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Alumni Share Hiram Love Stories

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we asked alumni to share their love stories that began at Hiram College. Take a trip down memory lane, and read how alumni found their true love right here at Hiram, starting with our most recent graduates:

Elizabeth Gress ’12 and Marissa Diliberto ’13

It was fitting that two art majors, Liz and Marissa, would meet in art class. They sat next to each other in art history, which marked the beginning of their relationship. After dating two years, Liz proposed to Marissa in front of the Heckscher Museum of Art on Long Island in December 2013.

“We have just set the date for our wedding, which is going to be in June 2015! No children yet, but hopefully soon!” Liz said. “We still talk to a lot of our friends in Hiram, and we actually lived in Hiram for some time after we graduated! We are hoping to return to Hiram soon and visit all of our friends.”

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Joshua and Alison (True) Pritchard, Class of 2010

Alison and Joshua met in a macroeconomics class during the spring of their junior year. As the semester progressed, they continued to run into each other, as Josh is a member of Phi Gamma Epsilon and Alison a member of Phi Beta Gamma.

“Josh proposed while we were on spring break during our senior year,” Alison said. “We were married in Hiram on October 6, 2012. Of the 12 members in our wedding party, seven were Hiram alumni or students, including our officiant!”

The two remain involved in their fraternity/sorority.

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Nathan Yaussy ’08 and Virginia Schminke-Yaussy ‘10

Nathan and Ginny met in their residence hall, Henry Hall.

“We were both drawn in to the nerdy social nexus that was Henry Lounge,” they write. “There, we watched movies, played games, talked into the deep hours of the night and fell in love.”

Nathan proposed in the Hiram library’s courtyard, amidst three-foot snowdrifts. They married in September 2010, with eight Hiram alumni present. The couple now lives in Northeast Ohio and often visits former professors.

Jonathan and Julie (Kocka) Weaver ’07

Julie and Jon began dating after meeting on Hiram’s swim team. After graduating, they both went on to pursue separate graduate degrees. After one-and-a-half years of dating long distance, Jon proposed.

“He asked a week before Christmas at his parents house with a photo album,” Julie said. “At the end of the album, he popped the question. We married July 24, 2010, in front of many family and friends. We have one child, James Ryan Weaver, born May 15, 2013.”

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Leonard ’06 and Selina (Brown) Wright ’03

Selina and Leonard met in 2002, when Selina was a trainer for the men’s basketball team, which Leonard was a member of. Each year, they revisit where their love began by returning for the alumni basketball game.

“Leonard proposed to me on 1-1-11 at 12 a.m. on the dot,” Selina said. “He told me it was the first thing he wanted to do in 2011.”

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 Keith ’02 and Yari (Rodriguez) ’04 Beavers

When they were students at Hiram, Keith worked at the switchboard, and Yari would hang out at the desk and chat with him.

“One late, rainy September night, we talked and took a walk around campus … until the sun came up,” Yari said. “We’ve been attached at the hip since!”

Keith proposed on the Nautica Queen on July 4, 2001, amidst a “magical” fireworks show. They were married three years later, almost to the day, on July 2, 2004. They keep in touch with many of their Hiram friends.

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Ed ’13 and Cari ’03 Dubiel

Cari and Ed didn’t meet at Hiram College, but they share a Hiram education. They first met through a mutual friend just before Cari’s senior year at Hiram. Ed was not a student at the time, but he played the tuba at her commencement ceremony. Two years after they were married, Ed started attending the Weekend College.

“He graduated this past May, exactly 10 years after I did,” Cari said. “I’m so proud of him for completing his degree in the place I loved so much.”

They have one son, and they attended Alumni Weekend this past year – for Cari’s 10 year reunion and Ed’s first.

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Ryan and Lynne Lemley, Class of 2001

Ryan and Lynne met in their residence hall, Henry Hall and became friends after discovering similar interests and senses of humor in Freshman Seminar. Ryan proposed in March 2001 on a walk on Hiram’s three-mile square.

The couple writes:

“Lynne tried inviting a few friends to go with them … but no one was available. … Ryan stopped under one of the streetlights close to the Hiram Spotlight and asked Lynne to marry him. Lynne said yes – after a few heart-stopping moments for Ryan – and they returned to Henry shortly afterwards. As soon as they walked into the Lounge, several friends came running over to see Lynne’s ring. No one was free to go on the walk because they all knew Ryan was going to propose.”

The couple married June 28, 2003. They have three daughters: Marianna, 7, Josephine, 4, and Henrietta, 2 – who is named after Henry Hall. They return to Hiram twice a year for Alumni Executive Board and remain in contact with many college friends.

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Heather Thompson and Bryan Timko, Class of 1999

Heather and Bryan met in their First Year Colloquium course. After a class meeting at their professor’s house, Heather hitched a ride back to campus with Bryan in his Volkswagon Jetta.

“I swore I would never get in a car with him again after that trip!” Heather said. “Our first ‘date’ was on Valentine’s Day 1996. We went to a Hiram basketball game together, and then hung out in my dorm room. We were pretty much inseparable after that!”

The couple married in October 2001 and took wedding photos on campus. They now live in Brunswick Hills and return to campus to visit often. They have a six-year-old daughter named Emaleah.

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Chris Parfitt ’82 and Meg McKnight ‘85

Chris and Meg met at a cross country meeting when Chris was a senior and Meg a freshman.

“Chris then proceeded to try to convince me to go out for the team by visiting my dorm room often with that as the excuse,” Meg said.

Chris proposed at a dance during the spring of Meg’s senior year, and they were married a year later. They have two teens, Hannah, 19, and Ben, 16, and live on a small sheep farm in Hamilton, N.Y.

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Micky Oakley and Craig Bair, Class of 1982

Micky and Craig worked in the Service Center together at Hiram. After graduating, Micky married someone else, but started a relationship with Craig again after her divorce.

“I made him promise to never marry me unless something terrible happened, like I got HIM pregnant,” Micky said. “He agreed, so we spent 19 years living together.”

They eventually were married (by Hiram College Chaplain at the time, Jon Moody), so they could share medical insurance. They often come back to campus to visit the Service Center.

Cynthia Tollis ’68 and Lee McCarty ’70

Each spring, Lee’s fraternity, Theta Phi Kappa, and Cindy’s sorority, Sigma Mu Sigma, joined together to write and perform a musical.

“My freshman year, we put on ‘Robin and the Seven Hoods,’ a parody of the Robin Hood legend,” Lee writes. “I noticed this cute little dancer in the chorus line, got placed next to her and asked her out after rehearsal. We split a pizza in the Whitcomb Lounge on our first date.”

The couple married the summer between Lee’s junior and senior year, after Cindy graduated. They have three children and return to Hiram eight or nine times a year, as Lee officiates Hiram’s swim meets.

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Richard ’68 and Janice (Ehlert) ’67 Ziegler

Every morning during her history class, Janice noticed a young man named Richard would come in late and “sort of harried.” She asked him why, and found out he worked in the kitchen doing dishes for breakfast each day.

“Hmm, someone who cleans kitchens, gets up early every day and works hard,” Janice thought. “Well, we had other conversations, and discovered we had similar inquisitive and history-oriented minds and began to like each other.”

As they began dating, they studied together every evening. Janice was a year ahead and began to apply for graduate schools like Tulane and Rutgers. Not wanting her to move away, Richard said, “You know, we could get married.” That was the proposal, and they married during his senior year. They have two daughters and three granddaughters. Janice and Richard attend many alumni events, and Janice works as Assistant Director for Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations in Hiram’s development office. Janice writes that Richard still cleans the kitchen at home!

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R. Charles and Laura Larlham ‘67

Charles and Laura met through a theatre production. They remained “just friends” through their entire junior year, though Charles had other plans. Their relationship began on a cold January night of their senior year.

He writes:

“I walked her to her dorm without asking.  Suddenly she took a slip. I hauled her up from the fall before she touched the ground. She held onto my arm a moment, then pushed it straight up and stepped under it. She tucked into me and pulled my hand around to her waist and we walked on.

“I looked down at her, and kissing her seemed the right thing to do … so I stopped and kissed her. She turned and kissed me back. After a bit, I pulled back, but it seemed such a shame to stop. I kissed her again. Eventually….

“‘I’ll miss PERS,’ she said. (PERS was a rule that all women had to be in by ten p.m.)

“We headed for the dorm, but it seemed more important to kiss her again, so I did. She missed PERS. I got PERS eliminated. Within a few weeks we were engaged.”

Charles gave Laura her engagement ring during their senior prom, and they married the same year, on Dec. 23, 1967. They had two children, who are both now married, and two grandchildren. Laura died five days before 44th anniversary, on Dec. 18, 2011.

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Kurt ’66 and Betsy (Ruf) ’67 Field

Kurt and Betsy met through mutual friends in 1963, when they spent Campus Day together.

“We ended up spending the entire day together and saw ‘Dr. No,’ the James Bond hit, after dinner,” Betsy said. “Kurt was on crutches and thus irresistible. He tutored me in Chemistry, so I felt I had to marry him. Pinned on Valentines Day, 1965 … and engaged May, 1967.”

The couple married Dec. 23, 1967, and both went on to pursue graduate degrees. They have two daughters, Kimberleigh and Robin, and a few summers ago, the couple traveled with Hiram students studying abroad in the Galápagos Islands.

Lois Paige and Robert Weber ’49

When Lois enrolled at Hiram College in 1945, meeting her future husband may have seemed unlikely, as there were only 18 men on campus. By 1946, though, the war had ended, and more than 100 more enrolled. In 1948, she and Richard were on the committee for the Sweetheart Ball, where their love story began.

“We fell in love as we made the ball happen,” Lois said. “Although we both had previous dates, we ended the evening together on the cleanup committee. He walked me home to the dorm, the beginning of our courtship. Dancing was our favorite, all 63 years.”

William Buckley and Marjorie Kitchen

William and Marjorie met on the first day of freshman year, during their first class: biology. They fell for each other, won the “Perchers of the Year Award” (the equivalent to “going steady”) and never looked back.

The couple was married for 50 years until William passed away in 1993. They had three children: Sheryl, William and Jeffrey, who all attended Hiram. Sheryl teaches at the Weekend College and serves on the Board of Trustees, and Jeff has two daughters currently attending Hiram College.

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