BYWOO – Love and Marriage at BYU, Parts I & II

A Forever Calling

—Elinor (Godfrey) Hyde, ’60 – Salt Lake City, Utah

My husband, Alan Hyde, and I, Elinor Godfrey, met in 1954, when we were both set apart the same evening for church assignments in the North Campus Branch—yes, before wards and stakes. He was an assistant branch clerk, and I an assistant branch secretary. Alan insisted he always noticed me, but in my eyes he was just another good-looking student—a Canadian, as I learned from his paperwork at the setting-apart. Although we saw each other each Sunday evening in the old wooden barracks that served as the branch office, it wasn’t until after I sat in front of him and his date at a basketball game that he asked me out. My date was Cosmo, the Cougar. It was a BYU vs. Utah game. It was only the second year of having a student dressed as a mascot, so there was a lot of speculation on who it could be.

My date, I later learned, was a fill-in that evening to throw off those who thought they had Cosmo pegged. Since the rumors were that Utah was going to kidnap Cosmo, it also may have been to protect the real Cosmo, Danny Galegos. While I sat on the front row and enjoyed the game, Cosmo romped all over the stadium. I could never have guessed such a solitary evening would change my life. The next day Alan phoned and said, “This isn’t Cosmo, but…” We went to another basketball game, and this time beat Colorado.

Our new dorms, the family life units, and my own Rogers Hall had a girls’ choice dance after the game. My roommates insisted I invite my date, because if everyone agreed, we could have an after-dance party in our apartment. I insisted it was okay to have the party, but it was a bit forward to ask someone I only knew casually from Sunday evenings at the branch office, where the fellows sorted tithing receipts while I typed up various things for the branch president. Finally they won, and Alan was a good sport and changed his plans in order to attend both the dance and our little party afterwards.

He invited me to go to the genealogy library in Salt Lake the next Wednesday, and I agreed. The hour up and another back on the bus gave us time to talk. Our next date, which was to the Avalon, a popular dance hall in Draper, gave us more time just to talk. Soon we were meeting for the Tuesday devotionals and Thursday assemblies and doing whatever was happening on campus on weekends, including church. Alan made it very clear from our first date that he was only interested in friendship, that he had an education to finish but that it was nice to have a friend to go places with. In college, some friends were guys and some were girls. That suited me perfectly, because I had a boyfriend at home in Idaho whom I intended to marry someday—after his mission, after I grew up, after… But I had “permission” to date in the meantime. Alan was a 26-year-old junior, and I an 18-year-old freshman, but he didn’t know that. We’d been interrupted during our get-acquainted conversation, and somehow he wrongly assumed I was a senior.

After a couple of months of this easy-going and fun dating, I suddenly realized he was getting serious. I panicked, knowing of a very difficult time he’d had the previous year, when a romance hadn’t gone as he expected. “Like losing someone in death,” he’d described the emotional turmoil. What should I do? I’d carefully avoided the subject of my boyfriend at home, and I felt like a traitor to both young men, although the soon-to-be missionary knew I dated, if not how frequently. My roommates heartily accepted Alan, but had turned thumbs down on the Idaho beau when he visited campus. Still, my three years of dating him left me feeling very committed to a future with him. But first I had to grow up, and he had to serve a mission.

One day my roommates posted a large ad for diamonds out on our front door, and we each in jest initialed the biggest, gaudiest rings, and then added our own caption: “Let no man enter who is not rich.” Alan scribbled, “He that hath eternal life is rich” beneath it. His depth impressed me, but I also began to feel guilty for enjoying his company when I knew it couldn’t progress beyond friendship. I began to withdraw, but that only seemed to increase his interest, and at last I had to tell him the truth—there was someone else. He was very upset, and he broke all our dates (one for each night of the coming week), and then called as soon as he got back to his D2 dorm and said, “I still don’t think you’re funny” and hung up. I was in shock, but so reserved I wasn’t about to admit to anyone—even my roommates—how I felt.

On Y-Day my roommates and I were up on the mountain to hand down empty whitewash buckets, and Alan’s dorm mates were safely cleaning out the old botany pond. Somehow I ended up in the cement bucket line, and even empty they were heavy. The ranks thinned, and the buckets were being tossed instead of handed gently. I was hit twice as I braced to catch them with my knees. The pain was intense, and the bruises so deep that one remained a year later when we were married, but at that time all I could think of was that it was good to have a reason to hurt. My inside hurt was much deeper than anything I’d ever known, but I said nothing, keeping my feelings private.

When we came off the mountain in the big dump trucks, the first person I met was Alan’s best friend, and the second was Alan. Everyone scattered, accustomed to leaving us alone, and it was a difficult few minutes as we ate hot dogs and drank lemonade, our reward for the campus cleanup.

As a sort of truce, he said he didn’t want to ruin Y-Day for me, so we’d still go to the dance, a street dance by the dorms. Plus, since his best friend’s fiancée was in charge, it was a courtesy to her to show up. We danced one very wooden dance, and then, because there was a good crowd, Alan proposed going to see a movie downtown. It would mean walking home, since the buses only ran until 9 p.m. It wasn’t until we were walking home after a most unpleasant and silent time that he broke the ice by offering an ice cream cone. As we ate, still in silence in that lovely, warm May evening with the lilacs out, something magic took over, and by the time we were all the way back to the dorms on 9th East and 12th North, our friendship had returned. It wasn’t the end of my turmoil, but before finals I wrote a Dear John letter home to Idaho, certain my future was to go another direction. Alan and I wrote letters daily all summer—he working in hot Henderson, Nevada and I in the Idaho Falls hospital as a temporary secretary. We were engaged soon after returning to school, and married in the Idaho Falls temple in June 1955. Forty-five years later we still marvel that our lives were so changed by so many small things: a casual date with Cosmo, being together at the branch offices each Sunday, his insistence on just friendship, not romance (otherwise, I’d never have kept dating him), and even the ice cream cones and the May lilacs.

Oh, yes. The other young man served his mission, returned home, served in the Army, got a good education and married a fine girl. Alan and I continued our interest in family history, and we recently completed a two-year mission in the Salt Lake library. We are blessed with six children, 18 grandchildren, and a great-grandchild, with another due shortly.

A Funeral and a Wedding

—Francis (Feik) Shirley, ’56 – Midvale, Utah

I met my future husband, Rowan Shirley, at BYU in the fall of 1955 in my senior year. I was from Nyssa, Oregon and Rowan was from Gilmer, Texas.

My roommate, Peggy Paulk from Texas, had been working on a dude ranch in Colorado, along with two other roommates during the summer of 1955 to earn money to help with school expenses. Peggy was killed in a freak accident on the ranch while riding a horse and was shipped back to Texas for burial.

Some of my roommates went to Texas to attend the funeral, but I was not able to go. Rowan attended the funeral and met some of Peggy’s roommates. He and Peggy were in the same high school graduating class.

After being discharged from the military service, he came to BYU and wanted to meet the others who were not able to attend the funeral.

We met a couple months later, when he came to the apartment to meet the other roommates. We started dating and were married in the Salt Lake Temple, June 3, 1957.

I graduated in 1956, and Rowan graduated in 1959 in secondary education. We live in Midvale, Utah and have six children and nine grandchildren and are expecting another grandchild in April 2000.

Band Bonding

—Nancy (Bond) Harris, ’76 – San Antonio, Texas

I LOVE my BY Woo story and would be surprised if anyone could top it! I wasn’t an English major, which will become obvious as you read through this. In fact, I have very little time but couldn’t resist responding. My name is Nancy Bond Harris, and both my husband and I attended BYU on music scholarships, he on French horn in 1969 (I think) and I on oboe in 1972. During my first semester I joined an octet composed of two oboes, two bassoons, two clarinets, and two French horns. At our first rehearsal of the winter semester in January, I noticed that one of the horn players had been replaced by a recently returned (OK, and cute) missionary. We jumped right in to our rehearsal without introducing ourselves.

I wasn’t in my best form that day for making a good impression. It is the principal oboist’s job, in small ensembles like ours, to act as the conductor by giving the preparatory beat with the end of the instrument to bring the rest of the players in together like a conductor using a baton. Well, that day I kept banging the end of my oboe into the music stand—not too professional or impressive. The new horn player told me later he had definitely noticed. He had also noticed that I was wearing a dress that he considered on the short side for BYU standards. My feeble excuse for wearing this particular dress was that it had a border print and if the hem were let down it would ruin the look. He also noticed I was wearing some really strange footwear. In Argentina, wedges hadn’t made the scene yet. So much for the great impression I made on the cute new guy. (At least he was impressed with my playing, which was all I really cared about at that moment.)

Well, after the rehearsal everyone except the new guy, myself, and one of the bassoon players had left, and we still hadn’t done any name intros, which I thought was rude. So I said to the new horn player as he was about to walk out the door, “Hey, by the way, what’s your name?”

I have to give a little background information here on the bassoon player. His name was Rock Oakason. He was a musical genius: composer, concert pianist, conductor, excellent bassoon player with perfect pitch. He was a great friend to everyone and vice versa, but socially he sometimes missed a few things. For example, he told me he washed his hair in Peach Thrill dish detergent, and since he knew that people put something on their hair after that (conditioner) he said he used Downey fabric softener following his shampoo. His hair was really soft, come to think of it. . .

Back to the story—the new guy answered back that his name was Jim Harris. Well, just then from the back of the room, Rock pipes up with, “Oh, if you married her (remember my maiden name) you’d be James Bond!” Well, we had never laid eyes on each other before that day. We married three semesters later! So I guess I have to add “prophet” to Rock’s many talents, but he was only partly right. We did get married, but I became Nancy Harris, and I have been for 26 years. Thanks for letting me tell my story one more time. I was running out of new people to inflict it on.

Beautiful Strawberry Blonde

—J. Carlyle Parker, ’57 – Turlock, California

In July 1955 I invited two of my roommates, ex-army buddies, to an evening concert in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building Auditorium. As we entered the auditorium, one of them saw a young lady who was in one of his classes, and he led us in to sit behind her and her friend. He introduced us to his classmate, and she introduced Janet Greene (’56) to us. I thought, “This beautiful strawberry blonde must be waiting for a missionary!” After the very nice concert and some good conversation, we bade the ladies goodbye, and they departed to the right and we to the left. As we got almost out of the building I asked one of the roommies if he would like to offer the coeds a ride home. He rushed across the hall and got them in tow. We drove them to their off-campus, converted-garage apartment.

The next morning at an assembly rehearsal, I discovered that Janet was going to sing a solo, and I was in a double mixed quartet. A few days after the assembly I tracked her down walking by the President’s home to the stairs to lower campus in front of the Maeser building and asked her to a dance at the Social Hall.

The following spring, two days before Janet’s graduation, we were married in the Logan Temple. I must have been the missionary for whom she was waiting and the vocalist she wished to marry. Dozens of duets, years of singing in choirs, and attending concerts by the hundreds have followed throughout a wonderful married life.

Blessed by a General Authority

—Lisa (Tensmeyer) Hansen, ’90 – Payson, Utah

Who knows why I decided to stay for spring term at BYU in 1977 following my freshman year? I was as tired of school as my five roommates who trekked home, leaving me with stories of kicking back for the summer. What possessed me?

I became good friends with a girl with an amazing smile that term, and she sprinkled her conversation with talk about her older brother. One day, reading for an English class outside on the terrace at Tingey Hall, chewing on carrot sticks, she told me if he weren’t her brother she would marry him. I couldn’t resist that recommendation, and told her to give him my phone number. He never called. (He says he did, but . . .)

Fall semester, I moved into the Elms apartments just off-campus, and on the first Sunday walked with my roommates to branch meetings in the Smith Field House. I sat next to a guy who sang the sacrament meeting hymns from a Portuguese hymnal. I asked him about it and when he smiled, his smile was eerily familiar. He asked me my name and then he laughed, “I know you,” he said. “You’re the girl my sister never stopped talking about.”

Our first date was to study together at the law school library. (He was in his first year of law school.) Because he served court documents, including bench warrants, in his part-time job as a constable, he carried handcuffs in his pocket. On a whim, as I sat down in his law carrel chair on the night of that exciting first date, he whipped out the handcuffs and snapped me to the chair. “See you soon!” he smirked and waltzed off. I knew he would come back eventually, but I didn’t want to wait and give him the satisfaction of having chained me to his chair while he went off researching whatever first-year law students research. I thought first of dragging another chair into the place of the one I was sitting in, giving him the impression when he returned that I had found my way out of the handcuffs and gone home. That would serve him right.

But when I started dragging my chair around with me, I thought again. He would not know I was sitting somewhere close by, still cuffed to the chair. If he believed my ruse and left, I’d really be in trouble. So I thought again. I spied his jacket hanging on a hook and decided to check the pockets for the key. It would be the ultimate tease for him to have left the key in his carrel! The jacket, however, was just out of my reach. It took a bit of straining and stretching to finally reach into the pocket. Voila, the key! I undid the cuffs quickly, hung them on a hook in his carrel as my badge of victory, and waited for his return.

He says he was impressed.

He first told me he loved me during a Devotional Assembly.

He proposed to me in an alcove of the law school.

Two weeks after we were engaged, we attended a twelve-stake fireside in the Marriott Center, where Bruce R. McConkie set aside his prepared speech and spoke extemporaneously for an hour on marriage. We were the only just-engaged couple in the world, and were sure he was speaking just to us. When we watched the fireside again on KBYU, we were delighted to see the camera focus on the two of us during the speech, confirming our suspicion that the evening belonged to us after all. (Nevermind that it showed us immediately after Elder McConkie spoke about those who do not keep their covenants, speaking in his booming voice about the damned.) Nothing could mar the fact that a general authority had blessed our marriage (however unintended) at BYU.

We were married at the semester break. Bill graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1980 just before our second child was born, and I graduated from BYU in 1990 just before our sixth child was born.

While I was sick with mononucleosis after our wedding, Bill took a tape recorder to each of my BYU classes so I could listen to the proceedings tucked in bed at home, and not have to withdraw from school. (All of my classes, for six weeks, between attending his own law school courses!)

When I was afraid of losing my Spencer W. Kimball scholarship after our first child was born, Bill suggested I write to then President Dallin H. Oaks and request that women be allowed two years of interruption in their schooling without affecting their scholarship, as the men were allowed to do. Bill critiqued my letter and cheered me on. The Board of Trustees approved the idea, and all of my friends who had lost scholarships and had to quit school were reinstated. You have no idea how romantic that was to me! (I understand that policy has since been revised.)

After completing all of my course work for a BS degree, I waited seven years to graduate, still hoping I would have enough energy to finish my monstrous Honors Thesis. Just after I learned I was expecting baby number six, I also learned that my major was scheduled to become obsolete by the end of summer (six months away). Bill put his life and work on hold and supported me in finishing my thesis and reading all the remaining great works I needed to fulfill the new Honors requirements. He babysat, fixed meals, ran hundreds of trips from our home in Payson, Utah to the Spencer W. Kimball Tower to deliver data for computer testing, and convinced me I could complete all the requirements to graduate with honors. At the Oral Defense of my thesis, he was my biggest fan. And when I spoke at commencement in August of 1990 (eight months pregnant), I couldn’t wait to find him afterwards. The BYU romance was still sparkling!

Breaking All the Rules

—Kim (Sansom) Guymon, ’91 – Marysville, Wash.

We are always a little embarrassed to tell people where we met. It seems so cliché to say we met at BYU. Not only were we in the same ward, but Mark was in my family home evening group, which somehow is the most embarrassing scenario possible. I had three NEVERS when I went to BYU: 1) Never date a FHE brother, 2) Never get married before graduation and 3) Never date or marry anyone from UTAH! I managed to break all three!

I had struggled to go back to BYU in the fall of 1986. I wanted to attend school closer to my family in Washington state. I had been at BYU for two years already and felt like I was just spinning my wheels. My mom convinced me to go back for fall semester. Sometime during the fall, I decided enough was enough, and I told my parents I was going to apply to the University of Washington for winter semester. I did not want to go back to BYU after Christmas. Again, Mom and Dad convinced me to “finish the year” and deal with it over the summer.

As I packed my stuff after Christmas, I was pretty steamed that I was being forced to go back. I arrived in Provo mid-week just a few days before the semester started. My roommate, Lisa, was from Salt Lake City, and she had been in our house for almost a week already. Five minutes after I arrived, Lisa came home and told me, “We have a cute new family home evening brother and I thought of you when I met him!” She had been to church the week before and had met Mark, who had just returned from his mission in Denmark and was living with our FHE brothers, who were from his small town in southeastern Utah. I didn’t think anything of her comment.

That evening, my bishop called and asked if I would speak at church on Sunday. I half-heartedly said yes. When Sunday rolled around, I had totally forgotten the comment Lisa made. I don’t even recall if she came to church with me that day. I just remember sitting up on the stand at the beginning of sacrament meeting, scanning the crowd for new faces. I saw our FHE brothers come in and then remembered what Lisa had said. As I looked down the line of them, I saw Mark. I can’t exactly describe the feeling I had, but the second I laid eyes on him, I knew I was going to marry him. The feeling flustered me so badly that I remember shaking and stammering as I gave my talk. I NEVER get nervous speaking in front of groups, yet I will never forget the sound of my knocking knees that Sunday. I remember meeting him after sacrament and having the same feeling. I wondered what was going through his head. It’s not like I could say, “Hi, I’m Kim, and we’re going to get married!”

Well, to make a long story short, we had our first date a couple of weeks later, and in early May he proposed to me on the bench in the arboretum that we had often sat on in the evenings to talk. On a hot August day in 1987, we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. As I look at my “cute new family home evening brother” nearly 13 years later, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had I not returned to BYU in January of 1987. I never finished my BA at BYU, but I did get my “MRS” there! Darn, I was so looking forward to my tuition refund.


—Amy (Freeze) Arbuckle, ’95 – Denver, Colo.

My husband and I were the first BYU cheerleaders to marry each other. We now live in Denver, Colorado. I am a TV weather anchor, he is a Chiropractor, and we have one son, Tyler (19 months). Gary and I met when he was Cosmo and I was a cheerleader in 1993.

We married one year later and became not only eternal partners but also the first-ever married cheer partnership at BYU (we spent our honeymoon with the football team in Hawaii in August of 1994).

Crash, Dent, Sigh

—Lisa (Miller) Richardson, ’92 – Henderson, Nev.

Crash, dent, sigh. That’s how I met my future husband. I bumped right into him—literally. It was a frosty Sunday morning, and I didn’t take the time to scrape the ice off my rear windshield. And in my hurry not to be late for church, I put my car in reverse and hit a car behind me.

I must have made quite an impression on him, because he asked me out to a fireside that night. We’ve been married 15 years, and five children have impacted our lives.

Diamonds in Hong Kong

—Alison (Moore) Affeltranger, ’77 – Sandy, Utah

Yes, my husband and I met my first Sunday as a freshman at BYU. It took BYU to bring us together, since I’m originally from Maine, and he was born and raised in the Panama Canal zone. We were in the same family home evening group and attended the same branch that year. I saw him off on his mission when he turned 19, and we corresponded for those two years that he served in Chile. Meanwhile, from the time I joined the Church, I’d always wanted to serve a mission. So when I turned 21, I already had my mission call—before he’d gotten back from his mission. Between the time he got home and the time I was to report at the MTC, we had two fun months together—long enough to “secretly” get engaged. (He was an accounting major at BYU and had always done well in math, but during that whirlwind courtship, he managed to flunk Math 110. He had to repeat it once I’d left on my mission).

While I was serving my mission in Hong Kong, a friend of my future husband’s (his old BYU roommate) happened to stop by Hong Kong. I was given permission to visit with this mutual friend on my P-day.

What my companion and I didn’t know was that he came bearing an engagement ring from my husband-to-be. (Prior to my departure he and I had the understanding that a ring was not appropriate or necessary in the mission field.) Needless to say, my companion almost had a cardiac arrest on the spot as our eyes met with the glistening diamonds. It was pretty! I quickly put it away in a safe place for the remaining year of my mission.

To complete this B-Y-Woo, I had a Hong Kong tailor custom make a beautiful suit to take home to my soon-to-be groom. I slipped the ring box into a jacket pocket, hoping for a more traditional proposal, then gave him the suit upon my arrival home. Seven weeks later we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. June 20, 2000 will be our twentieth wedding anniversary. Though we were born worlds apart, BYU brought us together. We call ourselves the “Panamaniacs,” and our five children are our “Pandemonium.”

Family Love

—Yvonne (Williams) Mortensen, ’71 – Lancaster, Calif.

My future husband, Mike, and I lived in the same ward in Provo. They combined his apartment and mine for a family home evening group. We had a very closely-knit family—out of the group there were three marriages. One couple married in January, another in April, and we were the slow ones, getting married in June.

Part of the reason for us being slow was that I was writing a missionary and had to decide to write a “Dear John” before Mike would propose. That was 30 years ago.

Fifty Years of Domestic Architecture

—Bonnie (Moore) Familia, ’49 – Quincy, Calif.

My husband and I were married 50 years on August 30, 1997. The headline and first few lines of the write-up in our Quincy, California newspaper read: “Idaho, New York match lasts 50 years; couple celebrates . . . It was college that brought a young woman from Idaho and a young man from New York together. That union has lasted 50 years. Bonnie Moore of Pocatello, Idaho met Bill Familia, originally from Queens, New York, while they were students at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Bill, who had moved to Van Nuys with his family in 1938, was just out of the 102nd Armored Calvary Division during World War II. The couple was married August 30, 1947 in Idaho Falls, Idaho and moved to Granada Hills, where their five sons—Craig, Steve, Mike, John and Glen—were born.”

Now, page 2—the rest of the story. After Bill was discharged from the Army, his next decision was “where to go to college?” His high school buddy’s younger brother mentioned that a friend of his had been attending a great little college in Utah. She assured the three young returned servicemen that they would love it. Bill phoned BYU to inquire if the curriculum included a major in architecture. He was assured it did. So they packed their ’36 Ford Coupe and headed for Provo. (BYU, it turned out, did have an architectural major—but it was in landscape architecture!)

The Joseph Smith Building had been completed recently, with the cafeteria in the basement. I was sitting at the same table as the girl who had recommended BYU to Bill and his friends, when three really “cool dudes” walked over with their food trays. Their friend introduced us, and before my brain was in gear, my mouth blurted out, “Don’t tell me you three guys are Mormons?” Not only were they not Mormons, they knew nothing about the Church. That was soon to change (for Bill, at least). Before we became engaged, Bill took the missionary lessons and became a member.

The happy ending is told in a few more lines from the newspaper: “Calling their recent celebration ‘50 Years of Love,’ they spent the weekend with outdoor activities. . . . The couple now has 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.”

Since then we have welcomed another great-granddaughter, Noelle Vincenza Atkin, into our family. “Vincenza” is the namesake of Bill’s grandmother, who immigrated from Italy with her young son (Bill’s father) in the late 1800s. Her husband had crossed the Atlantic the year before.

We’re happy there was a misunderstanding about what courses were available when Bill made that call 53 years ago.

Flaming Hot Fireside

—Kathryn (Bocker) Madsen, ’74 – Plano, Texas

Fall 1973: Our BYU ward met in the overflow room of the Wilkinson Center Ballroom. (I don’t even know if it still exists after the remodeling of the building). Anyway, about the second week of the semester, I played my violin for sacrament meeting and mesmerized my future husband. He asked me out to Homecoming a month ahead of time. (At the time, he was not known to plan ahead for anything.)

Since Homecoming was so far away, he asked me to go to the first fireside of the year. So our first official date was to hear President Spencer W. Kimball’s fireside. I remember his first sentence: “Young people, tonight I want to talk to you about marriage.” There was an audible gasp and some giggles from the audience, probably because most of us were on first dates. I remember thinking to myself, “Marriage? I don’t even remember my date’s last name!” President Kimball responded to our outburst with, “This is serious.” We immediately quieted down and didn’t move a muscle—the whole Marriott Center.

We went on a few more dates before Homecoming. My husband kissed me for the first time after the Homecoming dance, after which he ran a stop sign and hit a BYU security car. I guess he was mesmerized again.

We became engaged on New Year’s Day 1974 and were married in the Los Angeles Temple on May 24, 1974. I’ve often wondered how many others who were on first dates that night of President Kimball’s fireside also got married later. Reid and Katie Madsen, happily married for nearly 26 years.

Our oldest son is now at BYU and working on his own “B Y Woo” tale.

Flower Power

—Terry (Matson) Morgan, ’79 – Huntsville, Ala.

I met my husband after living in Provo and attending BYU for three years. I had moved from Deseret Towers to off-campus housing, and I roomed with three others. On a certain day in January 1979, one of my roommates, Joanne, was feeling depressed. Another roommate, Lynn, and I wanted to cheer her up, so we decided to drive over to a florist shop nearby and have flowers sent to her anonymously. Joanne would have fun trying to figure out her secret admirer—we hoped.

We drove to a small shop only to discover that they were closed, so with great effort we found another one, but it did not deliver. I told Lynn that we could grab any guy walking home from class—there were always plenty of people walking home from classes this time of day (our off-campus house was near King Henry apartments)—and ask him to play delivery boy. She agreed.

Since she was driving, I would be the one to flag down a candidate. When we came near our street, I spotted some guy I had never seen before walking just ahead of us, and I told Lynn to stop the car. I quickly rolled down the window and shouted at his back as loud as I could, “Hey, you!” The guy turned around, saw that we were looking at him, and pointed to himself quizzically. “Yes, you! Could you come here?” I hollered back out the window. He grinned and came over to our car. I knew that we had found a willing cohort.

He delivered the flowers, and everything worked out well. So well, in fact, that my “floral delivery person” and I were married in spring of the following year. I never imagined I would marry someone I picked up off the street! He graduated in 1980 as a chemical engineer. We have been very happily married living in Huntsville, Alabama, and we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary on April 18, 2000.

French Connection

—Anita (Cramer) Wells, ’95 – Charlottesville, Va.

He wasn’t my home teacher? No, that’s how my sister met her fiancé. We weren’t in the same family home evening group like my brother-in-law and his wife; he wasn’t my MTC teacher (sister-in-law and fiancé). We didn’t meet in the library (my parents), in class (my parents-in-law), in the dorms, climbing Mt. Timpanogos, or on a blind date (cousins). Those are all great BYU matches, but my favorite story (of course) is our own.

Our first conversation was in French. We had both just moved into the foreign language complex, where the residents eat dinner together and must speak the designated language. Not entirely by accident, I had seated myself across the table from the attractive, mysterious guy to whom I’d been briefly introduced the year before at an honors bagel bash. Despite our lack of fluency, the conversation sparkled.

He had attended high school with my cousins and worked for my uncle; we both loved travel and languages and had done congressional internships. Lingering over dessert, we continued our chat in English, and we were inseparable the rest of the semester. It was a BYU-based courtship: early morning honors devotionals, late nights after international cinema movies, studying in the (old) library.

Our romance survived two study-abroad separations, which in those pre-e-mail days produced a cherished collection of letters. It almost didn’t survive the reuniting in Provo and subsequent breakup. But we eventually got engaged, and we were married in the Salt Lake temple the day after we both graduated (in April 1995). We often reminisce fondly about our “glory days” at BYU.

Giggly Girl to Marvelous Mom

—Mike J. Holt, ’84 – Phoenix, Ariz.

My three roommates and I had only been in our new south-campus ward a couple of weeks into the fall semester of 1979. We were all freshmen; we’d just returned from our missions, where all four of us had been companions and knew each other pretty well. I had been called as the ward welfare specialist. By a twist of luck (fate), my future wife lived in an apartment just a block away, but was outside our ward boundary. At least, it was outside the ward boundary up until just before school started, and then for some reason it was reassigned into our ward. As the newly assigned ward welfare specialist, I was given the assignment to sign up ward members to help pick apples on the stake apple farm the following Saturday. My future wife (DeAnne) and a few of her roommates came over one night to “sign up” for the farm assignment. We all stood in the doorway of our apartment and talked. (As recently returned missionaries, we were still a bit uneasy about inviting women into our apartment.)

My first impression of DeAnne was unimpressive enough that I really did not give her a second thought. However, in our “evaluation session” after the women left, my roommates thought she was rather cute. She was too giggly and not at all talkative enough for me.

Some weeks later BYU had a girl’s choice dance, the name of which I cannot remember. DeAnne did not want to go to this dance, but her brother (also a BYU student) said either she asks a guy or he would ask one for her. His threat to her was enough because she went ahead and asked me. Now, the manner in which she asked me was of great concern to me at the time. She had a harebrained idea to send me on a treasure hunt to find out who was asking and to what she was asking me.

She started with a clue in my apartment and sent me all over campus gathering clues. At first it was fun. But then I began to get somewhat perturbed as I chased the clues because she was making me late for another date—with whom I thought was the girl of my dreams. At one point she had put a clue on the bell tower up by the Marriott Center. As I was rushing to get it, I saw her and a friend walking the other way, but was not smart enough to figure out she was the one planting the clues. Ultimately I found the last clue and rushed off to my date.

When I found out who it was, I did not want to go with the giggly, quiet girl. It was only after much convincing by my roommates that I decided to go. So I baked a cake full of pieces of paper wrapped in foil, only one of which contained my “yes” answer, and dropped it off at her apartment. The rest, one might say, is history. From that night on there were only a few days we did not see each other until the day we were married. On February 1, we went on the only (non-free) date I could afford—a movie in the Joseph Smith Building auditorium. The movie was Goodbye Mr. Chips, and when the movie ended we went for a walk around campus. I proposed to her that night while we stood beside the bronze family statue near, I believe, where the Kimball building sits today. This April we will have been married 20 years. We have four kids, the oldest of which (having already been accepted) is considering attending BYU next fall. The youngest is now five years old and will keep us feeling young for many more years.

Great Campaign

—Camey (Andersen) Hadlock, ’95 – Summit, N.J.

Contrary to the familiar adage, politics and religion do mix well—at least at BYU. I was running for BYUSA vice-president. Kevin Hadlock (’96) was the campaign manager for our competition.

Although neither campaign was successful in winning the final election, Kevin won my heart in the days that followed. We were married a few months later.

Home Teaching the Roommate

—Larry K. Long, ’86 and Tracey Bates Long ’87 – Las Vegas, Nev.

Here’s another love story to add to your collection and the result 15 years later—four and a half little BYU fans.

Soon after I moved into another BYU ward my junior year, I noticed a good-looking girl in the halls and at church meetings. I found out I was lucky enough to home teach her roommate. During a ward “concert impromptu”, I realized this good-looking coed was an identical twin, as they both hosted the show.

I realized why I kept seeing her in so many places—because she was duplicated. Even though they were identical, I picked the right one for me. (Of course her twin sister’s husband now would say he picked the best one for him. . . and they also met and dated that same year at BYU.)

My future wife had been dating a 6’4″ body builder. My roommate seriously asked me if I was crazy to pursue her. My future wife’s roommate received the best home teaching that year (it got me in the door at least twice a week). I had nothing to lose. At a ward dance we found out that we really enjoyed dancing together—she toured with the Ballroom Dance Company, and I toured with the Folkdancers.

After each graduating with a BS degree, her mission, and lots of happy BYU memories, we’re carrying on the B-Y-Woo tradition and living happily ever after! We love your magazine and cherish our BYU beginning.

In Her Sights

—Judy (Goldsmith) Voorheis, ’71 – Trumansburg, N.Y.

I also met my husband at BYU. My sister had attended BYU, and when I was 16 years old, my family visited the campus while on a family vacation to Missouri from California. That clinched it for me, and since that trip I had my sights set on getting my bachelor’s degree from BYU. My sister had lived in the “housekeeping dorms,” so of course I had to follow in her footsteps. I lived in Shipp Hall with five other girls my freshman year. One of my roommates was from Ithaca, New York. Our first semester, this roommate decided to “fix up” another roommate with a friend of hers from her ward back home. It was his birthday, so she lured him to our hall with the enticement of a blueberry pie (and to check out our roommate to see if he would like a date with her, and vice-versa).

As it happened, it was late in the afternoon, and I had just completed our apartment’s “outside duty” chores. I came into the building to our apartment, dressed in grubby clothes, my hair in rollers, and a frilly bonnet covering the rollers. My roommate from New York was sitting on the couch in the common area with this young man. She stopped me to introduce us just as I was opening the door to our apartment.

The young man was sitting on the couch, and as he stood up, my first thought was, “that is the best-looking guy I’ve ever seen!” They say there is no such thing as “love at first sight,” but I was truly infatuated! I was also embarrassed because I wasn’t looking my best, but later on my roommate told me that her friend would like to go out on a date with me instead of the other roommate.

Our first date didn’t come until after the Christmas holidays, but on that first date we both knew that someday we would be married. Three and one-half years later, we got married, and we both finished our degrees. I was not going to have my MRS be the only degree I got from BYU! We have seven children and three grandchildren now, and we have just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We have devoted our lives to our family and to the church, serving in many positions, including Branch President, counselor in Bishoprics, Relief Society President, Primary President, counselor in Relief Society and Primary, teacher, scoutmaster, and clerk. So a California girl married a New York boy—and it never would have happened if we had not both gone to BYU.

Intramural Romance

—Tasha (Blood) Slade ’96, BS ’97 – Peoria, Ariz.

It was the first day of summer term at BYU in 1995. I was working vigorously to finish my Bachelor’s degree by December that year, so I had enrolled in two difficult courses for the summer. I had worked hard all year and after attending those classes, I felt burnt out and wasn’t sure I could survive another grueling summer. It was Monday, the first day of school, and I already had enough homework to keep me busy for the next two days. I suddenly felt very strongly about changing my classes and enrolling in two less-demanding courses, regardless of it affecting my goal to graduate in December. I promptly did so and felt relaxed and excited about the fun upcoming summer I would now have.

Meanwhile, a young man living in Gilbert, Arizona had been attending ASU and wanted a change, so he decided to transfer up to BYU (where he had attended his freshmen year before his mission) to finish up his degree. His mother helped push him into that decision, for which I am ever grateful! He arrived on Sunday, the day before the first day of classes started for that summer term. That Sunday night, as he was sitting in a friend’s apartment with a bunch of people, he saw a girl ride by on her bicycle. His first thought was, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry.” He immediately dismissed the thought thinking it ridiculous—there were thousands of girls on the BYU campus, what were the chances he’d ever see this one again?

I returned home early that first school day, since I now had no homework to complete. As I was returning home, I ran into a friend of mine who lived below me, the same friend that this young man was visiting the day before. She asked if I wanted to attend a softball practice with her coed intramural team, even though I was already on a different intramural team with my ward. She was also in my ward, but I thought her intramural team didn’t solely consist of ward members. I agreed, having nothing else to do that day.

As I trotted out to the field behind our apartment complex, I noticed a tall man walking in front of me with my friend and some other players. I’ve always had a soft spot for tall men, and I hadn’t seen this one before. I thought nothing else of him as we proceeded to practice. However, during the practice while I was playing left field, I noticed this tall first baseman kept looking out to left field, not focusing on home plate all the time.

Little did I know that he was shocked and thrilled to see I was the girl he had seen on the bike the day before. I knew he would ask me out eventually, although at that time I had no real interest in him. Based on the way he threw the ball, I quickly determined he was somewhat conceited and thought of himself as quite the athlete. I decided to teach him a lesson.

Noticing how every time a girl stepped up to the plate, everyone moved closer in for better fielding positions, I was excited to have my chance to bat. Having been blessed with athletic skills, I often surprised people by how far I could hit the ball, especially for being a girl. When it was my turn to bat, this tall man happened to be playing center field and moving right in close to second base. I swung hard at that ball and hit that first pitch right over his head. (I later found out he was quite impressed with me at that point, although he had interest in me from the start.) After the practice ended, we were finally introduced. His name was Jason. Also, this team asked if I’d join their team instead of the other team I had initially agreed to be on, which I was happy to do because I felt this was a better team.

The next day we had our first game. During one of the times I was up to bat, I struck out. Instead of consoling me as many men do to women they are interested in, he walked right up and said, “You’re chopping wood.” I was impressed that he didn’t have to say some smooth line to me, but that he just stated the facts. I think this is where I started to have interest in him. I found out his last name, found out he was in my ward, and subsequently found out he was in my family home evening group.

The next day, Wednesday, two days after we met, a rather nervous young man called and asked me out, the entire conversation lasting about a minute. I was a bit surprised to find myself excited about our upcoming date. Until that point, I had felt no romantic interest in him. That Friday we went to a drive-in with some other couples, and he completely swept me off my feet. Almost inseparable after that point, we were married six months later in the Manti Temple. From the day Jason arrived at BYU, it took him about one day to find a girl to ask out, two more days to ask her out, two more days to go out with her, and four more months to propose to her. I still say he transferred to BYU to find a wife, not just “for a change.”

Ironing It Out

—Susan (Hyte) Dalling, ’66 – Rexburg, Idaho

In 1962 I left my home in Salt Lake City and moved to Provo to attend BYU. I was so excited about this new adventure I could hardly stand it. On my second night at the ‘Y,’ my roommates and I went to have dinner at the Cannon Center snack bar. I am not sure what it looks like now, but at that time the little snack bar was located inside the main lobby of the boys’ dorms, and there were windows looking out to the lobby and the information desk. As we were eating, I looked through the window and saw this very good-looking, tall, dark, handsome guy come through the doors from outside. I thought in my mind, “Now there’s a guy I could marry!”

Those words no sooner ran through my mind when one of my roommates saw him too and said, “Hey, I know that guy! I went to high school with him!”

I asked her to introduce us, so she signaled him to come in with his friend. I remember the feeling exactly! I fell instantly in love with Brad Dalling! In the next 15 minutes or so, it was determined that our apartment needed an ironing board, and he and his friend needed someone to iron their shirts. Brad bought the ironing board, and my roommate and I started ironing their shirts.

My roommate eventually stopped, but I have been ironing Brad’s shirts ever since. We were married a year later, in October of 1963. I will never forget the feeling when I first saw Brad. It was like something that was “meant to be”—and it all started at B-Y-Woo!

It All Began at the “Y”

—Joan Riley Thomsen, ’58 – Provo, Utah

In response to your article and request in “Love and Marriage at BYU”, I am sending a copy of a poem I wrote to my husband on our fourth wedding anniversary.

Our children could relate to your story about hearing about your parents’ romance dozens of times. They have also heard this poem dozens of times as well as hearing about the class down on the “lower” campus where we met.

My husband grew up in the Los Angeles area in California. I grew up in Bountiful, Utah. I was in my second year at BYU when he arrived at BYU after completing a mission to the West Central States. The class we met in was a recreation class (party planning) that was very popular and hard to get into, so we both felt very fortunate to get in before the cut off. The first night after the class he stopped me and asked my name, where I was from, where I lived, and my telephone number. We both had roommates with us. After I arrived home that evening, I received a telephone call, and the person on the other end of the line said, “We met tonight after class.” He asked for a date and I accepted. When the night of the date arrived, I was very surprised when it turned out to be his roommate, as he hadn’t entered into our conversation after class. Lynn called me for a date the day after I went out with his roommate. That was the beginning of our courtship and a wonderful romance that is now in its 46th year. We were married in the Salt Lake Temple on August 27, 1954. Most of our married life we lived in California (Anaheim) and raised our children there. My husband Lynn had a successful career of real estate development.

From 1985 until 1989 my husband served two mission president assignments, and at their completion (we had sold our home in Anaheim) we returned to Provo to enjoy our retirement years and to be close to BYU once again. We often reflect on how fortunate we were to meet and court on the BYU campus.

Our children all had college experiences at BYU. Our two sons both graduated from BYU and our son, Steven R. Thomsen, is now an Associate Professor in the Communications Department.

Just Window Shopping

—Patty (Nash) Northrup, ’86 – Las Vegas, Nev.

During my fourth fall at BYU (1985), I had prepared for a date and was waiting to be picked up in my Campus Plaza apartment. (Is that building still there?) As it was Friday evening, my roommates were relaxing by listening to rock and roll music turned up loud. I like music, and I was swaying to the beat—kind of dancing through the apartment as I mused and waited for my date. I slowly became aware that I had stopped wandering and was dancing in front of the large window (sliding glass door size).

At that point I wondered, suddenly very aware of my visibility, if anyone had seen my foolish behavior. I glanced around the courtyard, checking all the windows of the three floors that I could see from my vantage point on the top floor. First floor, two wings, windows empty. Second floor, two wings, windows empty. Whew, almost there, and no one had seen me. Third floor, one wing empty, second wing? Oh no! There was a young man in an easy chair, leaning way back, arms behind his head, staring straight at me, smiling! With an angry (embarrassed) shake of my finger to let him know he shouldn’t have been watching me, I jerked the window curtain cords, shutting the curtains and blocking his view.

Thus began a month of window antics, trying to catch one another doing silly things. My roommate Chrystal had a pair of binoculars and suggested using those to really “get” him. I did, and he left the window. I was disappointed that he didn’t want to play, but then he reappeared, using two empty toilet paper tubes as his binoculars!

We eventually dated and got engaged about three months after the initial window incident. We now have four children and two master’s degrees, and my husband is working on a PhD at the University of Las Vegas at Nevada, while I teach kindergarten. All this from one unaware moment at a window!

Lies, all lies. . .

—Clyde B. Northrup, ’88

Lover’s Lanes

—Shea (Toly) Van Fleet, ’98 – Provo, Utah

I was spending the summer between my freshman and sophomore years working at home in Alberta. My friend, Noelle, was in California. She called me one day and asked me if I would like to take a bowling class with her in the fall. I thought it sounded fun, and it filled my PE requirement, so I agreed. We tried to add over the phone but all the sections were full. We decided to try to add one of the sections on the first day of class. We got to the bowling alley early and were sitting on the air-hockey table waiting for class to start, when in walked this cute-looking boy. I immediately told Noelle I thought he was cute. When he walked by he looked at us and I said “hi” to him. He said “hi” back and then sat down. We decided to go sit next to him, and we ended up talking the entire class. When class was over he left and we stayed to try to add. When we were done adding and were walking out of the WILK, I ran into him again. He said he had forgotten something and had to come back, but I later found out he was really just waiting around for me. Anyway, we exchanged phone numbers and the rest is history. We have been married for six years, and we have a beautiful baby girl. It is kind of fun to tell people “we met in a bowling alley.”

My husband and I met in a bowling class at the Y. My roommate did not want to take the class by herself, so I agreed to take it with her. One day there was an empty lane next to ours, and a cute guy came and occupied it. I thought he was nice enough, and perfect for. . . my roommate. Later we found out that he lived in the same apartment complex as we did. We all became good friends. I asked him to Preference for my roommate because she was too shy. In fact, she was too shy to find out anything about him on her own. I was so determined to get them together, I started to hang out with him more so I could find out all the great stuff about him to tell her. I found that he had a lot of great qualities, a lot of the qualities I was looking for in a guy. I started to fall in love, but I had already promised my roommate to do all I could to help them get together. He had no idea how I felt about him and began to date my roommate. Their relationship did not last long, and soon we were together. We have been married for two and a half years and have a 19-month-old daughter. To this day I have not heard of anyone else besides my husband being successful at the “roommate switch.”

The Magic Ward

—Miriam (Allred) Roberts, ’79 – Frannie, Wyo.

In 1971 my father accepted a teaching position at Northern State College in Aberdeen, South Dakota. My parents’ biggest concern about taking the job was us, their five teenaged children and four pre-teens. At that time there were no wards or stakes in either of the Dakotas except for a stake in Rapid City, South Dakota, clear across the state from our new home, and Mom and Dad worried about moving a family full of teenagers to an area where there were few latter-day saint youth for them to associate with and date. My folks approached the situation with faith, with commitment to teaching us gospel dating and marriage standards, and with a firm determination to send us all to BYU after high school graduation.

By spring term 1977 the first four of us children had attended BYU, and I began my junior year at the ‘Y,’ staying in Provo to work and attend school that summer. Three of my roommates from the previous semester and I decided to move to a new apartment. Unfortunately, they all went home for the summer before we found a mutually acceptable place, leaving to me the Herculean task of finding something to satisfy four different sets of apartment preferences. I finally discovered a basement apartment in a house a few blocks off campus. Besides its underground location, the apartment was less than luxury living: it housed six young women in only two bedrooms (one a very large one with four beds) and proffered only one bathroom (shower, no tub). In fact, when my roommates arrived that fall, none of them were very happy with my choice, but I was. The price was right, the choice felt correct, and I was tired of apartment hunting.

My selection made us members of the BYU 74th Ward and triggered what I consider a chain of miracles. First, my roommates finally forgave me for my choice. Second, within 15 months the first four of Mom and Dad’s children had married students belonging to the 74th Ward: my younger sister married our Young Adults president; my older sister married our next-door neighbor and home teacher; my recently-returned missionary brother married one of our new roommates, and I (the Relief Society president) married the ward executive secretary.

And third, all four marriages took place within a four-month period—the first on August 17 in the Manti Temple, the next on August 26 in the Washington, D.C. Temple, the third on September 13 in the Idaho Falls Temple, and the fourth (mine) on November 24 in the Provo Temple.

In between weddings number three and four, our younger brother entered the MTC to begin his mission to Japan. The miracle here is that my parents survived those four months physically, emotionally, and financially!

Of my parents’ nine children, eight of us married people we met while attending BYU, just as our parents had met. And as an interesting footnote, by July 2000 my parents will have eight grandchildren serving missions simultaneously, 22 years after the first wedding took place. The missionary force consists of two grandchildren from each of those first four marriages.

The whole story reminds me of the question allegedly asked of President Harold B. Lee by a BYU student: “President Lee, is it true that most marriages are made in heaven?”

Without hesitation President Lee responded, “Actually, I understand most of them are made right here at BYU.”

Amen to that.

Marriott to Marriage

—Michelle (Stephen) Whitchurch, ’93 – West Jordan, Utah

I saw the call to submit BYU love stories. . . Ours is probably very typical. My husband and I met in 1990 because we were in the same ward in Heritage Halls. We had a music class together, and he would occasionally walk me home since we were “going the same way.” I remember talks about our families and little twinges of interest, but nothing really clicked until the next year when we returned to the ward. We both were there with our roommates a week early for school, due to work and other interests. My roommate and I decided one night in early September to go meet people in the ward. We started knocking on doors in ours and the boys’ dorm. Soon we had a large group of new ward friends. The plan was set to camp out for football tickets early the next morning; however, soon a smaller group of four was formed to go to camp out at 11 that night.

Sparks definitely were in the air that night, and, well, love was born in the squishing of the lines and the touching of hands and spirits at 4 A.M. My husband and I were a “couple” within the day (we definitely “owed” M&Ms), were engaged by mid-November, and were married in May of 1992. We both graduated (within four years) with bachelor’s degrees in 1993, and I went on to receive a master’s degree in 1995. News of our first baby’s imminent arrival came within the first semester of my master’s program. Our first baby was born in 1994, when we lived in Wymount. Many happy memories come from our courtship, marriage, and beginning of our eternal family while we were students at BYU.

No Loopholes in THIS Knot

—Todd W. Beck, ’86 – Tampa, Fla.

My first week of BYU’s MBA program was a series of team-building exercises. This seemed wimpy to my law student roommates, whose first week was spent learning to be tough and competitive. So when one roommate asked me to substitute teach Sunday school that weekend, I jumped at the chance to publicly taunt him with the many anti-lawyer verses in Corinthians. I also realized it would give me an hour of face time to look witty in front of the girls of my new student ward.

Sunday came, and 100 people waited for my lesson, but both roommates suddenly decided to go to the other class. Scrambling, I told the group of my lesson plan and asked for other law students to volunteer themselves as targets for my jokes.

Later I learned there were a dozen in the room, but they all slid down in their seats until one brave—and gorgeous—girl raised her hand defiantly, encouraging me to hit her with my best shot. With her participation, the lesson went great.

First impressions are memorable. In the four years we’ve been married, Wendy has probably never forgotten how dorky and helpless I must have looked with my lesson starting to crumble. And I will never forget how impressed I was by a girl with a great sense of humor, confident and selfless enough to rescue a stranger from certain embarrassment.

It All Began At the “Y”

It all began at the “Y”
In the year of ’54
When a smiling face lad
Stopped a lass at the door.

Now this lad was a friendly sort
With a grin from ear to ear;
And the lass, a bashful thing
With a heart full of foolish fear.

And, oh yes, that door—
‘Twas to the recreation class
Where blossomed and bloomed
The romance of this lad and lass.

Now the courtship of these two
Was short but full of joy and fun,
For soon he popped the question
For her to be his “one and only one.”

Then June came with summer vacation
And time for the two to part;
The lad and lass returned to their homes
Each with a lonely and heavy heart.

But the wedding date was set
And the summer was quick to pass,
For each had a lot to prepare
Before the lad returned for his lass.

With all the wedding plans complete
The day drew nearer and nearer,
And soon the lad arrived—
Their love was even dearer.

So with family and friends
And hearts running o’er,
They did vow in the Temple
To love and to honor evermore.

So, it all began at the “Y”
In the year of ’54
When a smiling face lad
Stopped a lass at the door.

Red Rover, Red Rover

—Judy (Giberson) Hall, ’79 – Syracuse, Utah

Here is our story: The summer before my freshman year at BYU in 1973, I had to endure all of the “B-Y-Woo” and “How fast are you going to get your MRS degree?” jokes from my small ward in Amarillo, Texas. Rarely had students gone to BYU from Amarillo, so they were enjoying their jokes. I was adamant about my desire to get an education and to graduate, not find a husband. I had to eat my words later, when it turned out that I met my husband-to-be on the first day we were on campus as freshmen.

The story went like this: I had been assigned to Felt Hall in Heritage Halls, which was then part of the BYU 3rd Branch. On the first Saturday the freshmen arrived, our branch gave us an opening social to welcome us to BYU. Our hall was invited as well as two floors of boys in Hinckley Hall that were also in our ward. Included in the group were two freshmen from another floor in Hinckley Hall who saw the sign and decided to crash the party. The activities turned out to include children’s games (to put us freshmen in our place!). There on the lawns of Heritage Halls, we were playing “Mother May I?” “Green Light, Red Light,” and other childhood games.

The last game of the evening was “Red Rover, Red Rover.” As I took off running after my name was called, I noticed one of my brand-new roommates standing near the end of the line, so I decided to try to break through by her. I didn’t break the line and so I took the hand of a young man that stood by my roommate. We introduced ourselves and then the game continued for a bit longer. Later that evening, we saw each other again and talked over the punch and cookies. It turned out that he and I both liked math and had been invited to join a special honors math club. In addition, he knew one of my new roommates from district seminary competitions in Davis County, Utah. As luck would have it, my roommate and I both shared the same name, “Judy.”

That night, I wrote in my journal, “I met a boy from Syracuse named Gary Hall. He seemed nice but very quiet.” Not exactly love at first sight! I didn’t join the honors math club, and it turned out that Gary was one of the boys at the party who were not in our ward, so I didn’t expect to ever see him again.

A few weeks later, he showed up at my apartment and asked to see Judy. I wasn’t there, but my other roommate named Judy came to the door, so they began talking and became friends. Through her, he met all of my other roommates and became good friends with them as well. So he was a regular at our apartment, dating all of my roommates at least once and becoming close with one of them named Jody. All of them except for me! Although we never dated during our freshmen year, we did become friends. While Gary served a mission in Hong Kong, he wrote to our entire apartment, and because of my great interest in Hong Kong and China, I became a faithful letter writer to him. When he returned to BYU, I had left, so we continued our letter-writing relationship. A year after his return home, and after a short visit and many letters, we decided that our friendship was a good start for a marriage, and we were married three months later. Our first “real” date was a day after we got engaged. So four and a half years after our first day at BYU, we were married in the Provo Temple. I think our friends were all glad that we had finally figured out what they already believed—that we should be together. At our marriage, the sealer asked us how long we had known each other. When we replied “Four and a half years,” he asked what had taken us so long. Two of my roommates from that first apartment who were in attendance burst out laughing—they knew the road that had taken us from “Red Rover, Red Rover” to the holy altar in the temple. We have now been married for over 22 years. It is so hard to imagine the joy that came from Gary crashing a party and us holding hands during “Red Rover, Red Rover” on that August night! (And I did graduate from BYU!)

Ricks Fix

—Cathy (Wrigley) Brooksby, ’95 – Middleton, Idaho

You asked for letters about meeting your spouse at BYU. Well, I met my husband because we weren’t at BYU. My husband attended BYU before his mission. When he returned they wouldn’t take him back.

Therefore, he went to Ricks, where I was. We met in math class, married, and now have 3 wonderful boys. Thanks to BYU’s turning him down, I met my husband. Thank you. (BYU did take him after he finished at Ricks.)

Romantic Comedy

—Ken Craig, ’97 – Las Vegas, Nev.

January 1993: I was a part of the budding BYU campus comedy troupe, The Garrens. The next fall, Katie auditioned. I knew when I saw her that she would be a part of the group.

Three semesters, two girlfriends, and over 36 Garrens’ performances later, I knew I wanted to marry her. August 17, 1995: we became Ken and Katie Craig. Recently we had our second baby, and we named him “Garren.”

Strong Lips and Tender Hearts

—Col. Jack L. Tueller, ’42 – Bountiful, Utah

As a sophomore at BYU in 1940, I was the trumpet soloist for the Cougar Concert Band. After a humbling experience playing a technical solo during the band’s first coast-to-coast radio broadcast, I walked into the Cougar Band Room located in the lower campus area. There I noticed a lovely young lady with black eyes, black hair, and full lips. She asked me if I was the soloist at the assembly, and I said, “Yes!” I asked her who she was, and she told me her name. She said that our professor had given her a music scholarship for winning a state trumpet contest. She looked at me with what I thought was great admiration and said, “You sure look like you have a strong embouchure” (lip muscle). I shyly thanked her.

Several encounters later, when we had sufficiently gotten to know each other through our musical competitions for “first chair,” I found myself saying with a boldness that even surprised me, “Remember how you remarked that I seemed to have a strong embouchure? Would you like to find out?” Imagine the result when two pairs of strong musician lips come together!

It was several years later, after a temple marriage, and several fighter plane missions in Europe during WWII, that I finally realized what happened during that first romantic encounter in the band room! The result has been 58 years of marriage, six fine children, 24 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren!

Testing Center Pickup

—Renae Nixon Ellis, ’99 – Hillsboro, Ore.

I was a brand new 18-year-old freshman living at Helaman Halls. It was three weeks into the fall semester when I made my first visit to the Heber J. Grant Building, otherwise known as the Testing Center. I was accompanied by my older sister, a sophomore, who helped calm my nerves. After receiving our tests, we scanned the many rows of desks looking for two seats side by side. Once found, we settled in and went to work.

After only a minute or two had passed, the guy to my right leaned over and asked, “Hey, what test are you taking?”

I hesitated a moment before answering, “Physical science.”

“Boy, that’s a tough one; I took it last semester,” he replied. Then leaning even further into the aisle, he looked on my test and said, “Oh your name is Renae?”

I nodded, and not wishing to offend this stranger, I looked on his paper and said, “You must be Jeffrey.”

“Nice to meet you, Renae,” he responded. I turned my attention back to my test and tried to focus on the task at hand, but my thoughts kept turning to the guys and girls wearing blue vests. They combed the aisles monitoring the actions of the test takers. Thoughts of being accused of cheating on my first test at BYU went through my mind. Even if I was innocent, how would I ever explain that one to my dad back in Boston?

However, the stranger to my right, now known as Jeffrey, had no such concerns as he continued to lean over from time to time asking, “How’s the test coming, are you doing alright?”

My replies were now reduced to a simple, “I’m fine,” spoken out of the corner of my mouth, without so much as a turn of my head. All this done out of fear of drawing attention to this unusual (and risky) conversation. At the same time, I remember not being able to erase the smile from my face. It was almost as if someone was playing a prank on me, or perhaps, putting me on candid camera.

At one point, I turned to my sister on the left to see if she had been aware of the strange happenings, but she was deep into the exam. I attempted to bring her up to speed, “Pst, Raelene, this guy is talking to me!” But it was no use; I was not going to get a response out of her. So I continued working.

After a while Jeffrey finished his test and packed up his books. He was about to leave when he leaned over once again, this time actually kneeling on one knee in the aisle, and said, “Well Renae, I’m never going to see you again unless I get your number. Would you mind if I called you sometime?”

Well, giving him my number seemed harmless enough (remember, this was BYU), so I didn’t hesitate too much before whispering to him the seven digit number. He jotted it down on a scrap piece of paper and was gone. I finished what was left of my test; then my sister and I headed out.

Jeff called about a week later and we had our first date. We were married the next August in the Salt Lake Temple. We both graduated from BYU in April of 1999 (Jeff in Electronics Engineering Technology and myself in Spanish). We are now living in Hillsboro, Oregon with our two children, Lisa (3) and Robert (1).

Unlike most students at BYU, one of our fondest memories of our college days is the infamous Testing Center. How true it is that the Lord works in mysterious ways!

Three Generations and Counting

—Dave R. Scott ’59 – Sandy, Utah

Brigham Young University is the great matrimonially crossroads of the West where the youth of Zion come to study, pray, and be married.

My second year at BYU had been postponed by four years in the USAF and two more years on a mission. I returned as a 26-year-old actively searching for an LDS sweetheart of similar mindset to share life with. The year and summer school session had been educational and socially fun, but real romance eluded me. My junior year, September 1958, brought in new crowds onto BYU’s campus. It was registration day in front of the Smith Field House that a good friend from my BYU Ninth Ward introduced me to two lovely incoming first year coeds from Holladay, Utah. They had just moved into the same Shipp Hall dorm apartment. Was this luck, destiny, a just reward for tithing, or the BYU house odds finally playing into my future?

The acquaintance continued within our common BYU Ninth Ward under the watchful, guiding eye of Bishop Ray Beckham. An October ward party/dance at Aspen Grove College Cabin led me to dancing with the one named Rayna. The dancing and conversation seemed mutually enjoyable. With Halloween upon us, I proposed a triple action date, which was agreed upon. October 31st our first date arrived. After part of a Mexican Symphony on campus, we drove in my ’39 Plymouth (a car one year older than Rayna) to Provo’s State Mental Hospital where I was involved in lab work as part of an Abnormal Psychology class. The patients had planned a masquerade Halloween party. We entered with two paper sacks over our heads. Through our cutout eyeholes I could see she was a little bewildered but game. This was Rayna’s first ever visit to a mental institution. What an experience introducing her around to many of the patients I’d become acquainted with! We then proceeded to mix by dancing with them. One huge guy danced with Rayna and wouldn’t let go of her hand as he took her to the refreshment table. I came to the rescue by offering him a handshake, but he just gave me his left hand instead of releasing his right hand grip on Rayna’s hand.

I could hardly blame him. It was kind of a “Beauty and the Beast” situation. This was probably the sweetest, most beautiful young woman he’d ever danced with and thought, as I was beginning to think, “Better never let her go.” With a little more trickery mixed with psychology I got her free and off we went to the Provo Boat Harbor where some Eastern States missionary buddies were entertaining their dates in a spooky old house for Halloween.

We had a great time, so I decided to test her outdoorsy metal by suggesting we hike squaw peak in the morning—it being Saturday. She was up to it, and the very next morning we set out on a trail right up the steep western slope of Squaw Peak. From the top we shared lunch and a glorious view of Utah Valley, the lake, and our BYU campus which brought us together—me from Portland, Oregon and Rayna from Salt Lake City. We continued dating, courting and married the following June 27 of 1959 in the Salt Lake Temple. After 40 years of marriage we are still as crazy about each other as we were on our first Provo State Hospital date. Our kids are now married. They and their kids have all heard how Mom and Dad (Grandma and Grandpa) met. What a glorious campus!

Rayna’s parents also met at BYU in 1937. Garnet was a young farm girl from Idaho, and Robert Cooper was a sheepherder from the Uinta Basin. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple. In 1989, our son, Robert, transferred from the University of Utah for one semester at BYU where he soon met Leslie, a girl from California. They later married in the Jordan River Temple. We are three generations and counting of B-Y-Woo courtships. Love that campus.

Thanks BYU from Dave and Rayna Scott of Sandy, Utah.

Weak Knees on the Balcony

—Alexis Becksted, ’80 – Preston, Idaho

Every time I visit the Wilkinson Center ballroom, I look up at the balcony room and smile. I was on the ballroom dance team when I went to the Y. My partner and I needed a place to practice for our gold medal exam. The balcony room was free, but we couldn’t figure out how to turn the lights on. So, we danced our routines in the dark—very romantic!

We never recovered. After a tour to Europe in the summer with the team, we couldn’t bear to part ways and danced ourselves into a temple marriage.

My oldest son, who is on my high school ballroom dance team, will be going to BYU in the fall. I hope, someday, he suffers from such a fate as mine.

Yes, We Met at BYU

—Marva (Kimball) Pedersen, ’60 – Willard, Utah

It was January 1954. I was a second-quarter freshman journalism student. My husband was a sort of sophomore/junior majoring in physics, only a few months discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps. His previous schooling had been at the University of Utah, but he had switched to BYU this year because of a distinct spiritual impression that BYU was the place where he would find his wife. A two-time draftee and a returned Danish missionary, he was 26 years old and needed a wife.

We both had decided to take “Introduction to Psychology” that quarter (my husband’s last group filler), and we were both resisting taking it third hour from an older professor who had become somewhat of a legend in his own time—and not because of superior teaching. I finally settled on a first-hour psychology class from someone I never heard of, but at the last minute I changed my mind and registered for the third-hour course. I don’t remember why; I only remember how good I felt about my decision.

My husband wrestled with his schedule for some time, trying to figure out how to work the psychology class in without taking it from the legendary professor. Nothing else seemed to fit, though, and he had almost decided to stay in school however much extra time it took rather than sign up for this particular professor when the following words came to his mind: “Sign up for third-hour psychology because it is there you will meet your wife.”

He signed up for the course and showed up for class early the next day, so as to get a good look at each of the girls as they walked in the door. Class began and the right girl was not there. My husband went over and over in his mind his experience of the day before, wondering where he had gone wrong. Then I opened the door and walked in—a half-hour late. He said to himself, “There she is.”

Now I was a half-hour late that day because I had had some very important things to tend to, and the strange thing was that the professor didn’t seem to mind at all. He took an instant liking to me, and from that time forth I could do no wrong. My husband, on the other hand, became one of his chief objects of ridicule and soon declined any oral participation in the class whatever. I got an A; he got a C.

However, academics was not the reason my husband had taken the class, he reminded himself, and got right down to the business of romance. He began by walking with me after class each day. Then one night he offered me a ride home from the library in an open jeep, a 1943 combat model he had purchased on government surplus. It was snowing, but I climbed in. I was falling in love. We were engaged before the end of April, married the next September.

More Articles

BYU Today

Ask an Expert: Wise Up, Voters

How can I fact-check questionable information? Can I just vote along party lines? Does my vote actually count?

Alumni Report

Honored Emeriti

The Alumni Association recognizes alums for lifelong learning and service.


Keep the Chain Unbroken

President Hinkley shares his life experiences and golden nuggets of knowledge.

Share this article:

To use more share options on your device, please scan the same QR code and open the link in the latest version of Chrome or Safari