You would think that I would have met Bill McGibony (’06) on the Quad or at the WAKE Radio studio, where we each had our own shows. But we met a few years after graduating, through a mutual Wake Forest friend. I often think about how many times I probably walked by him on my way to Tribble, or how many times I likely stood in line behind him at the Pit — all the while never knowing that he’d someday be my husband. We’re getting married next September.
But Bill and I certainly aren’t the only two Deacs to fall in love with each other. It’s not uncommon to run into couples that share the same connection with Wake Forest. Though it took me a few years to find Bill, there are other Wake Forest couples who find romance decades after college.
Claudia Saunders Leinss (’64), a founding member of the Fideles (now the Chi Omega sorority), and Edward Leinss (’63, P ’07) dated briefly at Wake but married other Deacs in 1964. In the 1970’s, their marriages ended, and each married a second time. Then, in 2004, Ed was driving through Dry Branch, Ga., and remembered that it was Claudia’s hometown. He Googled her and came across the obituary of her second husband, who had died of cancer — just as Edward’s second wife had. In fact, they had died within days of each other. After tracking down Claudia, he emailed her to express his condolences, and they began an email relationship that grew into more than just friendship. When they decided to meet in person — after more than four decades — Claudia said that Ed could spot her by the red rose she’d be carrying. They married in 2005.
For other Wake Forest couples, love blossomed while they were on campus. Take Scotty Candler (’05) and Lauren Pressley Candler (’05), who met on the first day of “pre-school,” a Campus Ministry pre-orientation retreat for freshmen. When Lauren got on the bus to go to the retreat, the only seat available was the one behind Scotty’s. “She was, literally, the very first Deac I ever met,” said Scotty. When Scotty proposed on the steps of Reynolda Hall in 2009, Lauren said, “Yes.”
Allison Aden Simon (’94) and Clint Simon (’94) didn’t realize that they were meant for each other as early on as Clint’s mother did. “His mother apparently found the Freshman Lookbook, saw me (and saw that I was from Mississippi — very near the town where she grew up), and said, ‘Clint, get to know that girl,’ ” said Allison. They ended up meeting through mutual friends, and before she knew it, Allison was camping out with Clint to get front-row basketball seats and rolling the Quad after big wins. Their friendship evolved into something deeper during late night walks through Reynolda Gardens. They’re now married with three kids — and a cat named Deacon.
Dave Hanby (’83, P ’11) might not have met Jan Sigmon Hanby (’82, P ’11) if he had had a car. After a Pi Kappa Alpha homecoming dance, Jan’s date was driving people home, so Dave jumped into the car with his date — and fell for Jan. They married in 1986.
Working on the Howler yearbook is what brought Al Rives (’76, P ’08, ’11) and Kathie Amato (’77, P ’08, ’11) together. Al was a photographer and Kathie was an editor. Wake Forest is extra meaningful to their relationship because they got married in Davis Chapel. Al, who now teaches chemistry at Wake Forest, and Kathie have football season tickets and tailgate before every home game.
The day Al and Kathie got married was peaceful, but the wedding day for Clyde Glosson (’62) and Janice Howell Glosson (’62) was quite busy. On June 4, 1962, they graduated at 9 a.m., Clyde was commissioned into the U.S. Army at noon, and they married at 4 p.m. They met while working in the campus cafeteria. “I asked her if she might be interested in going to the Student Union movie one night. She said, ‘Yes!’ ” said Clyde.
Clyde and Janice have been married 50 years, but Major Harding (’57, JD ’59) and Jane Lewis Harding (’58), who have been married 54 years, have them beat. Major, a Sigma Chi who was in Arnold Palmer’s pledge class, and Jane both survived the transition from the Old Campus in Wake Forest to the new campus in Winston-Salem and went on dates to Staley’s steakhouse, Gino’s Italian restaurant in Raleigh and the Magnolia Room on campus. “In those days, boys weren’t allowed on the girls’ halls, so I always had to meet Major downstairs in the dorm parlors,” said Jane. They were pinned (signifying exclusivity) during Jane’s senior year, and they married in 1958.
Sometimes, when one Wake Forest couple gets together, it starts a trend. Just ask Andy John Dyksterhouse (’97) and his wife, Kelly LaChapelle Dyksterhouse (’97), who met through InterVarsity. “The day I first saw Andy he looked so young and scrawny that I thought he was a visiting high school student,” said Kelly. But he won her over when they went to see pianist George Winston at Wait Chapel. They’ve been together ever since. Andy inspired both of his younger brothers to marry Wake women, too. Gary Dyksterhouse (’02) married Kathryn Sturdivant (’02), and Jimmy Dyksterhouse (’06) married Kate Profumo (’07).
The Jacksons can relate to the Dyksterhouses, because their whole immediate family is made up of Wake Forest couples. Parents William Craig Jackson (’75, MBA ’87, P ’02, ’05) and Trina Hall Jackson (’74, P ’02, ’05) started it all when they met while working as resident advisers. Their oldest daughter, Kathryn Jackson (’02), a Pi Phi, followed suit by marrying Michael James Maltarich (’02), a Sigma Pi. Not to be left out, youngest daughter, Sarah Jackson (’05), also a Pi Phi, tied the knot with Dan McNeill (’04), also a Sigma Pi.
Wake Forest is a common bond that brings people together and can lay the groundwork for long-lasting romances. I count on that being the case for me and my Deac.
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