in that area (and also because his dad attended there). I graduated a year early to chase him down the highway to Houston. We married halfway through his Baylor classes and will celebrate 40 years this April."
September 1995
Kenneth and Eileen Bamberger Youens, both ’99
"We met in the Commons during our first few weeks at Southwestern. We were both in long-distance relationships at the time, so we got to know each other as friends first. Even though Kenny was a biology major and Eileen was a music major, we had a lot in common and found ourselves enjoying the time we spent together. When we returned to school after that first winter break, we realized how much we’d missed each other’s company. By our first SU Valentine’s Day, we were officially together."
September 1955
Branson ’57 and Betty Lambert Thurston ’58
"We met at Southwestern when I (Branson) was a Freshman Orientation Leader for Betty’s group of about twelve. Perk Hoke Kight ’57 was group co-leader and pointed Betty out to me as we were getting organized. (Betty’s side of the story would be that she saw me the night before at the Methodist Student Movement [MSM] meeting when Don Fagin ’57 and I were in charge of the program and appeared to her to be very conceited characters as we tried to cut up a bit with the group. Only later did I have a chance to tell her we were “drafted” minutes before the meeting when the person in charge of the program failed to show up, and we were just “winging it as best we could.) A few weeks later I was happy to learn that Betty was on an MSM committee I chaired for UNICEF Trick or Treat. En route to the meeting, I saw her at the Pirate’s Tavern where everybody gathered in late afternoon to check for mail. I offered to buy her a cup of coffee, and we then walked to the meeting together. I walked her back to L. K. Hall after the meeting and asked for a date which she accepted. (The movie was “Many Rivers to Cross.”) A couple of times during the date, she called me Grayson. Not wanting to embarrass her in front of the couple with whom we were double dating, I waited to correct her as we walked to the dorm from the car. (My orientation leader name tag was not very impressive.) I wasted no time in asking her for other dates including many library study dates. By the end of October we had exchanged ADPi and Phi Delt necklaces. Subsequently, we were married following Betty’s graduation and the completion of my first year of seminary at SMU. (With summer school classes at U of H and “overloads” at SU, Betty finished in three years.) During my first seminary year I repeatedly visited Brian Brawner, the Business Manager at Highland Park Methodist Church (located at the south end of the campus), in hopes of Betty (a Christian education major) obtaining a position at the church. He would only say, “Have her come back after you are married and settled in Dallas.” And so we did. As soon as we moved into our garage apartment near the campus, she scheduled an appointment with Mr. Brawner. He asked her about her understanding of Christian education with children and her classes at SU. He then asked what she thought of Dr. James Hares, who had been her major professor at Southwestern. She had only the highest praises for him (as had all of his students at SU). Mr. Brawner, said, “That’s good, because he was going to be your boss.” It turned out that Dr. Hares was transitioning over the coming year from his position at SU to Pastor of Children’s Ministries at Highland Park. He would be commuting by plane between the two jobs over the course of the year and Betty would be heading up pre-school ministries. Subsequently, our ministry took us to Kansas, Syracuse, Lakeland (Fl.), and Brevard (NC). In the latter two I was professor and in administration. While working on my Ed.D (in Religious Education) at Syracuse, Betty was on the staff at the university’s downtown campus for adult education. In 1977, we moved to Brentwood (Tenn.), in the Nashville area where I served at The United Methodist Publishing House in positions including curriculum planning and editing, training, and administration. Once Betty felt our son and daughter were old enough, she took a position as the administrative assistant at Vanderbilt’s Dyer Observatory, a position she held for twenty years. That 1955 Freshman Orientation has led us to a variety of campuses and a variety of ministries. We have been blessed with two children and three grandchildren. Who could have imagined that what began in Williamson County, Texas would now find us living for almost forty years in Williamson County, Tennessee–and married for 59 years?"
May 1989
Scott and Judy Albright Griscom, both ’91
"Scott and I met through Residence Life. Scott had been a Sophomore Advisor in Ruter (by the way, he was a 4-year resident of Ruter…not many guys can say that!). Both of us were hired as Resident Advisors our junior year, and that was my first encounter with Scott. We had mutual friends, and just after being hired for the following year, we began hanging out with the same circle of residence life folks and others. Scott asked me out on our first date for the last day of finals our Spring semester our sophomore year. I think that was intentional - if we hit it off, then great. If we didn’t, then we had all summer to forget about it! We ate in Walburg, stayed up and almost watched the sun rise together. Our relationship at SU went through some major ups and downs as we navigated becoming adults, setting goals, and figuring out the rest of our lives, but we hung in there. We were married in December of 1992 after graduating in spring of 1991. I am pretty sure the majority of the folks at our wedding who knew us well at Southwestern hedged bets on how long (or short) our relationship would be, but here we are, almost 25 years later, and I can’t imagine my life any other way."
September 1985
Greg ’86 and Brooke Burris Caudell ’87
"We met on Southwestern’s first semester in London."
June 1953
Robert ’53 and Marjorie Stout Sledge ’57
"We met at Mount Wesley, Kerrville, corresponded while Rob was in the army (1953-55), and were engaged when we both matriculated at SU in September 1955. We married in summer 1956, and Rob preached at Northside Methodist Church while Marj finished her BME degree. We lived in an apartment in a home on Church Street that year. Marj sang the role of Amahl in the Mask and Wig production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Many did not believe she was a married woman when they saw the play. They recently celebrated their 60th anniversary."
September 1981
Doug ’84 and Kimberly Davis Thompson ’85
"We didn’t start dating until March 1983. From 1981-83 we became very good friends. We went to church together and ate together often in the Commons. In the spring of 1983, I (Kim) began taking a basic physics course and was really struggling. I asked Doug to tutor me (and he really was the reason I passed the course!). We started dating during that time and the rest is history. As of this writing we have been married 31 years. We have four grown children, the youngest of which is now a Southwestern student."
Fall 1954
William ’58 and Cynthia Robichaux Smith ’57
"Pat and I were in a biology class together, with Dr. Girvin. He sat behind me and tapped me on the shoulder and asked to borrow a pen. When I turned around to give him the pen I noticed that he had the bluest blue eyes I had ever seen and lots of dark brown hair, looking a bit like “Fonzie” from the TV Show. He asked me out soon after meeting in October. We dated constantly letting the studies kind of go by the wayside, but we were making big plans by Thanksgiving. He had asked me to marry him after about six weeks and I accepted. However the condition was that Pat stay and finish that year and I would leave at the end of that semester. Mother thought, or so she had me believe, it was to make the June wedding plans. But before Christmas vacation, we decided that we would get married secretly soon when we came back from Christmas holiday. We were married in Burnet, Texas in the home of a Baptist minister on January 3, 1955, and I left Southwestern a few weeks later. Lots of trips back and forth between Georgetown and Beaumont until Pat would join me for our wedding. But there was a hitch! I had been told by our family doctor that I could not get pregnant until a medical bladder suspension had taken place. He was wrong! There was a lot of excitement between my family and Pat’s but as you might imagine. When we let them all know they said ‘It will never work,” after all we’d only known each other for three months. Well we fooled them, we have just passed our 64th year of marriage and we have three grown children, two grandsons, and four great-grandchildren. They said it couldn’t be done! A little amusing addition here. Dr. Girvin gave me a C instead of the D I had made for a wedding present…and the rest is history."
April 1983
Tony ’83 and Erin Little Palagonia ’86
"There she was walking out of the Student Union - beautiful smile - contagious laugh - I said “Hello” and introduced myself. I guess I did not make as big an impression as the “brown bag adult beverages” at the SUB movie night because she never remembered meeting me that evening. It wasn’t until Fall semester 1983, that I convinced her to go out on our first date, dinner at Bennigans followed by “Mr. Mom.” We have now celebrated 32 years of marriage, have been blessed with children and grandchildren and understand that if were not for Southwestern. We would have never found each other. Truly blessed to be a Pirate!"
August 2004
Josh ’08 and Sarah Clay Watson ’07
"Josh and I have known each other since high school. We didn’t begin dating until the fall 2006, my senior year and his junior year. Josh walked me home from a Phi Delt Party the night before the semester started and took me to dinner the next evening. The rest is history! We have been married since October 2012 and welcomed our baby boy Owen in April 2016!"