<< return to UNT Insider for January 2005

Love connection: U N T students meet their soul mates on campus. By Nancy Kolsti

Delores and Roy Ford
in 1968
Roy Ford wasn't looking for a girlfriend when he went to the Howdy Week dance in September 1967. A member of North Texas' basketball team, he didn't have much time for dating.

But Roy's roommate introduced him to Delores Conley ('70). Roy playfully introduced her to other students as his wife for the rest of the dance.

"She was annoyed with me," he says.

"Actually, I was more surprised than annoyed," says Delores.

She didn't hesitate to get a hamburger with Roy after the dance. But neither she nor he dreamed they would fall in love and marry four years later. The Fords now live in Houston.

"When I said she was my wife at the dance, I was just joking," Roy says.

His sentiments are echoed by North Texas alumni who eventually wed that special girl or guy they first noticed in class, at a party or in a registration line. Almost all say they didn't expect the friendship to lead to marriage.

From schoolmates to soul mates

Alan Miller ('95 M.P.A.) of Austin came to campus strictly for his master of public administration degree.

Within two years after graduation, however, he married Amy Stallard ('93, '95 M.P.A.), whom he met in class. The two were in the same study group.

"The M.P.A. program had a friendly environment that helped students form friendships, and it was my fortune
that a friendship developed into something else, " Alan says.

Many other alumni met their spouses in a welcoming group of students or through mutual friends. And, as with the Millers, friendship often came first.

Sherry and Rob Eppler
with their son, Tommy

Rob Eppler ('95) first noticed his future wife, Sherry Spinks ('95), in early fall 1992, when they joined other
Clark Hall residents for an evening of dancing.

"I introduced myself to him, since we didn't have many guys in the group to dance with, " Sherry says.

But Sherry was just a friend to Rob for several months. He didn't ask her out until late in the semester.

The Epplers became engaged at the end of spring semester 1993. The Plano couple married in December 1994.


Whirlwind romances

Some alumni couples began dating sooner after meeting than the Epplers, and married in months.

Bonnie and Mort Ewing
in 1946
Bonnie Wilder ('47) arrived at North Texas in June 1946 to join her twin sister, Betty ('47). On Bonnie's first day on campus, the twins stood in a long, slow-moving line to register for classes. Betty noticed Mort Ewing ('47) and introduced him to Bonnie.

"Mort jokes that I came here looking for a husband.

I didn't, of course, but my sister had picked him out for me," Bonnie says.

When they registered, Bonnie and Mort discovered they were in the same classes. Their first date was that evening, and they were always together after that.

"We started the day by having breakfast together, and didn't separate until curfew at my dormitory," Bonnie says.

The Ewings of Irving married in December 1946 — six months after meeting.

Making connections

Lisa and Jack Reynolds
Other alumni couples married years after their first introduction.

Lisa Gage ('83) and Jack Reynolds ('83) of Plano met in 1980 at a Sigma Nu fraternity event.

But they didn't go on their first date until four years later. Lisa was living near Denton and Jack was in San Diego.

"Over the years, Lisa and I had a good relationship and saw each other often at fraternity events, but either she was dating someone or I was dating someone," Jack says. "After graduation, we kept in touch."

In the fall of 1984, a fraternity brother told Jack he had recently heard from Lisa.

"I found out she wasn't dating anyone, so I decided to call her up and ask her to Homecoming," Jack says.

"After that weekend, we were never apart," Lisa says.

The Reynolds married in September 1985.

Ann and Jack Maguire
in 1941

Love transcends time

Ann Roddy and Jack Maguire waited 46 years between meeting and marrying.

The two met in 1940 while commuting to North Texas on the Denton/Denison train. After dating a few months, Ann and Jack decided they would marry when they graduated.

That didn't exactly happen. Jack transferred to another university in the fall of 1943. Ann left school and moved home to Denison to work. They had promised to visit often, but school activities kept Jack away from Ann for weeks at a time.

"I was feeling neglected, so I broke up with him," Ann says.

Both Ann and Jack married others within three years. They didn't reconnect until 1977, when one of Ann's daughters read a newspaper article about Jack. Jack was living in San Antonio while Ann was in Rogers, Ark.

"She recognized the name as that of 'Mother's old boyfriend' and sent me the clipping, " Ann says.

Ann and Jack began writing to each other.

On June 15, 1986, the two, both widowed, met again for the first time since 1943.

"I hadn't seen a picture of her since then, so I was a little nervous," Jack says. "But 10 minutes after we met, I decided this was the girl I had wanted. After all these years, we were still in love. "

The Maguires married that August.

Forever faithful

Though neither received a UNT degree, both Maguires are loyal to the university. Jack, who began his successful writing career as Campus Chat editor, has published more than 1,000 articles and 11 books on Texas history. He and Ann, who now live in Fredericksburg, recently donated his manuscripts and their library of 1,100 Texana books to UNT

"There is no place we would rather have our collection remain permanently than the university where we met, fell in love and received a fine education," Jack says.

Other alumni couples are equally devoted to the university.

"You feel a little bit more connected to your university when you meet your spouse there," says Rob Eppler.

"I just have a soft spot in my heart for UNT," says Amy Stallard Miller. "All six years were filled with great experiences, and meeting my husband during graduate school was the best one."

 

Add your UNT love connection

Did you meet your significant other at UNT? Share your story with other UNT alumni.

Read other stories >>