We asked for your VSU love stories and y’all did not disappoint! 💗
Cory and Sydney Rogers
We “kind of” met at VSU. Sydney works in Event Services, and she was working during my graduation in 2019. I walked right by her when I walked off the stage. We OFFICIALLY met about a year later and we’ve been together for 3 wonderful years. We just got married on January 14th of this year!!!
Cassandra and Tommy Sampson
In 1988, Thursday night was Kappa Party night on the campus of Valdosta State College. As members of the newly chartered chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., my sisters and I went to the Kappa party to celebrate. I paid my money to the Kappa who was collecting at the door. The Kappa then asked my sorority sister Alfie to make the introductions. I greeted the Kappa warmly but didn’t really pay him any attention. The next quarter, my sorority sisters and I ventured out to another Kappa party. There he was. I was feeling flirtatious and agreed to dance with him. However, I couldn’t remember his name. At the end of the night, the Kappa asked me for my number, and I obliged. He then offered his number, and I refused, stating that I did not call men. The Kappa offered his number “just in case”. I took the napkin he’d scribbled his information on and discovered his name was Tommy. Several weeks later, I was chatting with my sorority sisters and shared that Tommy had not called me yet and that I might have to break down and call him first. Then, my phone rang. As luck would have it, Tommy was on the other end of the line. Tommy and I went on a few dates and decided that we wanted to commit to each other. We got married three months after my graduation and we will celebrate 32 years of marriage in June.
Kyle and Caroline Dawson
We met at VSU in Reade Hall through mutual friends. After a year of being friends, Caroline recruited me to become an orientation leader, and we were both orientation leaders together for three years. In early 2016, after 3 years of being close friends and 1 year of being roommates, we started dating.
Fast forward to 2017. I graduated college and landed my first job in the Atlanta area, but Caroline had another year of graduate school at VSU. This was our most difficult year because we lived 217 miles apart. By 2018, Caroline graduated from her master’s program and secured a job in Savannah working at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus. Luckily, I also secured a job in Communications at Georgia Southern, and we were back together.
We have since moved to Kennesaw, where I work at Kennesaw State University in social media, and she is a content creator and brand manager for House of Dorough. On August 17, 2019, we got engaged and were married on January 16, 2022. We owe everything to VSU. Not only would we not be engaged, but we also probably wouldn’t even know each other without VSU. VSU means everything to us. Go Blazers!
Kelsie and Wyatt Painter
My husband and I met at VSU in the fall of 2020 during our first semester! He was a junior in Political Science, and I was a freshman in Vocal Performance. My friend, who had been in his orientation GroupMe over the summer, invited him over to our dorm in Brown to hang out. I had made dino chicken nuggets that night, and from there we hit it off and became inseparable. In September of 2022, Wyatt proposed to me in Powell Hall adorned by a golden arch and an aisle of 100 candles leading towards him in front of the historic library doors. It was magical! We got married on December 15, 2022. Wyatt is a specialist in the Army and is finishing up his training at Fort Benning before we move to Texas for our first duty station. Over the last two years, I changed my major to music education and have condensed my degree into three years to be able to graduate early to move out with him. We hope to settle back down in Valdosta one day. This town means so much to both of us, as it’s where we met our best friend for life. While either of us could have gone to any college in our home states of both Georgia and North Carolina, we know that we were meant to attend VSU to meet each other.
Drs. Johnnie and Marci Marshall
We will celebrate ten years of marriage in 2023 and our love story started on the campus of Valdosta State University! Lowndes Hall is where it all started when we met as resident assistants (RAs). We continued working together as resident assistants in Langdale Hall, where our relationship blossomed.
We are three-time graduates of the College of Education and Human Services. In the spring of 2010, we graduated together with bachelor’s degrees and again in the summer of 2018 with doctorate degrees.
We have both devoted our time back to VSU after graduating. I worked at VSU for five years, and Jay served as an adjunct professor. Jay was also named the 2019 College of Education and Human Services Alumni of the Year!
Holly and John Wright
John and I met in the fall of 1997 at a fraternity party. He asked for my number and I gave it to him; not sure if he would call. He called 3 days later (apparently that was the rule for how long to wait to call). We talked all the time, spent a lot of time together, and after several months of becoming great friends, we officially started dating in the spring of ‘98. I graduated from VSU that fall and John still had a year and a half left at VSU. I decided to stay and look for a job in Valdosta. In February 2000 John asked me to be his wife! We have been married for 22 years and have beautiful 16-year-old twin boys, Noah and Hogan. We both work at our beautiful alma mater Valdosta State University and are honored to call VSU our home.
Deborah and Ben
Ben and I met in the music department of Valdosta State University in the Fall of 2017. We are both in music fraternities which often required collaboration and shared events. Phi Mu Alpha (Ben’s fraternity) and Sigma Alpha Iota (my fraternity for women) were the two largest music fraternities in Fine Arts at the time. We began having late-night practice sessions, fraternity formals, and music recitals to organize and plan. Ben and I began dating in the Spring of 2019 after two years of friendship and being each other’s “favorite fraternity brother/sister.” We quickly fell in love with each other and got engaged in 2022. We are now living a great life together in West Texas, preparing and planning for a wedding back in Georgia. Many thanks go to Valdosta State University and PMA/SAI for bringing us together.
Chatari and Nazara
I was attending my last semester of graduate school in 2019. I met Nazara on January 27, 2019, for the first time. We first met on Tinder. When we first met it warmed my heart that he brought his book bag with him. He stated that he was studying physics and calculus to prepare for school. He said that his dream was to attend Kennesaw State University as a Mechatronics Engineering major. We hung out every single day after. We were inseparable. His family and I helped to get him into his dream school. Shortly after graduating, we welcomed our son exactly one year after we met. We moved to Atlanta for him to pursue his degree. We often have healthy competition on who will get the most degrees. He graduates summer of ’24 with his Mechatronics Engineering degree with a minor in mechanical engineering. I currently work at the Georgia Institute of Technology and am applying for doctoral programs. We constantly motivate and push each other. Every day he walks through the door with his bookbag, feels like the first time in 2019. Even now, I still get nervous. We are still best friends, and partners celebrating 4 years on February 12, 2023.
Annamarie and Bobby Blair
When 17-year-old Bobby was driving down to Valdosta State University for the first time, he wondered if he would meet his future wife at college. As it turns out, he did. We met in August of 2008 at a friend’s house, where I walked right up to him and said, “well, you’re cute”; I guess my unabashed charm ignited the flame. A lot of our time was spent at Bobby’s house off Boone Street, which was creatively named “The Boone.” We also remember playing a lot of games that fall semester; one, which we’ll call “cheer pong,” was a favorite. I was a freshman, and Bobby was a senior, so we didn’t seriously date in college; however, that fire never burned out because years after graduation, these Blazers found each other again in the Atlanta area. This April we’ll be married six years, and we now have two sons, Grady (3 years) and Noah (2 years). At just 5′ 2″ and 4′ 11″, we’re probably the shortest (and cutest) VSU alumni couple you’ll meet. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “the giving of love is an education in itself.” However, we’re appreciative of everything we learned at Valdosta State!
Layah and Ali
My fiancée, Ali, and I met in the painting studio in the spring of 2020. We quickly became friends, luckily, right before the pandemic began. We texted constantly over what we thought was just 2 weeks off from school. Once online learning began, we FaceTimed as we painted for class and continued to text. About 4 months later, we were finally able to see one another again, still as friends. From then, we were inseparable. I later asked her to be my girlfriend in the fall of 2020. Now, we’ve been together for over 2 years and she proposed to me in October 2022. I’ll forever be thankful to VSU for giving me the gift of knowing her and loving her.