Love, Eastern Style

They met in class, in their dorm, on the bus or on a blind date. It was love at first sight for some; for others, a friendship gradually developed into a lifelong relationship. These couples’ love stories all have one thing in common – Eastern, which has proven to be a successful matchmaker for generations of alumni.

Chad Larsen ’96 and Erica (Miner) Larsen ’96
By Erica Larsen

Chad and I met in Tawanka thanks to Geoffrey Coofoot. Chad just assumed that Geoffrey knew me. We started dating shortly after. But two and a half years later it ended. Chad graduated and moved back to Bellingham, Wash. I still had a year to go at EWU. I didn’t see him again for eight years.Five years after we broke up, I got a Christmas card. After bumping into Chad’s sister, she called him, telling him I was moving to California with another guy. She wanted to know what he was going to do about it! His card wished me well. I sent him a card back and for the next three years we exchanged cards at Christmas.

After three years of holiday cards, I called Chad asking if he would be willing to get together.  He agreed and we began dating long distance until I could move to Washington. A year later we were married and now have three beautiful children, Nathan (6), Daniel (4) and Vivian (2).

During the years we were apart, I kept telling myself that if Chad was still out there and single, there must be other guys like him too. Nobody ever compared. He later shared that I would randomly show up in his dreams. Now I have a great husband and a great career (dental hygiene), all because of my time at EWU!

Bill Stiffler ’70 and Joan (Hilliard) Stiffler ’70
By Bill Stiffler

Me met in May of 1967, at a street dance in front of the Student Union and have been dancing ever since. As juniors, in November ’68, we were married in Joan’s hometown, Okanogan, Wash.

Our favorite activities at Eastern during our undergraduate years revolved around spending time together at Louise Anderson Hall, of course attending dances in LA Hall and the Student Union, studying at the library and Intercollegiate Knights and ROTC events.

Since 1973, we have made Maryland our home. After Joan received her master’s in library science at the University of Maryland, she has been a branch manager of public libraries. I am a community college professor of English. We have one adult son and daughter-in-law and hope to be grandparents in the near future. We will always have fond memories of our years at Eastern, especially the dances.

Cody Carlson ’05 and Casey (Evans) Carlson ’05
By Casey Carlson

Cody Carlson literally “swept me off my feet” when we met at Eastern. I played volleyball at EWU and it all began when I broke my right foot in our home opener in the 2002 season. I was placed into a short leg cast and sentenced to crutch my way around campus. Cody’s sister, Molly (Carlson) Cook ’03, who played basketball at Eastern, wanted to introduce us but never got the chance. However, when I crutched in to world civilizations class in Cheney Hall and sat down next to Cody we knew who each other were.

After a few classes he worked up the nerve to ask me on our first date and we headed to Spokane for a movie. The only seats available were in the very top row. Before I began to crutch my way up the stairs, Cody stopped me, set my crutches to the side, scooped me up and carried me up the stairs.

We were engaged four years later and after I finished physician assistant school, we married on Aug. 29, 2009. We are happily married living in Medford, Ore. Our little Eagle, daughter Taylor, arrived on Dec. 14, 2012.

Scott Bayles ’97 and Tina (Dalton) Bayles ’96, ’98
By Scott Bayles

I saw Tina walking up the sidewalk toward Dryden Hall. I was headed in so I held the door open for her.  I recognized her from education class and I asked, “How did that test go for you today?” She looked at me with a quizzical look, not recognizing me. Disappointed, I reminded her of the class we had together. Not the most auspicious beginning but over the next couple of months we got to know each other and stayed in touch after the class ended.

Within a year, we started dating and were spending many late nights at the Morris-Street Café, sharing a pint of Cherry Garcia. Within two years, we had graduated. Tina began her master’s, I finished my student teaching, and we both began our teaching careers. In spring of 1999, I brought Tina back to the spot where we first talked – right outside the doors of Dryden Hall – to ask her to marry me.

Later that year, we moved to the Seattle area for full-time teaching jobs but we came back to Spokane to get married in July 2000.  Almost 13 years later, we are happily married and have three beautiful kids, ages 11, 6 and 4. The oldest hopes to go to Eastern one day. We love Eastern for many reasons, but mainly because it is where our love began.

Jason Hutchinson and Denyse (Foss) ’96 Hutchinson
By Denyse Hutchinson

It was fall of my sophomore year (1992), and finding love was the last thing on my mind! I enrolled in country swing dance class to meet some cute country boys who knew how to dance. There were plenty of cute boys in the class, but one in particular caught my eye. He was tall, dark, very handsome, and he could dance. We chatted a few times in class and I was pretty sure the interest was mutual. One day after class, he walked me to my car and I offered him a ride across campus. When I dropped him off he reached for his backpack and I started spewing my phone number! I thought he was reaching for his day-planner (you know we all had one in the ‘90s) and was going to get my number. I was nervous, OK? He said, “Well, I was just grabbing my bag, but I’d love to get your number.”

He asked me out on our first date the next day, and the rest is history. We’ve been happily married for 16 years; we have two beautiful boys and an amazing life together. Every so often, we “get our country on” and try the dances we learned, but we’re not quite as graceful. Thank you EWU for giving me the love of my life!

Jarret Clarke ’08 and Sherry (Donaldson) Clarke ’06
By Sherry Clarke

Jarret and I met in the fall of senior year in Jane Baker’s communications class. The beginning of our relationship was very seventh-grade, with the nervous giggles and shaking hands. To me, it definitely felt like “cool guy” meets “clumsy, nervous girl.”  It didn’t take long before we were waiting for each other after class so we could talk. We liked the same activities, music, movies and had the same sense of humor. It was like we’d been best friends for years.

We worked together on a class project, which included planning a class breakfast. Following the breakfast, Jarret helped me clean up, but I was so nervous that I knocked over a big cup of plastic coffee straws, sending them flying across the table and floor (clumsy girl). I was so embarrassed, as we were on our hands and knees picking up the straws. I’m amazed Jarret (cool guy) still wanted to ask me out after all of this. About two weeks later, he invited me out to Eagles Pub with some friends. I anxiously agreed and from that night forward, we were inseparable.

We got engaged in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in December 2008, were married in Tacoma in February 2010, and live in Lake Tapps, Wash. I’m still pretty clumsy and he’s still pretty cool.

Bill Fortune ’56 and Adele “Bunny” (Johnson) Fortune
By the Fortunes

Bunny Johnson was a transfer student from Eastern Montana College of Education, Billings, Mont., and Bill Fortune, student body president, was from Missoula, Mont. Bill was speaking to the students at a meeting when he noticed Bunny in the audience and planned to meet her. This took place as Bunny was walking to her Louise Anderson dormitory. Bill said, “Well, hi.”

They were married Dec. 14, 1955, in Spokane, and lived in “Trailerville” on the Eastern campus. After graduation, they moved to Edmonds, Wash., where Bill was a teacher, coach and later a school district administrator. He also served in state and national administrative positions.

They became the parents of four sons who are all doing very well. The oldest son, Bill Jr., also graduated from Eastern. Bill and Bunny still live in Edmonds and often return to Eastern for Homecoming.

Bill Linton ’80 and Sharon (Kester) Linton ’80
By Bill Linton

I grew up in a little town in eastern Washington where cowboy boots and western hats were the uniform of the day.  One evening during my sophomore year (November 1977), I was headed from Streeter Hall to the library to find a quiet place to study. Contrary to the thoughts of some (my wife in particular), I was not “cruising.” Rather, it was chilly so I had on my boots and hat as well as a WWII trench coat I had inherited from my dad.

I happened upon a table where this attractive tall blonde girl was sitting. I had seen her at a few parties and at a Ski Club meeting. I started talking to her about skiing and mentioned I had just learned to ski the year before and was looking for some equipment. I asked if she knew anything about buying ski equipment and she volunteered to go to a ski swap later that week to help me find some skis. That ski swap was our first date.

A few years later we were married, a year to the day from the day we graduated from EWU, June 13, 1981. We love telling our kids about how we met in the library and have continued to enjoy shopping for skis and hitting the slopes together for almost 32 years.

Rod Snyder ’93 and Heather Snyder ’91
By Heather Snyder

After I graduated from EWU, I went to work as marketing director for a Spokane credit union. A few months later, I started a marketing intern program with the help of my alma mater. Eastern student Rod Snyder applied. When we saw each other across the credit union lobby on Sept. 30, 1992, sparks flew. Of course I hired him, and we made it through his internship in a very professional manner. He likes to point out that I gave him an A. Then we fell in love.

On April 15, 1995, we were married in Spokane. We now have three children and live in Longview, Wash., where we both work for credit unions. I am so grateful to EWU for not only providing me with an education that lead to a long and rewarding career, but for sending me the man of my dreams for an intern interview!

Mike Maguire ’89 and Kathy (Ide) Maguire ‘88
By Kathy Maguire

My roommate was dating his roommate.That’s how we met. They didn’t last, but we did!

We started dating seriously the summer we both turned 21. During the school year we spent nearly every Thursday night dancing down at “Showies,” often side by side with EWU alums Benji and Marcy Estrellado.

I graduated a year before Mike, as he had taken some time off from school to work. I moved to Spokane to start my career but continued to commute to Cheney on Thursday nights for dancing.

On Feb. 14, 1989, Mike asked me to drive to Cheney to type a paper that was due for class the next day. I resisted; it was a work night for me, plus I was getting sick. He cajoled me into coming out as I could type that paper three times faster than he could (true).

After I did his homework for him, he convinced me to go to Showies for a beer, even though I didn’t feel well. It was, after all, Valentine’s Day! We had a beer, then another, and then he somehow managed to blurt out something that I later deduced was an offer of marriage. It wasn’t particularly eloquent, but it was memorable, and oh, so sweet! We were married April 7, 1990, and currently our two children attend EWU.

Jim Perez ’75 and Paula (Saucier) Perez ’75
By Jim Perez

In 1973, my Pontiac packed with all my worldly possessions; I headed out, intent on enrolling at Eastern Washington State College. I had an AA degree, the G.I. Bill and little else so I was fortunate to find housing in Sutton Hall, which served as the veteran’s dormitory during that time.

Unbeknown to me, my future wife brought her AA degree to EWSC at the same time, albeit along a different path. As fate would have it, we became members of a study group. My primary intent was to stay focused but this cute (I was focused, not blind) coed, being the spark of the group, became the center of my attention.

One particularly cold morning, she and I happened upon one another on campus. She invited me to the PUB cafeteria and treated me to a cinnamon roll and coffee. That was the start of an almost daily ritual, along with late-night walks under snow-laden pine trees, walking around campus and Cheney, mostly between Dressler Hall (where she lived) and the Savage House, one of our favorite hangouts. She would come to watch the spectacle of my intramural games and I would support her work at the campus crisis line. Oh, and, there were those group study sessions.

Thirty seven years of marriage, two daughters, grandkids and two baccalaureate degrees later, we remain connected with Eastern in many ways, perhaps none more memorable than those two years we shared as students.

Doug Bell ’86 and Amy Bell ‘86
By Amy Bell

We met the fall of our freshman year.  Doug lived on the fifth floor of Streeter Hall, I was on the seventh. A group of us went to dinner one night and we hit it off right away. Our dates usually consisted of meeting up for dinner at Tawanka or $2 movie night in Spokane. We were inseparable almost from the start, soul mates.

We married during Christmas break of our junior year. Our parents felt that we were too young, but gave us their full support emotionally and financially. We were off on our journey together. Doug was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army the winter of ‘86. Together we have journeyed through the U.S. and Europe and raised two amazing kids. Currently, Doug, a Lt. Col., is serving a one-year tour in Afghanistan and I am a military liaison for Cedar Crest Hospital in Texas. We continue to discover new things about life together and are each other’s best friend, wanting the best for each other. While it hasn’t been easy, it has been wonderful. Our grand adventure continues with the best years still to come.

Bill Miller ’94 and Dionne Miller ’95
By Dionne Miller

On Nov. 5, 1992, I met my husband Bill Miller on the STA bus commuting out to Eastern.  I/we hit it off instantaneously, especially as we were a captive audience for each other during the beautiful drive out to Cheney. The next day we sat together again on the bus and Bill asked me out on a date the next day. Well, you can say the rest is now history. We tied the knot on June 25, 1994, and it has been a wonderful journey ever since. We have been blessed with two kids Emily (15) and Zach (12). That is the story of our beginning. Hard to believe it’s been 20 years.

Rod Tucker ’90 and Nichole (Fagen) Tucker ’92
By Rod Tucker

Our paths crossed several times while we were both at EWU but it wasn’t until after we both graduated that our hearts connected. In May 1993, we both (separately) came back to campus for the Orland Killin Dinner. I found her alone later that night at Showies. I summoned the courage to sit down and talk with her and the next thing I knew we were smooching on the dance floor.

I was completely smitten and she laughed when I told her she should come to visit me in Los Angeles, where I lived at the time. After sending a few postcards along with some gentle coercion, she flew down in July and we spent the next five days falling head-over-heels in love. She moved to L.A. in August. We moved back to Seattle in 1996, got married and now have three beautiful boys. We recently celebrated our 16th anniversary and can’t wait for 16 more. Happy Valentine’s Day Schmoopie. Thanks for dancing with me.

Alex Blue ’05 and Shannon (O’Neill) Blue ’04
By Shannon Blue

During winter quarter 2002, Alex Blue and I had management class together. The professor had us introduce the person sitting next to us on the first day, but it wasn’t until almost a year later at a Halloween party at Showies/Eagle’s Pub that Alex and I first connected. We talked for most of the night and it turned out he remembered me from the management class. I was instantly attracted to Alex’s sense of humor and his Indiana charm and eventually we became inseparable.

After graduation Alex applied for a job in Alaska, my home state, without telling me and when he got the offer we decided to take a new adventure and packed up for our move north. We have been in Alaska for over six years and got married two years ago at Majestic Valley Lodge, which is near the breathtaking Matanuska Glacier. We have had a great journey together and both enjoy all the outdoor activities the Last Frontier offers with our two dogs Ziggy and Noosa. We love sharing our story of how a boy from Indiana and a girl from Alaska came together and it all started at EWU.

Mark Lathrop ’00 and Sarah (Morris) Lathrop ’08
By Sarah Lathrop

It was the first day for both of us in the MBA program. Our first class, accounting 505, started with Professor Dowd telling us to find a “friend” in class to exchange contact information with in case we weren’t in attendance. Mark immediately made his way over to me to get my contact information and to be his “friend.” After class he sent me an email with his schedule to meet to work on our final project, which he assigned himself as my partner.

That first email was one of many corny emails we’d send each other over the course of a few months, riddled with accounting terms as a way to act like we were discussing class. Since we were both in relationships, we kept our meetings and discussions to strictly school work. But after about two months, Mark finally said I’d have a date if I broke up with my boyfriend. It was just the enticement I needed. Within three weeks we had both broken up with our significant others and I really did have a date – the best date of my life.

That was seven years ago on Nov. 11, and we’ve been together ever since. In 2007, a few months before we both graduated with our MBAs, we were married. And we still discuss accounting through email.

’67 Charlie and ’70 Elaine (Koop) Cobb
By Elaine Cobb

It was winter quarter 1966, I was taking a break from gymnastics practice when I saw “blue eyes” Charlie Cobb playing tennis in the gym. We engaged in small talk at the drinking fountain. I didn’t see him again until the first day of fall quarter 1967, when he asked me to go to the football game on the weekend. I wasn’t sure about dating him so I replied, “I’d have to think about it.” Later that day Charlie caught up with me and pressed for my answer, I agreed to go.

After dating a year, we eloped to Philadelphia. Charlie was stationed in Virginia and I was in Cheney and Philly was in the middle. Following the wedding, Charlie deployed to Germany and I returned to Cheney to complete the quarter. After Christmas, I moved to Stuttgart, Germany and enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon thanks to the U.S. Army. Charlie volunteered for Vietnam and while he was deployed I finished my degree at Eastern. Upon graduation, I signed a contract with Marysville School District.  After the Army, Charlie was hired by the Everett School District where he taught, coached and was an administrator for 30 years. We have three boys, Trevor, Garrett and Quentin and celebrated 45 years of marriage on Nov. 20, 2012.

’08 Rocky and ‘08 Janelle (Balin) Hanni
By the Hannis

During the fall of 2005, Rocky was playing football and Janelle was a student athletic trainer. Two mutual friends eventually brought them together. It was a cold December night with snow covering the ground. With a few friends, they went to the hill by Reese Court for a little winter fun with sleds. After a few runs down the slope, Rocky decided to give Janelle a little extra push and she went flying down the hill at unprecedented speeds then was white-washed at the bottom. Janelle knew any man bold enough to shove her down a hill was the man for her. They kept in touch during winter break when they went on their first real date in Bellevue, Wash.

Janelle spent the next couple of years cheering for Rocky at football games, regardless of the weather, and Rocky attended many of Janelle’s Alpha Phi Sorority events. They enjoyed many lunches at Tawanka between classes.

They were engaged on Dec. 17, 2007, and married on July 25, 2009, in Orting, Wash. Many of their friends from EWU who played a huge part in their lives were able to attend the event. They now live in Albany, Ore., but still make the drive to watch Eagle football games and visit the place where it all started.

’10 Robert and ’12 Marie Hoffman
By Marie Hoffman

My husband Robert and I first “met” on MySpace, as corny as that may seem.  EWU had their school group on the site, and I joined the group in the summer of ’07 before my freshman year, posting a thread of all my concerns and fears of coming to the university.  Robert was the only one who responded to my thread, eventually giving me his phone number in case I had other questions.

The first week of school, I had started working at Eagle Espresso at the PUB, and that’s where I met him in person. I hadn’t noticed him at first but I finally recognized him from his photo. I was too shy to say, “Hi, nice to meet you,” but I’m sure my reaction said it all. Late that fall quarter, we began speaking to each other and hanging out often, and by mid-winter quarter we had started dating, even after we had both explained to each other and agreed that we were not interested in a relationship and that our studies were our priority.  We married on Dec. 11, 2010, and celebrated our wedding in the Hargreaves Hall Reading Room, and we couldn’t be happier

’86 Chad and ’02 Bethany (Luck) Hutson

When Chad Hutson and Bethany Luck met through an internship set up by EWU Professor Steve Blewett,  little did they know what started as an education opportunity would turn into a lifetime commitment.

Years before meeting Bethany, Chad graduated from EWU with a degree in journalism that took him to the Seattle area writing for daily newspapers. Being too opinionated to work in the media he found his true passion in public relations.

Years later professor Blewett would meet him back in Spokane where Chad had settled into a PR career. That’s when Blewett decided one of his best students, Bethany, could go far in her own education interning for Chad. He introduced the two and soon an internship was created.

After the internship, the couple realized there was more than a professional relationship there and they began to date. On a hot summer’s evening in 2004, they were married at Arbor Crest and their new lives would begin. Bethany’s career soon skyrocketed as she became a social media expert and just recently the couple took their communication skills to Pittsburgh with their twin 5-year-olds, to accept new job offers.

Bethany and Chad have fond memories of their days at EWU and of their courtship inspired by a journalism professor who still believes one of the Hutson’s offspring should have been named Steve.

’68 Jerry and ’68 Gail (Johnson) Jantz
By Gail Jantz

We met 47 years ago, during football season, at a dance held in Louise Anderson Hall.
We married 45 years ago, Dec. 11, 1967, just after Jerry played in the National EWSC
Football Championship game.  We both graduated with degrees in education. We have the most wonderful memories of EWSC and of our years dating and we still share our
love of everything football!


’07 Casey and ’07 Lindsey (Barnett) Knopik
by the Knopiks

It was a love story that could be written in the history books, or rather, The Easterner (student newspaper). With the journalism program located in downtown Spokane, Casey and Lindsey met on bus rides from Cheney to the now extinct Spokane Center.

While it might not be front page material, Casey and Lindsey’s story would fit well within the pages of the Eagle Life section. It was during their junior year that they became good friends while taking journalism classes and writing for The Easterner. But it wasn’t until their senior year that the two began dating. Their love for sports, especially EWU football and basketball, was only one of the many things that drew them together.

After graduation they continued dating (even long distance for a year with Casey in Washington and Lindsey in Nebraska) until Casey proposed in March 2009, at Multnomah Falls in Oregon. They were married in Orting, Wash., on Aug. 28, 2010. Their wedding served as an excellent opportunity for an Easterner class of 2007 reunion. Many of their past newspaper classmates attended the wedding, which only helped bring their story full circle with the people who were a part of what brought them together. They now live in Issaquah, Wash., and are still filling in the rest of their story, or in their case, newspaper article.

’07 Buddy and ’07 Karisa McSpadden
By Karisa McSpadden

Buddy and I met winter quarter of 2004, through mutual friends. We began a friendship and had many late night conversations of how we envisioned our lives once we graduated and were “all grown up.” We had identical views on how we wanted our lives to be.

Our friendship blossomed into a relationship, becoming an official couple on May 20, 2005. We graduated in 2007, and Buddy proposed to me on the 4th of July, 2008. We were married on July 18, 2009. We had our first daughter, Elise, in 2010, and our second daughter, Adilyn, on Dec. 17, 2012. Buddy and I loved everything about our experience at EWU and can only hope that our daughters will someday have the same experience.

’11 Jason and ’11 Nikki (Riedner) Myers
By Nikki Myers

We met the spring of 2008, walking to biology class from Kingston Hall. We both had separate math classes but they adjourned at the same time and we shared the same biology class in the science building. At first we walked in silence but I couldn’t stand not having a pleasant conversation with someone, so I started it up one day. From then on, he always made sure to walk me to class and open doors for me. He even came to school when he felt sick so that he could see me.

We dated for three-and-a-half years and he proposed 15 minutes after my graduation in 2011, right outside Kingston Hall, where we officially first met. We got married in Colton, Wash., on July 14, 2012. He is my best friend and the love of my life and a true Eagle fan for life!

’06 Sherwin and ’05 Elizabeth (Kooiker) Newton 
By Sherwin Newton

Liz and I met in 2002 in Pearce Hall. She was a CA and I worked the night desk. When Liz and her on-call buddy Kim would finish their rounds, they would end up down at night desk playing Risk with me. It took Kim and me about six months to convince Liz to go on a date with me but eventually she did. We went to Chili’s and then to see The Italian Job in Spokane. After about three years of dating, we got married in Las Vegas on May 5, 2006. We now live in Kent, Wash., and have been happily renovating our house room by room. We welcomed our beautiful twin girls, Reese and Carly, on July 2, 2012, and life just continues to get crazier every day!

62 Ed and Kathleen Steen Praxel
By Kathleen Praxel

A 50th anniversary greeting card arriving in the mail this July 2012, with President Obama’s and first lady Michelle’s greetings and signatures on it, recalled memories of our belated honeymoon.

My uncle, Donn Steen, was EWU’s printer for many years and Ed Praxel worked for him after classes on a daily basis. Donn knew I was interested in art and that Ed was an artist so he introduced the two of us. Ed graduated winter quarter 1962 from Eastern and we were married that summer. We postponed our honeymoon due to his summer job of 12-hour shifts at the Spokane Forest Service, followed by a teaching position in Forks, Wash., which delayed it further.  That spring Ed was hired as a teacher with the Panama Canal Company. We drove to Panama in an MG 1100 – more than 5,000 miles on the opened, not-completed Pan American Highway.

In Guatemala we drove 45 miles through the landslide area of “El Tapon” canyon and crossed five different slides. We arrived late in San Salvador and all the hotels were closed so we slept in the car in the city plaza for several hours. A volcano appeared to float in the muddy colored water of Lake Nicaragua, which is inhabited by fresh water sharks. In Costa Rica, we saw the volcano Irazu and the ash which inundated San Jose, and traversed the 11,322-foot pass of the Cerro de la Muerte. Pictures of our trip can be viewed online. Our belated honeymoon was the adventure of a lifetime.

’04 Jeremy and ’05 Katherine (Yerbich) Ryf 
By Katherine Ryf

It had to be fate! We both returned to college to complete our bachelor’s degree after time off to figure out our direction in life. We met winter quarter 2002 in Professor Thompson’s geology class. Jeremy was studying environmental science and I was working full time for the Department of Ecology and focusing on my studies in fisheries. Sparks began to fly as we found more opportunities to chat before/after class, at study group and on our trek to the free parking lot.

During our talks we found that we both were country-raised in rural Washington on opposite sides of the state; me in the wheat fields of Kahlotus, and him in the mountains of Packwood. We both have a passion for the outdoors, simple living and a love for good friends and fabulous food.

After three years of dating, Jeremy proposed to me on June 17, 2005, at Palouse Falls in eastern Washington and on June 17, 2006, we were married at Mayfield Lake Resort in western Washington.

EWU is where “everything” started and we didn’t get very far.  We live in the wheat hills of Four Lakes, surrounded by Ponderosa pine trees, combining the best of both worlds that we grew up in and now our two daughters get to enjoy.

’86 Gary and ’86 Peggy (McCutchen) Smith

It was Sept. 18, 1982, on the fourth floor of Dressler Hall. Four girls from the 10th floor enter Mark Lawrence’s dorm room and joined in a game of quarters. Peggy McCurchen and Gary Smith met for the first time. Peggy is from Enumclaw, Wash., and Gary is from Omak, Wash. If it was not for Eastern, this 30-year relationship never would have happened.

Three years later, on Aug. 17, 1985, they were married in Enumclaw. They lived in Cheney until they graduated in 1986. They bought their first house in Federal Way, Wash., in July 1988. Their first child, Garrett, was born in 1991, and is currently a junior at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

In 2003, Gary accepted a position at the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., where he currently is the vice president of classified advertising and interactive media. As empty nesters, Gary enjoys golfing at Bentwinds Country Club and Peggy enjoys spoiling her designer mutt named Princess.

Gary and Peggy continue to live in Apex, N.C., and remain eternally grateful to Eastern Washington University for its part in their love story.

’05 Jeremy and ‘04 Amie (Nicholson) Wheeler
By Amie Wheeler

Jeremy and I met in February of our sophomore year (2001). He was a Sig Ep and I went to one of their functions with a friend. He wouldn’t let me out of his sight that night and he couldn’t believe I was the girl on the Homecoming poster that year! He invited me to watch him play hockey for the EWU Eagles. They won and he thought he was so cool because he got his chin cut open! I guess it worked, since we’ve been together ever since.

I graduated with a BS in dental hygiene and moved back to Olympia. He followed once he graduated the next December, with a BA in business management. In 2006, we were married (with many EWU alums as groomsmen and bridesmaids). In fall 2011, we moved back to the Spokane area with our daughter and son. We look forward to being closer to our alma mater and being able to attend more alumni functions!

’79 Sam and ’81 Rose (Donnelly) Worth
By Rose Worth

In the fall of ’78 I was returning to fifth floor Morrison for my sophomore year. A floor mate from the previous year had a new roommate who hadn’t shown up yet. Coming in to the dorm the first day of classes was the mystery roommate, Sam Worth. We found out that he had a recent bout of appendicitis and was recovering from surgery. Naturally there were good natured jokes made and he took them well.

After a few short weeks, he moved out of the dorm as he had reconnected with previous off-campus roommates. But the damage was done; we’d gotten to know one another. Out first date was to see George Carlin perform Spokane – kind of set the tone for the relationship.

My last diary entry in December was, “This guy could be the one.” I remember thinking, after I wrote it that, in the future this statement could look pretty cool, or pretty stupid. Thirty two years of marriage and two kids later, turns out it was cool. Thank you, Eastern Washington University, for a great college experience, my degree and my husband. “We’re still having fun and you’re still the one!”  Orleans



  1. Jeanette Bemis says:

    When I looked at my copy of the Eastern magazine today,
    I couldn’t help but think not only did I meet my first husband, Stan Ellison, at Eastern, we got married on Valentine’s Day 1974 in Sutton Hall which at the time was the Veteran’s co-op and the RA officiated. Our wedding photo was taken by the college newspaper which ran the headline, “Student marries students in rare campus ceremony” Jeanette Bemis 1977

  2. Dick & Mary Palmer says:

    Mary and I met in Louise Anderson Hall cafeteria in 1958. One year later we were married. 56 years later and three children, we still look back on the great times we had at Eastern. Now that we have returned home to the Northwest, we look forward to being more involved in Eastern activities..



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