During the month of February, we wanted to celebrate one of the most wonderful things about VSU, our students, and alumni. We asked those who met their significant others while at VSU to send us in their love stories with photos and we were not disappointed! ❤️
John & Camille Bolton
It all began in the fall of 1977 when my parents met during rush week at an event held by the Delta Chi Fraternity. My dad was in his senior year of college and working as a campus police officer. My mom had just begun her college career and joined the Phi Mu sorority. They dated and enjoyed spending their free time together at local spots, like Pizza Villa and the Wooden Nickel Pub. My dad then decided to pop the question and boy am I glad that my mom said yes! They married in the summer of 1981 and decided to move to Thomasville, Georgia which was closer to home for my mother. The years flew happily by and they decided to start a family. Their first-born son, Chase, was born in 1986, and their second son, Cooper, was born two years later in 1988. I, Jenna, their youngest child, and only daughter was born in the summer of 1991. All of us siblings also attended Valdosta State University. Chase and Cooper both attended and graduated with a Public Relations degree between the years 2004 and 2012. I followed shortly after, starting my career at VSU in the fall of 2009. Not only did I attend Valdosta State like both of my parents did, I decided to join the Phi Mu sorority just like my mother. Four fun years later, I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 2013. Not only did each of the Bolton siblings earn a degree from VSU, but two out of the three children also met their future spouses there. Chase met Anna, a marketing major, and they married in 2010. I met my husband, Zack, a VSU baseball pitcher and Graphic Design major, through a mutual friend. When you get the family all together, we have nine degrees from Valdosta State. Since this family photo was taken, we have added two more Blazers to the family!
Debbie & Ricky Wisenbaker
Both being from Valdosta, our paths never crossed in our younger years. But, if you fast forward to 1993, we were introduced by a mutual VSU colleague/matchmaker. Both being once bitten and twice shy, we talked for five weeks on the phone before we cautiously entered into a “get-to-know-each-other” relationship. In December of 1994, we attended an office Christmas party at which Santa Claus (the real one) attended. After all the children told him their wishes, I asked if I could whisper to him… of course, Santa Claus indulged me. I quietly whispered, “I would like a ring” to which he let out a jolly HO-HO-HO and asked if I’d been a good girl. That Christmas day in 1994, Ricky asked me to marry him, and he swears to this day that Santa Claus never told him about my whisper! Today we’ve been together through dating and marriage for 27+ blessed years. We have dedicated a combined 46+ years of working service to Valdosta State and have witnessed many changes over the years. Always grateful for our match-maker friend, Amy, and our employment at VSU, we look forward to celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary in July 2021!
Caitlin & Shawn Yates
My husband, Shawn Yates, and I met at VSU in Fall 2015! We met through a friend and lived three doors down from each other in Hopper! Four years later we got married and are now living in Tucson, Arizona where he is stationed. The first picture is of us in 2015 at Fall Dining when he was in the ROTC program. The second picture is of us five years later!
Mary & Craig Bell
My husband Craig and I met back in Fall 2012 in a Vertebrate Histology course taught by Dr. Lockhart. It all started in Bailey Science Center. I immediately had a crush on Craig on the first day of class, but he just saw me as a friend at first. We were study buddies for months before our relationship grew to more and by February 2013 we were dating. The following year we got the first dog together and on graduation day Spring 2014, we moved into our first apartment. Fast forward to February 2018 we were married and now we are coming up on our third wedding anniversary (eight years overall), added another dog to the household, and are buying our first home. We both have a special place in our hearts for Bailey Science Center and the roof of Bailey as we would take study breaks up there to get some fresh air. We love VSU and GOOOO BLAZERS!
Erica & Jeffrey Nicholson
My husband Jeffrey and I met in Fall 2013 at Patterson Hall. We met in the lobby playing ping pong. Jeffrey told his best friend that he was going to take me on a date one day the first time he saw me. I can still remember the first time I saw him. He was walking with his friend. He was wearing pink shorts and a white tank top. I thought to myself, he is so cute. As time went on, we became friends and hung out with the same group of friends. We finally started dating in March 2014. We got engaged in 2016, married in 2018, and had our first baby in 2020. If it wasn’t for Valdosta I would not be where I am today and have the family I have. We have so many wonderful memories of Valdosta. Valdosta was our first home together.
Kautia Matyko & Yaquarious (Trey) Holloway
My boyfriend Trey and I met in the Blazin’ Brigade marching band where I was the feature twirler, and he was the center snare, and section leader in 2017. Three years later we’re still together and loving each other and life!
Felida & Jeremy Baker
My name is Felida Baker, and I met my husband Jeremy Baker at Valdosta State University. What started off as mere strangers meeting the weekend before school started, evolved into a journey of friendship, love, marriage, and a true happily ever after. It was my freshman year in 2003. My roommate, Shanna, and I were becoming acquainted with the campus. Her brother, Stephen was a current sophomore at VSU, so he introduced us to some of his friends. One of those friends happened to be my husband Jeremy and we’ve been together ever since. We met in 2003, monogamous relationship in 2004, and married in 2008. Twelve years of marriage and three children later, we are still crazy about each other. VSU has given me so much more than a degree. It began my journey to adulthood and allowed me to meet people who have made my life’s journey the most enjoyable.
Ally Hudson & Eric Mortimer
Met in anatomy class a little over two years ago and now going into senior year together!
Ceariel (Sharell) & Kwakwu (Chris) Kwarteng
My husband and I met on June 28, 2014. We were both students at VSU, both Criminal Justice majors. He was a football player, and I was a cheerleader the previous two seasons. We had several mutual friends and later realized that we ran in some of the same circles though our paths never crossed before now. Not even once. We met at a Summer Bash event hosted by Blanton Commons apartments which we were both residents of at the time. We played in a game of volleyball in the pool and that’s when I first noticed him, this loud, obnoxious guy on the other team; the losing team might I add. Once the game was over, I got out and went around to the other side of the pool where I saw a few people throwing a football. I joined in and out of nowhere this same guy, I didn’t realize it was the same guy until later, swam up behind me with the football and offered it to me to have a turn at throwing. Let’s just say when it came to catching the return from across the pool, I made him look bad in front of his teammates. The event ended with us exchanging numbers and later that night we went on our first date to the movies. After that, we spent every day of the summer together which ended with me transferring to Kennesaw State, which is a process I started before I met him, and I was determined not to allow him to hinder that decision. I convinced myself that he would forget about me and what we experienced was just a summer thing. I was wrong. During my time in Kennesaw, we talked every day, and he came to visit a few times. I came to visit him as well. I ended up returning to Valdosta the following year. I hated Kennesaw and I missed him though I never admitted that until now. We became even closer friends and dated a while. On October 28, 2017, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Exactly 2 years later, he asked me to be his wife. We were married on August 2, 2020, in this crazy pandemic, and we are now expecting our first child in July 2021. This has been such a crazy and amazing love story, written by God himself and we couldn’t be happier!
Aaron & Christy Walker
My wife and I met in 1996, both pledging Tau Beta Sigma. Our first date was taking her to the (now old) infirmary when I accidentally broke her ankle in Drexel Park while playing capture the flag. Our second date was her taking me to the impound yard when I illegally parked at the Fine Arts Building and got towed. 21 years of marriage and three kids later, we still laugh!
Karen & Paul Higgs
My husband, Paul, and I officially met at VSU in the fall of 1985 even though we are from the same hometown and have a lot of family friends in common. We married in July of 1989 after we both graduated. In 2019, we came home to VSU. I came first in January as Director of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Advising Center and he joined the CONHS faculty later in the year. He also oversees the Athletic Training Clinic and was the 2014 Outstanding Alum for the college.
Edward & Karen Hart
My wife Karen and I met thanks to the direct exchange program VSU had with Sunderland University in England. I spent my junior year abroad at Sunderland on the program in 1990-91, making many good friends there, one of those friends, Anghard Rowe, came to VSU the next year. The following year after graduating from VSU, I returned to England, 1992-93, for graduate studies in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, not too far from Sunderland. Anghard, back for her final year at Sunderland, introduced me to her roommate Karen Dumville, a first-year student. Next year, 1993-94, Karen came to VSU to study business on the exchange program. She made me wait two more years until she finished her undergraduate degree back in Sunderland, but we finally married in 1996. She then immigrated to the States. We have 24 happy years and counting together and live in Dallas now. We proudly attended the National Championship game in 2018 to watch the victorious Blazers.
Kathryn Dorris & Malkom Hayes
Malkom and I met in VSU’s nursing program in Spring 2019. We had clinicals together and pretty much instantly hit it off. We’ve been inseparable ever since. We both were able to attend the Fall commencement ceremony and both graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. We have two dogs together and just recently moved into our first apartment together here in Valdosta. We’re going on two years now and couldn’t be more thankful our paths crossed at VSU.
Alex and Wesley Cook
We met through a mutual friend at a party in September 2013 during our freshman year. We were both studying Computer Science and were also both in the Marching band, but we truly connected over our shared goofiness, nerdiness, and also magic the gathering (yes, that was us playing cards in the rotunda). The first picture we ever took together was in the study room in Patterson. We had built a fort out of the furniture in the room with some friends, which I’m sure would have gotten us in trouble if anyone had noticed. We started dating just after that picture was taken in January 2014. From then on, we spent most of our dates out on the front lawn or at Steak ‘n Shake. When summer came, we spent as much time as we could together and ended up getting engaged in July of the same year. It was definitely fast but we kind of just knew it was right. From then on, we took a bunch of classes together, played in the marching band, and spent almost all of our time outside class together. Two years later, in May 2016, we got married by a friend we had met while at VSU! I graduated a year later in May 2017 with a BS in Computer Information Systems and him in December 2017 with a BS in Computer Science. Since graduating we have had a kid, found amazing jobs, and moved to Atlanta! The 25th of January will be our seventh year together and May will mark our fifth wedding anniversary!
Ja’Mia Libson & James Cutts
My fiancé and I met at VSU, Fall 2017 in November. I was a sophomore staying in Hopper Hall (2nd floor) and he was a junior who worked for Housing and Residence Life. Due to him working in housing, he frequently saw me coming in and out of my room when he was called to Hopper Hall for maintenance. One day, my roommate and I were leaving our room and I glanced at my now fiancé and his coworker/best bud and stated to my roommate how I thought he was very attractive, and I wonder who he was because I saw him all the time. The night of November 18th, I saw him at a party and I really wanted to speak to him however I was super nervous and chickened out! Then low and behold the next day on campus, I was heading inside the Student Union to get some CFA and he was heading down the stairs and said “Hey” and smiled at me. I was so tongue-tied at that moment that I only smiled and kept walking! I quickly called my roommate and let her know what had just happened and she said I should see if he comes back to Hopper Hall, later on, however, he never did! I said to myself if I see him again, I cannot miss another opportunity especially because this was the week that everyone was going home for Thanksgiving Break. I didn’t see him on November 20th and I didn’t see him on the 21st and I was getting really worried because I felt like I missed my opportunity. I went and sat in the Lounge of Hopper Hall and I saw his coworker heading to a maintenance call, so I quickly pulled him to the side and asked him about his friend. It was the funniest conversation because I asked him, “Do you think he’d text me back?” and he chuckled and said, “Oh yeah, he definitely will!” As I’m heading back home for Thanksgiving break, I texted him and our conversation carried on for days! He even revealed to me that one day when he was behind my roommate and me near Hopper Hall, and he told his coworker, “That’s my kind of woman.” We’ve been inseparable ever since. We officially met on November 21, 2017, he drove to my hometown and took me out on a date November 25, 2017, and we began dating on January 1, 2018. We just became engaged on November 25, 2020!
Craig & Ann-Mariea Dabdoub
We met in a Business Computer Science class in Spring 2011 and started sitting beside each other in class. Once we realized we were both commuting to VSU from Moultrie, we decided to arrange our fall class schedules so we could ride together and save on gas. We’d like to credit VSU and Langdale Business College for those miles because it led to a beautiful love story! Ann-Mariea graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Management in December of 2012 and Craig graduated with his Business of Administration in Accounting in December of 2013. We continued to date and got engaged in 2015! We were married on October 15, 2016. We both decided to continue our education by pursuing our master’s degrees in 2018 while working full time. We graduated in December 2019 and got to walk together! Craig graduated with his Master of Accountancy and Ann-Mariea graduated with her Masters in Business Administration. We bought a 60-acre farm, renovated a house, and moved into it in December 2019! In June of 2020, we found out we were expecting! Our baby girl, Woodslyn Bryant Dabdoub, will arrive this February and we couldn’t be more excited! All of this just because two kids sat beside each other in a computer class at VSU! We’ll forever be grateful for our education and our wonderful professors at Valdosta State University! So happy our paths crossed that day. We’ve been blessed with a beautiful life and marriage.
Drs. Lucretia & F Tirrell Andrews
My name is Dr. Lucretia Andrews and my husband is Dr. F Tirrell Andrews. We both attended VSU and received our Master’s graduates degrees (four in total, two for him and two for myself). He is presently teaching for VSU and I work in the VSU Counseling Center. He played football at VSU from 1992 to 1996. I joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc in 1996. We met in undergrad while taking criminal justice courses for our bachelor’s degree. We like to kid each other about who’s GPA was higher (it was mine of course) We started out as friends and study partners; then two years later he declared his love and affection for me. We dated until after I completed my bachelor’s degree in 1997. He returned to VSU to pursue his first Master’s degree in Family Sociology. During that time in 1997, he decided that he wanted to marry me; so, he drove to my home in Macon Georgia, and asked my father for my hand in marriage. We married in 1998 and have returned to Valdosta to open and operate one of the most successful counseling agencies in our South Georgia area, Peaceway Counseling, and Meditation Services. Where we have operated as a licensed marriage and family therapist for the past 15 years. We started at VSU and now have since returned to give back not only to our Alma Mater but also to the local community.
Jane & Johnny Jones
I met my husband in the fall of 1975 when I was a freshman, and he was a sophomore. I was a ZTA pledge and had to get signatures from five guys from each fraternity in the cafeteria, and he was one of the TKE’s who signed his name. Two years later, he was the fraternity President, and I was the Sweetheart! We graduated in June of 1979 and a month later, we were married. In December of 2011, we saw our son graduate from VSU. Needless to say, VSU has a special place in our hearts! Always Blazers!
Kris & Merritt Guthrie
January of 1976, my VSC ZTA sister Gayle and her then-boyfriend Mike had plans to attend the VSC TKE Red Carnation Ball. They thought it would be fun to double date, so they set Merritt Guthrie and me up on a blind date for the dance. We had a wonderful time and from that moment on we were inseparable. I attended all of his TKE events and watched him as quarterback for the TKE intramural games. He in turn attended all my ZTA events. Many dates were held in The VSC library as I studied for my BSN degree and he studied for his BA. I graduated June 7, 1977, and we were married on June 14, 1977, with many of our fraternity brothers and sisters in attendance. Fast forward 41 years and we are still involved in our fraternal organizations. We are the proud parents of four sons and our family has expanded to include three lovely daughters in law and two grandchildren. This wonderful post-college life all started with a blind date at VSC.
Jasmine & Quincey Williams
Hi! I am Jasmine Williams and my husband, and I met while attending VSU! We both began our undergrad year in 2010. I graduated with a BS in Psychology in 2014. My husband Quincey and I used to spend MANY days and nights at the fountain on campus, as well as the dining halls in between classes. I lived in Patterson Hall my first year at VSU, and then my husband and I moved into his apartment together the following year. After I graduated in 2014, we moved to his hometown of Columbus, Georgia, where we still reside. We have now been together for almost 10.5 years and got married on March 3, 2018. We now have a beautiful 4-year-old daughter named Maliyah, and we are currently expecting our second baby this July! We are still going strong, but it’s all thanks to our wonderful beginning at VSU!
Kayla & Peter Otim
We met at VSU in the Fall of 2009 as freshmen. Peter said that he liked me as soon as he saw me and knew he had to talk to me. He noticed that I played soccer on the front lawn every Wednesday, so he decided to join in on the game one day. We got to talking and discovered that we both lived in Georgia Hall. He left to go to the Wesley house across the street, but I really hoped we would run into each other again! Little did we know that we both had befriended Khalif Cooper and one day Khalif brought Peter to my dorm room! From that moment on, we were best friends and inseparable. We got closer as we went to many VSU basketball games together, ate too much food at midnight breakfasts at Hopper, and continued to play soccer on the front lawn with our peers and professors like when we first met. We both ended up transferring to a different college, but our marriage and family that we built couldn’t have been possible without Valdosta State’s community bringing us together!
Marcy & Derrick Jackson
We met at Valdosta State in 1990 and were introduced by Derrick’s roommate. Derrick walked to his car every day through Langdale and Georgia Halls. He asked me out while I was working at Langdale Hall’s front desk. We were married in May 1996. Marcy graduated in December 1993 and Derrick in December 1994. Now here we are two kids and 30 years later. I am a Deputy Human Resource Director in Government and he is a Sr. Procurement Manager in the tobacco industry.
Dana & Martha Ingram
During Homecoming 1986 I decided to visit my old fraternity house at 200 Georgia Avenue. While standing on the front porch I noticed a cute girl walking up to the house that had the bluest eyes and brightest smile ever. A Pi Kapp Little Sister introduced us, and we went to the football game that day and dinner afterward. The next day we went to see the movie “Aliens”. We dated exclusively for most of the year, me picking her up at the circle at Langdale Hall. December 12, 1987, we were married at the Episcopal Church across the street from Valdosta State. A professor and preacher at VSU performed the ceremony. I had asked her to marry me while on the swings at the park across from the college. The next year our first son was born in Valdosta and one year later our second son (who also attended VSU in 2010). My wife graduated, first with a degree in Marketing and then in Accounting from VSC and later received her MBA from Auburn. We have since returned to VSU for many Homecomings, football games, and Fraternity reunions. We attended two football National Championship games in Florence, Alabama. We have been married for over 33 years and some of our fondest memories are of our time at Valdosta State.
Shelby Beckett & Spencer Williams
Valdosta State University has changed our lives for the better. My fiancé, Spencer Williams was able to attain his degree, which is a Bachelor of Science in American Sign Language Interpreting, while I have been able to obtain two degrees thus far: Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Deaf Studies, and Bachelor of Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I am currently in my master’s degree for COM D. Spencer and I met our junior year of college in 2016. I was at an ASL chat in Odum library and saw him walk through the doors downstairs close to the new media center and new that I really wanted to get to know him for some reason. It was funny because at the time I was working for what was formerly known as the Student Success Center at the front desk, and he had just started working as the new ASL tutor. I kept trying to get his attention by tossing Slim Jim’s his way. You know they say, “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Eventually, I started going to his work to grab coffee since he worked at Birdie’s downtown. I would take my friends with me just so I was able to see him. I asked for his Snapchat and number, finally, and we started talking. I was the one to initiate asking him out, and it was so funny. I would like to say that it would have taken him forever to ask me out because he was oblivious. Our second date was at a football game for VSU, go Blazers! We officially started dating on October 8, 2016. About a year after we started dating, he proposed! We have spent countless times together on the front lawn, hanging out with friends, and even attending each other’s graduation! Here we are four years later and are planning a wedding that is taking place on December 11, 2021! Needless to say, Valdosta State University helped us come together and find each other.
Kristen Stappenbeck & Alex Cobb
Alex and I met at Valdosta State University in 2008 (our Freshman year) through mutual friends (at Palm’s dining hall – our favorite). Alex was always very persistent get to know me and I finally gave in during a movie night in a friend’s dorm room in Lowndes Hall. Alex and I immediately hit it off, we spent so many nights outside Langdale Hall (his dorm) and Lowndes Hall (my dorm) talking for hours. We only spent a couple months together our Freshman year and then slowly drifted apart during college. Our timing was always off throughout our years at VSU, but when our paths did cross, we always loved catching up. Alex and I both graduated from VSU with a Bachelors in Fine Arts (Communication Arts). Funny coincidence! As the years passed after graduating, we both moved to Atlanta, began our careers, and left college behind us. After over a decade (in 2018), I reached out to Alex on social media and we reconnected to ring in the New Year in 2019. After spending New Year’s together, we never left each other’s sides. We got engaged in July 2020 and will be married on April 10, 2021. We are so thankful we met at VSU years ago! We’re even more thankful our timing was finally just right, after almost a decade. Valdosta State University taught us two very important lessons – patience is a virtue and love has no timeline. We will always have so much love for the city of Valdosta and our alma mater. We even named our two new puppies, Blaze (Go Blazers!) and Charley (after our favorite bar Charley O’Corley’s).