TCU Sweetheart Connections

Readers answer: Did you meet your significant other here? If so, how?

TCU Sweetheart Connections

Readers answer: Did you meet your significant other here? If so, how?

I was blessed to cross paths with my wife 36 years ago during the fall semester of our freshman year. My first roommate in Pete Wright dorm introduced us initially. I then would frequently run into her between classes or while getting a quick bite to eat in the cafeteria. Melissa grew up in Fort Worth and would frequently bring the family dogs over to campus to walk them in the fields behind the Greek. Who was I to turn down the chance to walk around campus with a beautiful young lady and her dogs? Our friendship continued to grow over the next three years through attending football games and a variety of campus events. Amazing to think that we have been married over 31 years, have sent two of our three children to TCU, and now have two beautiful granddaughters. Happy to give TCU much of the credit for igniting that first spark.

— Andrew “Andy” Deufel ’86 and Melissa Thompson Deufel ’85

Russell “Kay” Ward Davis ’63 (MEd ’70) and Richard Davis ’66. Courtesy of the couple

Russell “Kay” Ward Davis ’63 (MEd ’70) and Richard Davis ’66. Courtesy of the couple

We met in pledge lines in the fall of ’60 and were married on December 19, 1963, in Fort Worth.

— Russell “Kay” Ward Davis ’63 (MEd ’70) and Richard Davis ’66

Yes!  I met my husband when we lived in the same apartment building on Hulen our junior year. We got engaged our senior year, married in 1990 and have a Frog daughter who is a senior. We love our love for TCU. It’s a huge part of our story. Go Frogs!

— Susan Roberts Heidenrich ’89 and David Heidenrich ’89

We met when we were placed on the same RA staff in Samuleson/Carter hall in 2010!

— Andrea Hein Stafford ’13 (MS ’17) and Daryl Stafford ’11

Met my husband when we were both resident assistants!

— Denise Ackall Rhodes ’83 and Justus “Jay” Rhodes ’84 (MBA ’91)

In January of 1957 I graduated from Waco High School on Friday. The next Monday I entered TCU as a freshman in Jarvis Hall. In February, I went to a skating party sponsored by Meliorist of University Christian Church. That’s where I met my husband-to-be. On May 31st, I graduated outside in the area where the fountain now stands. The next morning, on June 1, I married Aaron “Troy” Barker ’47 in Magnolia Avenue Christian Church, where he had been ordained. Reception in lounge of Jarvis.

— Betty Stinson Barker ’50 (MEd ’73)

We were colleagues in the chemistry department at TCU and both got our PhDs last summer. We met in 2012 when we were first-year graduate students, got married in 2015!

— Charles Ochoa ’12 (PhD ’18) and Samantha Brewer Ochoa ’18 PhD

Yes! Met in the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. We’ve been married for 23 years and counting!

— Katie Parkerson Jackson ’93 and Edward “Ed” Jackson ’93

We met in the TCU marching band our freshman year in 1983! Two kids and 27 years and still going strong.
Sharon Kircus White ’87 (MS ’90) and Joseph “Joe” White ’88 (MS ’91)

We met at the beginning of our freshman year through a mutual friend, in the halls of Moncrief Hall. Been together ever since — 18 years and married for 11 years.

— Melissa Viere Maloney ’03 and Michael “Mike” Maloney ’04

My freshman year, on the third day at TCU, I went to the Howdy Week dance in front of the student center. Dan, a junior, was standing on the steps watching. He picked me out of the crowd and asked me to dance. That was in 1958. We have been together ever since and married for 58 years.

— Sharon Hendrick Ives and Dan Ives ’60

I met him at a fraternity party, although he wasn’t in a fraternity. He proposed at Frog Fountain. We’ve been married for 26 years and counting.

— Amy Teeple Nelson ’95 and Gary Nelson ’91

I met my husband in the TCU band. Been married 28 years!

— Amy Parchman Wilson ’89 and James “Jim” Wilson ’88

Mary Gallagher Gall ’05 and Brett Gall ’03

Mary Gallagher Gall ’05 and Brett Gall ’03. Courtesy of the couple

Brett and I were familiar with each other, as we both came from the same high school, but we had two years between us. We connected for the first time during my freshman year at TCU. My roommate and I needed a favor, and so I got his phone number from his brother, who was my age, and that’s how the story began. It was a freshman crush for me and a very brief time dating my first semester of freshman year. We had the same sociology professor, so we would study or bump into each other often at the library. A few date parties later, we were “dating.” After the first Christmas break, Brett had decided a girlfriend wasn’t what he wanted as he was going to law school, and I was just starting my time at TCU. We went our separate ways in life until the fall of 2009. We literally bumped into each other a TCU football game, and we were married on November 12, 2011. We currently reside in Dallas, with our TCU flag proudly in the yard. We are season ticket holders and talk about our time at TCU often — back when the Rickel was old and when 9-11 happened.

— Mary Gallagher Gall ’05 and Brett Gall ’03

Yes and no. He was not a TCU student, but his sister was my roommate for three years at TCU. We were married for 23 years before he passed away, and our oldest daughter graduated in 2017 from TCU.

— Kimberly Thomas Builta ’88

Yes I did, in freshman year intro to political science. We became friends and began dating the next semester and have never stopped. TCU gave me my best friend and the love of my life.

— Jon “Andrew” Norman ’05 and Ashley Wright Norman ’05

Met my wife in “the Pit” in ’94. We exchanged numbers at the Frog statue. We graduated and got engaged in ’96. The Army sent us all over the world and back to Texas. The Army let me come back and lead the ROTC department for a year. We have a Frog freshman and likely two more coming in a few years.

— Steven Tabat ’96 and Angela “Angie” Leftwich Tabat ’96

Michael “Mason” Wagner ’18 and Katlynd “Katie” Brooks Wagner ’18. Courtesy of the couple

Michael “Mason” Wagner ’18 and Katlynd “Katie” Brooks Wagner ’18. Courtesy of the couple

Katie and I both lived in Sherley and shared a psychology class. It took me the whole first semester to actually ask her out. We got married in May, a week after graduation.
Michael “Mason” Wagner ’18 and Katlynd “Katie” Brooks Wagner ’18

Yes! We met through mutual friends. We will be married 25 years this December.

— Ellie Turner Mulliken ’90 and Matthew Mulliken ’93

We met during our freshman year and started dating junior year. We were married at Robert Carr Chapel, and this year is our 25th anniversary!

— Amy Delaney-Hernandez ’93 and Andrew “Andy” Hernandez III ’93

We met my senior year. I was set up with a pledge from her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, and she was set up with one of my Fiji pledge brothers for a party at the beginning of the year. There was some confusion when the dates were picked up, and she went with the wrong group — my group. She ended up sitting across the table from me, and I was captivated. I spent the entire evening hanging out with my pledge brother and Allison. Two weeks later, we went out on a date, and I told my best friend that night that I’d met my future wife. It took a few months to convince her, and the rest is history. We’ve been married for 21 years.

— Barrett Clark ’95 (MBA ’99) and Allison Hardy Clark ’97

James “Jim” Grabau ’68 and Nancy Higley Grabau ’66. Courtesy of the couple

James “Jim” Grabau ’68 and Nancy Higley Grabau ’66. Courtesy of the couple

In 1966, Nancy Higley and I were waiting “stand by” at Love Field Airport in Dallas to fly home for Easter break. We missed several flights and would see each other each time we waited. I finally asked her if she would like to get something to eat. We became acquainted and finally got on a flight north. Nancy’s grandmother met her at the Kansas City airport (when you could meet people at the gate). I was introduced to her grandmother, and she said to Nancy after I left to fly up to Iowa, “Why don’t you date a nice boy like Jim?” When we returned to TCU, I received a call from Nancy asking me to go to the Pi Beta Phi formal. I accepted, and we began dating, were married in 1968 and celebrated our 50th Anniversary on June 1, 2018. We had a daughter and son and now have five grandchildren.

— James “Jim” Grabau ’68 and Nancy Higley Grabau ’66

My fiancé and I initially met when I was visiting my sister at TCU. They were friends, and we ran into him in the Commons. Fast forward three years to my freshman year at TCU, and Alex and I would run into one another around campus and at tailgates. We only ever said hello with a wave or a smile. Fast forward another two years, when I was doing a summer internship in Guatemala. I happened to run into Alex one night when I was out with friends and cousins. When I came back to school in the fall, he bought a flight to come visit me, and we started dating in September 2016.  Many flights and TCU tailgates, games and a graduation later, we got engaged in March 2018, while on vacation with my family in Cancún.  We will be getting married in March 2019!

— Gabriela Ruiz-Roehrs ’17 and Alexander Cruz Pineda ’15

We met in the TCU Band. We both graduated in ’86, got married that summer, and we still love watching the band at every home game. Thirty-two years and counting for us! 💜

— Joy McHenry Pool ’86 and Scott Pool ’86

We met in the TCU Band. Our first date followed a basketball game in which we both played in the pep band. We celebrated our 34th anniversary in June.

— D’Anna DeBlaker Hohe ’80 and Martin Hohe ’80

I met her in Colby Hall on Halloween our freshman year and found out we had a class together. We started sitting together. A few years later we got engaged at Frog Fountain!
David Graham Stein ’12 (MLA ’18) and Nicole Nava Stein ’12

My husband was in the TCU moving crew. We met while working out in the Frogfit room. We went on our first date in February 1994, got married in November of that year, and have been married ever since. We have two kids.

— Victoria “Tori” Cuccia Park ’94 and Jeffrey Park ’94

Yes! We met our senior year. She was a Frogfit instructor at the Rickel, and I worked out there in the big basement weight room. Somehow, I convinced her to go out with me. We graduated together in ’94, got married not long after, and we’re going on 25 years. Go Frogs!

— Jeffrey Park ’94 and Victoria “Tori” Cuccia Park ’94

(They both answered – one via email, one via Facebook.)

We knew of each other from Tennessee. He got stationed in Fort Worth with the Marines, so we started hanging out, and then dating. We first met in Texas in front of the TCU student center. We got engaged on a TCU choir trip to Carnegie Hall. We’ve been married for 13 years and have two beautiful girls!

— Andrea Pate Hand ’05 and Richard Hand

We met at Southwest High School, but we did attend TCU together for two years before she transferred. One daughter graduated in ’06 and the other attended TCU.

— David Benepe ’79 (MBA ’83) and Terri Howell Benepe

I met my husband at TCU when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore! He played football for TCU. I first saw him on the way to class in the Bailey building. He was going the opposite direction to the student center. We both remember this first time we saw each other, but we did not know each other then. Very shortly thereafter one of his friends fixed us up on a blind date. Yes, I do believe in love at first sight! That was 50 years ago.

— Sharlene Douglas Horak ’68 and Franklin “Frank” Horak ’67

We met when we were sophomores. I lived in the basement of Milton Daniel, and she hopped in the window with a mutual friend. We all tended to come and go through those windows, for some reason. When we were dating, I wandered over to Sherley and bounced pennies off her window “after visiting hours” to say hello. Still wonder what why there were no pebbles to be found outside Sherley. We have been married for 17 years!

— James “Andy” McMillan Jr. ’00 and Jennifer “Jennie” Kinder McMillan ’00

Yes! We met the first day of early freshman orientation (for band kids) while looking for breakfast. The dining hall wasn’t open, so we started talking. We married in Robert Carr Chapel four years later … 35 years ago.

— Carrie Cassell Reber ’83 and Charles Reber ’83

I met my beloved at a Theta-Fiji spirit sign paint mixer in 1980. She was having so much fun and was covered in paint.

— James “Jim” Mytinger ’83 and Laura “Lolly” Johnson Mytinger ’84

We met at freshman orientation in 1971. We’re still having fun and we’re Frog fans for life.

— Donna Fischer East ’75 and Calvin East III ’75 (MBA ’80)

We met at our 10-year TCU reunion. We married in 1988 and celebrated our 30th anniversary this past spring.
Lyn Thurman Robinette ’76 and William “Bill” Robinette III ’76

Matthew “Matt” Pedersen ’93 and Melanie Riemer Pedersen ’98. Courtesy of the couple

Matthew “Matt” Pedersen ’93 and Melanie Riemer Pedersen ’98. Courtesy of the couple

I met my wife through a mutual friend. The first date I told her, “I could marry you tomorrow and be a happy man.” I wear the GPS coordinates of the dorm steps where I said that — not because I’m romantic, but because I was right … and she didn’t run. Our 20th anniversary is this year.

— Matthew “Matt” Pedersen ’93 and Melanie Riemer Pedersen ’98

She and I met while completing our PhD degrees in psychology.

— Andrew Zoota ’98 MS (PhD ’00) and Juli Stokes Zoota ’98 MS (PhD ’00)

Yes! We met during orientation and dated throughout college. Our first kiss was outside of Sherley. We married the summer after graduation. Frogs for life.

— Christopher “Chris” Bovenkamp ’95 and Julie Anderson Bovenkamp ’95

We met in 1994 while I was an undergrad and he was starting the Ranch Management program. We are in our 21st year of marriage and have a fantastic 15-year-old future Frog.

— Marmendy Welker Thompson ’97 and Timothy “Tim” Thompson Jr. ’96 RM

I was leaving the snack bar in the basement of the old student center after lunch. As I walked up the steps, I looked up and saw this young coed coming down the stairs smiling. When I said hi and she acknowledged it, I knew then I was going to marry her. I turned around, got a second lunch and asked to join her table. When we were finished eating, I walked her to class carrying the Omar Sharif poster she had bought at the bookstore. I met her after class to return the poster I “accidentally kept.”  I asked her out for a date that Saturday. She accepted.

Friday morning, before our date, my dad called telling me that my mom had passed away that morning. Since my date was in class and she didn’t have an answering machine, I called the Sherley dorm and left a message for her that I had to return to California and had to cancel our date. Upon my return the next weekend, I saw her in front of the student center. She was furious with me, as it was her first date in college and she was stood up. I came to find out she never received my message. When I tried to explain that I had to return for my mother’s funeral, she didn’t believe me. It wasn’t until a friend verified my story that she finally believed me.

After 45 years of marriage, she’s still telling people she felt so guilty for not believing me, she had no choice but to marry me.

— Bruce Salan ’72 and Deborah “Debbie” Moses Salan ’75

I was her RA in Brachman Hall. We were married the day after we both graduated in May 1997. We’ve been happily married for 21 years.

— Curtis Norwood ’97 and Sharon Waigand Norwood ’97

We met through my roommate, who went to Frog Camp and got to know everyone. We started out as friends and began dating our sophomore year. The proposal was on the scoreboard at the TCU-North Carolina football game in 1997, and we were married in the TCU Chapel in January 1999. We love TCU and still come back for all the home football games and are Frogs for Life.

— Bradley “B. J.” Warren ’98 and Amy Rice Warren ’97