Poet Sweethearts are alumni couples who met at Whittier College.
They share a unique bond as both know the history and traditions that make Whittier special. Many might have even first met in a first-year dorm, classroom, or at the Campus Inn.
We want to hear how you and your sweetheart met! Email your story and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard ’49 and Mary (Steele) Mastain ’49
In 1947, Mary and Dick were both transfer students, majoring in education. Dick first saw Mary in a basic communications class and asked Mary’s cousin, Don Wardman, to introduce him to her. He did not, so Dick got up the courage to ask Mary on a date, but she was going steady at the time. It wasn’t until the end of their junior year that Dick saw Mary waiting for a bus to her home in La Habra. He stopped and gave her a ride home. When she got out of the car, Mary told Dick, I’m no longer going steady. Thus began the courtship. They had wonderful times going to many Whittier College functions and finding that they enjoyed each other’s company. They got engaged at an Athenian society party in their senior year and were married at the Episcopal Church, in Whittier, on August 28, 1949. They had their wedding reception at Mary’s Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Aubrey’s home, which is the Wardman House, a place where Mary spent many happy days as a child. Mary and Dick both became educators and lived in Brea, Nigeria, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Sacramento. They now make their home in Ashland, Oregon, where they recently celebrated their 68th anniversary with their four children and their families. Mary went to Whittier College because of the Wardmans’ close association with the college. Dick went to Whittier College because of his Compton neighbor, Ed Suggett, who went to Whittier College in the early 20’s and was on Walter Camp’s All-American football team. Their connections to the college are deep, and they look forward to being a part of the Poet Love Brunch, being held at the Wardman House in February.
Dick ’49 and Billie (Beane) Deihl ’50
Billie (Beane) ’50, and Dick Deihl ’49, knew each other in Whittier Union High School and dated on and off at Whittier College. They became engaged while Billie was a senior at Whittier and she passed chocolates at an Athenian meeting in early 1950. Dick had proposed while on a weekend visit from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was enrolled in the Graduate Business School having received his BA in Economics from Whittier College the previous summer. Billie graduated with a BA in history and a teaching credential. The engagement was over two years long. In June, North Korea invaded South Korea and the UN aided the South in its defense. The US was the prime mover in the so-called Peace Action and although the fighting raged for three years with over 40,000 American fatalities, war was never declared. Dick signed up for Cadet training at the US Air Force and Billie began her first year teaching career in the East Whittier School District. Two days after Dick received his pilot wings at Reese AFB in Lubbock, Texas, Dick and Billie were married in the Friends Church which had a strong pacifist religion until WWII, but many young men from the church were serving in the military in both combat and non-combat roles. However, the issue of conscientious objection remained. In the Whittier News front page was a large picture of Billie and Dick coming out of the front of the Friends Church, Billie in a flowing, white wedding dress and Dick in his Air Force Blues. After their honeymoon in Balboa, they went to Arizona and Luke AFB where Dick received his combat training. He was sent to Korea where he flew F 51s in seventy-six close support fighter bomber missions. Billie went home to live with her parents and delivered their first daughter, Cathy, on January 21, 1953 while Dick was flying his 74th mission. Without any forewarning he appeared early one morning at the front door of Billie’s family home. What a surprise, what a joyous moment! They set up housekeeping upon his return to the States in Del Rio, Texas, where Dick served as a jet fighter bomber tactics instructor. Billie and Dick will celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary March 24, 2018.
James ’49 and Anne (Wicks) Harmon ’50
Anne and I met at a pre-school dance September 19, 1947. I was a transfer from Oregon State College and she was a second year student at Whittier.We married September 8, 1948.
Bob ’51 and Pattie (Paget) Casjens ’51
We met during the 1947 Whittier College get acquainted dance held at the Whittier Women’s Club – now the American Red Cross building. A good looking blond guy (Bob) introduced himself to me but did not ask me to dance (a blow to my ego). Instead, he led me to his friend who wanted to meet the tall girl wearing white gloves. It took several months to convince Bob I was not dating his friend and would welcome a date with him.
John ’51 and Eva (Draper) Fugitt ’51
We met at Whittier College. Eva and I were serving in the old Campus Inn. I watched Eva from the corner of my eye every time I could. I thought I had no chance dating such a lovely, charming girl.It was the last day of our junior year and we just happened to be walking across campus in the same direction and we walked and talked. During the summer we both ushered at the L.A. philharmonic theater. South Pacific was the play – very romantic. We just happened to usher together and then sat on the steps together. We didn’t say much, but magic was working. In August we attended a Methodist college camp. We shyly began to talk and walk some more. When our senior year started, we dated and danced. We attended the Methodist Youth Fellowship in town. Then one mystical night we sat on the music building steps and fireworks started flying. I proposed in October and we were married in June of 1951. I was in the Methodist ministry for 38 years and Eva taught school and wrote a book. Now 55 years, three kids and four grandkids later, we still love going to the theater and holding hands, but we no longer sit on the steps, however. Our love grows stronger each year. By the way, I write lots of poetry. Do you suppose being a Whittier Poet had something to do with it?
Charles ’51 and Mary (Crouch) Hawley ’52
We met, through Mary’s brother, at an off-campus dance. Continued to date on Mary’s arrival on campus.
Charles ’52 and Joann (Weinert) Cooper ’52
We met at church camp when we were in high school. Had no contact thereafter until Joann came to Whittier as a sophomore and I, a junior, was helping to welcome and orient new students! We went together from then on and got pledged, engaged and married shortly after we graduated in 1952. Joann caught up so we graduated together.
J. David ’52 and Beverly Edwards Deshler ’53
We met in Pasadena at ages 15 and 16. David’s parents graduated from Whittier in the 1920’s. David played on the tennis team. We were active in the Methodist Church Conference Youth Program, so we were away from campus on weekends so we couldn’t participate in much of campus life other than classes. Our favorite professor was C. Milo Connick- who, by the way, attended our 50th anniversary in Pasadena. We are PROUD graduates of WC! Loved Broadoaks, etc!
Jim ’53 and Ann (Howard) Cowan ’55
Met on campus. April 14 it will be over 60 happy years of marriage!
Bob ’54 and Carol (Evans) Keck ’54
The seeds for our relationship were planted during the joint youth activities of our individual Methodist churches. However, Whittier College proved to be the perfect environment for those seeds to take root and for us to discover our mutual goals and develop lifelong interests to enjoy memories to share. Our deep friendships with classmates, both then and now and memories of: Dr. Smith and convocation speakers at the old Friends Church, memorable professors, a much smaller Campus Inn, The Spot, movies-two for a quarter at the Roxy or walking across the campus in the evening as the dews of eve were falling. All of these have enriched our lives, our own relationship and our connectedness to Whittier College.
Bruce ’55 and Cecile (Hankey) Weed ’54
Bruce Weed and Cecile Hankey met at Orange Coast College in a music appreciation class. We both entered Whittier College our third year of college. Bruce was a music major, Cecile an education major. We both taught in elementary schools. We were married in July 1953 with 5 members of the Whittier College cross country team being in our wedding. We raised 4 musical children. All 6 of us are involved in the music of our churches, as are some of our grandchildren. That music appreciation course was effective!
Ken ’55 and Mary (DeLapp) Bowlin ’55
Ken and Mary met as freshmen in September 1951. While studying in the Whittier College library, Ken asked her to the first annual Lancer Mona Kai, spring 1952. They were pinned in their sophomore year and Mary passed peanut brittle to the Palmer sisters. They were engaged in their junior year. Mary passed chocolates in a beautiful box and the Lancers sang outside her dorm that same evening. They were married two weeks after graduation, June 25th. They have 4 children, 9 grandchildren and have lived in Whittier and La Habra areas for 62 years by God’s grace.
Ivan ’55 and Annette (Duemler) Reece ’55
Annette was a Met; Ivan was a Lancer. They met in the kitchen of the Campus Inn. Annette was a dish dryer; Ivan was a fry cook.Under the sovereignty of God they married in December 1954 and now live in Scottsdale, AZ. (See their picture in the Whittier College catalog for 1955-1956, next to page 36.)
Stu ’56 and Jane (Soderberg) Gothold ’55
We met in Dr. Gene Riddle’s Whittier College Choir in 1953. Papa Gene took the Choir on tour through Northern California each year, culminating in a Spartan visit the San Francisco YWCA, where we were REQUIRED to sty on our separate floors, and never, never be in close harmony after hours. A choir custom was to stand in a circle between afternoon rehearsals and evening performances at each venue, and rub each other’s backs. That’s how we met!O n occasions when the choir would not stand by sections, we would find a way to stand together, even though soprano and bass were as far apart musically as we could get. Our first date was memorable – there was a dance called L’Apache, or something like that – a French theme, and held in a barn off Hacienda Blvd. in the hills. Jane was a Can-Can dancer in the entertainment revue. What I didn’t know was that I was to transport all the dancers to and from the dance – not exactly a make-out opportunity...but it worked out. We married in July 1955. Jane’s dowry included a 1953 Hudson Jet – no one has ever heard of it, as it only lasted a year or so. However, our kids threw a 6oth Anniversary party two years ago, and found one of the last remaining models in a local car club. The picture shows us in front of a full-size cut-out of us getting into the original car – blew us away!Picture taken at our reception, Whittier Women’s Club (Now the American Red Cross Center across from Central Park).
Gabe ’55 and Evelyn (Klees) Bryeans ’57
We met in a social dance class in P.E.
Wayne ’56 and Susanne (Rayburn) Reinecke ’56
The two of us were both music majors, both playing violin and our names, Susanne Rayburn and Wayne Reinecke were conveniently close to alphabetical order, so we were often sitting close together (usually separated by a coed named Janet Reed). It didn’t take us long for us to recognize that we were meant for each other, and here we are, 60+ years later, still happily together.
Jon Walter ’57 and Juley (Smoyer) Scharer ’57
Jon and I met at Alhambra High School in 1950 and chose different colleges for our freshmen years. He went to Whittier and I to the University of Redlands. I transferred to Whittier for my sophomore year 1954-1955. We married on August 6, 1955 and lived our first year of marriage in an apartment at 502 Mar Vista in Whittier (now torn down and replaced with more modern structures). We have lived, worked and reared our two sons and now we are retired in Redlands, California.
Jim ’58 and Ann (Larson) Peter ’59
Well, I was one of those Home Economics majors and struggling with chemistry in Dr. Newsom’s class. Jim was the lab assistant for the class. Our first date was the Poetess Prom, then the Mona Kai and after that the chemistry started clicking in between us. It has been good for 48 years so far. I’m glad I went to Whittier College and met Jim. Many fond memories.
Jim Olson ’59 and Marge (Millikan) Olson ’61
Jim was junior class president when I entered Whittier as a freshman. I worked at the Spot and he would come in daily, order water and just sit there quietly. One day, I got the bright idea to give him carbonated water. He was shocked, but we laughed. Shortly after, we began dating and the rest is history – we will celebrate our 59th anniversary in December, 2018.
Gary '60 and Sydney (Clapperton) Allison '60
Nearly 60 years ago, Gary Allison's friends challenged him to ask the next girl who
walked into their psychology class to a Valentine's Day dance. "I just walked in the door at the right time," his wife Sydney Allison, 78, said. The two, who dated for about a year after their first date, will celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary in June. The Allisons, both from California, graduated Whittier College together and began their lives — she as a fifth grade teacher and he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army. They moved to Broomfield in April to be closer to family who live in the area. Their Valentine's Day will be spent like many other Tuesdays — an early dinner and then Sydney teaching an English second language class. "Maybe that's why it's survived," Syndey said. "We haven't been too flowery." That, she said, and marrying at a younger age has allowed them to grow and build habits together. Over the years they enjoyed camping and traveling. Now, Sydney still stays active by teaching classes and has joined the Women's Gathering, a group that meets once a week to knit and crochet hats, scarves and blankets for local organizations. Sydney raised three children before returning to teaching. The couple lives at The Avenues Crofton Park in Broomfield and they have five grandchildren. "Don't think you're going to marry someone and change them," Sydney said.
Richard Fred Kraft ’61 and Judith (Osborn) Kraft ’60
We met at the Wesley Fellowship, a college-age group at the First United Methodist Church near the campus. Dick came to Whittier College as a junior transfer from McCook College and Judy was in her fourth year at Whittier. We were married after Dick’s graduation in 1961.
George ’61 and Judy (Piccinotti) Ennis ’61
He watched her in Critical Procedures. Then came an early double date to a play in L.A., The Pleasure of Your Company. Next was a memorable walk collecting plant specimens in Penn Park for Dr. Lois James’ Field Botany; he had a bad case of poison oak and she loved flowers. Little did they think that 12 years later they’d buy their home next to this wonderful woman and be neighbors for the next 29 years! Now after 50 years they still walk together smelling roses.
Ted ’61 and Connie (Ayers) Hanson ’61
Nearly 50 years ago my girlfriend, Connie, was going to Antelope Valley J.C. in Lancaster, living at my parents’ home and driving my car while I was attending Whittier College. We wished very much to be together but people didn’t live together in those days and small college costs were too much to consider her moving to Whittier on her own. One day an inspiration bordering on desperation grabbed me. I gathered the necessary papers from George Tenopir, borrowed a friend’s car, raced over Angeles Crest Highway (no freeways then), slid into my parents’ driveway, barged into the house, threw myself at her feet, presented her with entrance applications and scholarship papers from Whittier and asked, Will you marry me and we’ll go to college and then live together? Pretty tough to resist a combination of a path to higher education AND me. She didn’t hesitate, said yes and we’ll celebrate our 60th anniversary in August. And yes, we DID graduate from Whittier, standing together, in 1961.
Jim ’61 and Karen (Folland) Schultz ’61
Karen broke her foot the day before freshman orientation week. All freshman classes were held upstairs. Jim came along every day and carried her crutches and books upstairs so she could hop up.Karen knew his name was Jim (but didn’t know his last name). Later, after she got off crutches, she heard someone mention his last name. She went home and looked him up in the directory. Their next encounter was when they both worked at the post office for Christmas. Bumped into each other at the Coke machine. He said he would take her home the next day. Karen got laid off that day – Christmas holiday rush was over. Karen did not see Jim again until school resumed in January. Jim asked her out in January. Dated the rest of freshman year, then Jim transferred to Cal State Long Beach; Karen remained at Whittier. Sophomore year they became engaged. When Jim asker her father for permission to marry his daughter, her dad said that he and her mother would like Karen to finish school first – which she did. They were married June 24, 1961 (two weeks after graduation) and are still very happily married.
Lloyd Wilson ’61 and Dorothy (Jasper) Wilson ’61
Lloyd and I met on September 26, 1957 at the Bury the Hatchet dance. We dated all through college and were married on June 17, 1961, a week after we graduated. We have been married almost 57 years and are glad we attended Whittier College. Whittier holds a special place in our hearts.
Robert ’62 and Ann (Rosenkrans) Zemsky ’60
We met in 1959 on the first Whittier College Copenhagen program. We stayed on for the second semester (an Earlham program then) and we were married in Copenhagen in May 1960.
Bill ’62 and Janice (Barker) Geiger ’62
We met in our sophomore year, spring 1960, in Great Books, an introductory literature class. Bill invited Janice to a Penn date party, which she couldn’t attend, so our first date was a Thalian date party. We were pinned during our junior year, engaged in our senior year and married in August, 1962, after our June graduation. We will celebrate our 56th wedding anniversary in 2018.
Chuck ’63 and Liz (Ware) Thayer ’62
I met Chuck in my sophomore year when I started dating his housemate. Chuck dated another Whittier classmate who lived in my dorm, Johnson Hall.By the end of our junior year we had switch partners! Both couples married one another after graduation. Chuck and I will celebrate our 55th anniversary on June 29, 2007.
John Gamblin ’64 and Virginia ͞Ginny͟ (Huey) Gamblin ’64
John and Ginny first met in 1961 while Ginny was checking off numbers and counting heads in the Campus Inn dining hall. Soon John became a waiter in the dining hall and was the President’s waiter, also.In January of 1963 at a Thalian meeting, a box of chocolates was passed around the circle of friends announcing our engagement. We were married in El Segundo on August 24, 1963, so are approaching 58 years of marriage.
Richard ’65 and Sharon (Giddings) Craft ’65
We met in college a capella choir in our junior year. Sharon was the choir secretary and Dick was the business manager. We dated some while in college, but our romance blossomed about a year after graduation, when Sharon was an elementary school teacher and Dick was a seminary student. In February 2018, we will have been married 50 years. We have 3 adult children and adorable grandchildren.
Craig ’65 and Susan (Perry) Elliott ’64
Susan and I met one Sunday morning....My roommate and I had been away at a two-day Franklin Society event and returned late Saturday night. Susan had been staying with my roommate’s girlfriend and they came to visit. There was no place for Susan to sit other than on my bed. I awoke with her there. We started to talk, went to Jack’s and the rest was history.
Robert ’65 and Christine (Klokow) Cosgrove ’72
Happily retired! Enjoy traveling the world, hiking, reading, sailing, photography, and bike riding. We have been blessed by 12 beautiful grandchildren (who live nearby)! Love being part of their busy lives!
Dennis ’66 and Carolee (Callicott) Robertson ’66
We met November 3, 1962 in the Campus Inn at the dishwasher. We were both freshmen, introduced by a sophomore girl with whom I went to high school. She knew I was looking for a job and she also worked there and needed a sub, so I agreed to work for her that afternoon. Dennis asked me if I was going to the Pomona football game that night. He invited me to go with him and the rest is history. I attended University of Copenhagen in 1964, we were engaged on February 14, 1965 and married in June, 1966. We’ve been married 51 fabulous years, have 3 terrific children and many awesome grandchildren!
David ’66 and Kathleen (Bang) Sternshein ’70
We married in the 2nd semester of my senior year on February 22, 1970. At the time, David was working on his master’s degree. We were married by Dr. Hai Tai Kim who was a professor of Philosophy at Whittier College, and someone we had both taken classes with. Our wedding was held at the Unitarian Church just a few blocks from the college. Both David and I taught in the Whittier City School District and retired in June of 2008. Since then, we have enjoyed traveling and spending time with our two grandsons.
Mike ’67 and Margaret (Scheibner) Parmelee ’66
In 1965 Mike was a student supervisor and Margaret was a cashier in the Campus Inn. Instead of going home during semester break, Margaret and her friend Mary Larsen, a fellow cashier, decided to stay and each get a crush on someone else who was also staying. Margaret picked Mike and the chase was on! He finally asked her out at the end of the semester break and the rest is history.They will be celebrating 51 years of marriage on July 8th of this year. Wonderful!
Richard ’68 and Melinda (Harnois) Sullivan ’68
Just as her mother and two aunts had done, Melinda married a fellow Whittier College student. She remembers sitting in convocation at the First Friends Church with her current boyfriend and Rich. Rich remembers flirting with her during the summer before her junior year while she was planning freshman orientation. Years later, one of their two children has a Master’s from Whittier College.
Vince ’69 and Penny (Carns) Fraumeni ’68
Penny and I met over lunch in the, "CI," in December 1965. We were introduced by Doug Clark who would later become my roommate of three years, "Best Man" at our wedding, and is still one of my closest friends. Penny was not impressed and thought I was obnoxious. Imagine!Three months later we were again having lunch in the CI. I asked her to go to the College play, "The Pajama Game." I also asked for her student body card and to use her car for the date. The rest is a forty-eight year history!
James ’69 and Maribeth (Shepherd) Arehart ’68
It was December 6, 1968 and I had just returned to school from picking up my new car in Montana. While there I caught the Hong Kong Flu and missed a midterm in the class we were both taking – Bill Lancaster’s Since 1900 American History class. I was in the Spot and Maribeth came in the door. I recognized her from the class and waved at her so I could ask her what to study for our test. The class usually met in Founder’s Amphitheater at 9 a.m. On Friday, December 13th, we arrived at Whittier College to see the burned remains of our beloved Founder’s Hall. The class proceeded to The Spot and only laughed when Wild Bill, as we affectionately called him, appeared and wanted us to meet in the library for class. Our first date was that night and the rest is history.
Quick version: Jim and Maribeth met in The Spot on December 10, 1968. Their first date was Friday December 13, 1968, the day Founders Hall burned down. Not too lucky for Founders Hall but, pretty good luck for Jim and Maribeth married almost 50 years.
Greg ’69 and Anita (Wyne) Bell ’69
Greg Bell met Anita (Wyne) Bell in a Human anatomy class taught by Dr. Arcadi in our sophomore year. It was love at first dissection. We were engaged one year later and then married June 1st, 7 days before we graduated in '69. We have three children, all in education and 8 grandchildren from ages one to eight.
Jim ’69 and Jeanne (Schaafsma) Roach ’69
Jim and I were both psych majors and met our senior year (he was a transfer student) in Dr. Mallory’s very challenging statistics class. We got acquainted through study groups – I was a note card student; he was not. He found my study habits quite amusing until my scores came back higher than his!The rest is history! Hard to believe that was 49 years ago!
Armand ’70 and Virginia (Wildrick) Stephanian ’69
Romance from Another WorldWe met in the fall of 1968, September to be exact, at a meeting of a newly formed club on campus, the UNESCO Club. The first meeting was a social event, including live music, held in the basement of Hoover Hall. I was beginning my senior year, planning to graduate in June of 1969 as a foreign language major.Armand was sitting behind a huge drum set, in another world from the rest of us, exuding such emotion for the music that crossed any cultural or international barriers. I could have watched him all day (and so could my roommate who was with me). We learned that his name was Armand, a French name that struck us as most charming, since we were both French majors. Upon meeting Armand, I was entranced by his formal politeness, gentle warmth, slight foreign accent and striking resemblance to the young actor from Egypt, Omar Sharif. Later, I learned that he was intrigued by my short light blond hair, green eyes and red plaid mini-skirt jumper. We worked together as UNESCO officers delivering club info via the student mailboxes under the Campus Inn. My parents lived in Whittier, Hadley Hills behind the campus, and Armand enjoyed meeting them and eating many home-cooked dinners that year on Southwind Drive. Armand asked me to marry him in February, 1969. However, it became more complicated to convince his parents (living in Tehran, Iran) of these future plans, since Armand did not have his education completed or a job to support a wife and family. Our engagement formally occurred in the spring of 1971 – after Armand’s graduation from Whittier College in 1970 and my 2nd year of public school teaching. We were married on August 14, 1971 in the Whittier College Chapel, with receptions following in Arnold Hall and at my parents’ home on Southwind Drive. Of course, our professors were in attendance along with many friends and family. I met Armand’s parents for the very first time just days before our wedding. Arsham and Maro Stephanian had journeyed from Tehran, Iran all the way to Whittier, CA and Whittier College for this blessed event.
John ’70 and Linda (Callicott) Mele ’70
We were actually high school sweethearts. Both sets of our parents met at Whittier and we were classmates. They encouraged us to go there, too.We have been married almost 47 years, still live in Whittier and continue many friendships with other Whittier alums.
Leo ’70 and Gayle (Tuttle) Camalich ’72
We were introduced the first week of school. I was a sophomore and new to the campus, while he was a senior. It wasn’t until the beginning of the second semester when we had a class together, that we began an interest in each other. It was February 14, 1970 when our relationship became a serious one. We are still having a wonderful life together 47 years and 3 children later.
Jim ’71 and Joyce (Eakin) Brown ’71
On January 12, 2018 we will have been 50 years since Joyce’s and my first date! A funny story but too long for here. Suffice it to say 47 years and counting in a marriage between a Met and Lancer has worked out pretty darn well. Go Poets!
Joe, Jr. ’73 and Edna (Brindley) Moore ’73
We met in the fall of 1969 as we started our freshman year at Whittier. We were both in choir with Mr. Eugene Riddle. We became good friends and dated other people in the spring of our sophomore year. We were pinned that year, engaged the summer before senior year, and married two weeks after graduation.
Frank ’74 and Kathryn (Tenopir) Remkiewicz ’72
Kathryn ’72 and I ’74 grew up in Whittier, California. She attended Lydia Jackson Elementary and I spent my kindergarten year at Penn Street School. We met for the very first time when we competed in the cutest baby contest way back when and I won. We did not meet again until I began dating Carol, her sister. Suffice it to say that relationship ended when Carol won a skunk at the Santa Barbara County Fair and named it Frank. Again, we lost track of each other until mid-1968. I had joined the Marine Corps in late 1967 and by June of 1968 I was knee-deep in Vietnam and in serious need of contact with the ͞real world͟. Kathryn had just begun her freshman year at University of Redlands. We began to correspond. During that time Kathryn sent several batches of chocolate chip cookies which was a great start to our relationship. In addition to the great cookies the conversations in those letters became deep and serious and we learned a great deal about each other during the year I was in Vietnam. In August of 1969, at the ripe old age of 19, I was medivac’ed home to Long Beach Naval Hospital. Kathryn and her mom Jane Tenopir, came to visit me in the hospital only to find that my mom and sisters had swooped down and taken me home to Whittier. We did finally get together and went to Jack’s restaurant on Whittier Boulevard for our first ͞date͟. In August of 1970 Kathryn and I were married and in the fall of 1971 I joined her at Whittier College. We both were following in the footsteps of my grandmother, Emma Madge Horton ’17; George ’49 and Jane Tenopir ’47, Kathryn’s mom and dad; and, Claire ’49 and Dave Krueger ’49, my uncles. Along with us Kathryn’s sister, Carol ’74, my sister Stacey ’77, my mother Anne ’79 (daughter of Emma Madge), my niece Megan Lafferty ’01, and the fourth generation and our son, Matthew ’02. Kathryn and I spent our college years living on Penn Street and walking to classes. During our college days we saw such guest speakers as Kurt Vonnegut, Jess Marlow, and, Jane Fonda. It was also my great privilege to serve as the managing editor of the Quaker Campus. We watched football games in the new stadium and basketball games in Wardman Gym. We were the first classes to experience the modular schedule including the January Interim. We went to the Renaissance Faire with Mr. Chadderton and Model United Nations with Dr. McBride. We went to Dr. And Mrs. McBride’s home for spaghetti and played Diplomacy. We remember classes with Dr.McKwen, Mr. Chadderton, Ann Kiely, Dr. JW Robinson, Dr. Nerhood, Dr. Nuttall, Dr. Ben Burnett, Dr. Praetorius, Dr. Hai Tai Kim, Drs. Bergerson, Neu, and McBride. Kathryn’s father, George Tenopir ’48, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, has an endowed scholarship named in his honor and her sister Carol Tenopir serves on a Whittier College standing committee. Much of the College history is our history. We are familiar with the First Friends (Quaker) history and traditions of Whittier College. We walked the same walkways, attended classes in many of the same classrooms, we attended the same College sports events, and studied many of the same subjects as the generations before us and as the generations after us. Our foundationaleducation was built and secured by Whittier College.
Robert ’76 and Maria (Aguilar) Veas
We both attended the same junior high and high school in Whittier, yet we never met. Then one day in September of 1972 during a freshman orientation on the front lawn, we recognized each other’s familiar face. We talked near the Rock for the rest of the afternoon. A friendship developed. We began dating in 1975 and got married in 1977. We now live in Whittier and have 4 children. Three boys, all graduates of Azusa Pacific University and our daughter is a graduate of Whittier College.
Cory ’76 and Debby (Daust) Andersen ’76
The summer between my sophomore and junior year at Whittier, I was working at what used to be Hinshaw's Department store at the Quad. My mother asked me to come straight home from work, and even though I protested (I had a party to go to) she insisted. When I got home (with pigtails and a Hickory Farms checkered
shirt from work) she introduced me to the young man that she'd been working with for the past week on a car show for some new model of what used to be the Datsun. Apparently my mother had shown him my picture...I assume NOT in work clothes... and they had decided we should meet since he was interested in attending Whittier College, as Cal State Fullerton wasn't inspiring him. We began to date after that evening and in the fall, Cory was able to attend Whittier with me. He enjoyed the business classes, while driving to LA every day to work for a market research firm. We graduated in 1976 and continued to date. I moved in with some Athenian friends and he moved in with another Whittier graduate (Art Pigott ’76) who has since married fellow Whittier grad, Betty Koo ’77.
We were married on September 15, 1979, the same day as one of my Athenian sisters, Kyle Feely ’75. That was a day of some fires in the area, and Kyle's cake at an outside reception, I'm told, saw the effects of the soot. The weather that day was 115 degrees, and we were in a church with no air... then went to the air conditioned reception, but the cake lost a layer, having slid off as it was being delivered in the heat. (Luckily we didn't see it!) But, here we are, nearly 39 years later!!! And still keep in touch with many of our friends that are Whittier couples.
John ’78 & Anita (Boudinot) Pilkington ’78
Anita and I have been married for 35 years. We both graduated from Whittier in 1978. When we met is still under discussion. I saw Anita on campus in the fall of 1974, but never really met her; I simply ͚stalked her͛(not really...). Sometime in the spring of 1975, we were formally introduced (she doesn͛t remember). Anita pledged Palmers, I pledged Franklins and I had an older sister and younger sister that both Pledged Mets. I was extremely pleased when I heard Nita would be doing Whittier College in Copenhagen in the fall of 1976. I was going too, and I made it my goal to win her over. We had a few dates in Copenhagen but were not yet a formal couple when the trip ended. We continued to date for a while back at Whittier, broke up and gradually became real good friends. I graduated as a four-year letterman in track and field and still have one of the top five 800 meter times at Whittier College. I also qualified for and competed in the NCAA D-3 National Championships in 1977. Anita͛s smile under her graduation cap graced the cover of The Rock in summer 1978, the official Rock graduation edition for that year. After graduation, Nita headed home to the SF Bay Area and after a year or so, we got back in touch via the US postal service. I was looking for a change (and looking for Nita) and her company was looking for internal auditors. Anita referred me and I got the job. I moved to the Bay Area in 1979, we found our way back, were married in 1982, and the rest is history. We have three daughters, Caitlyn, Hannah, and Hayley. Caitlyn and Hannah both became engaged in 2017 so we are now wading into the rising wedding planning waters. Hayley lives in Ashland, Oregon where she graduated college in 2014. She is not yet engaged but feeling the pressure, we are sure. When Caitlyn was born, we made the decision that Nita would stay home to raise her and any others that happened to come along. I jokingly said, once they are up and out I would retire and Nita would head back into the workforce. I thought it was a funny thing to say at the time. Fast forward many years.. after stints as both a volunteer and a sub in the San Diego County Library system, Anita is enjoying her 4th year as a full time employee at the Cardiff Library here in Encinitas.I retired in early 2016 after 40 years working in accounting and finance and finishing my Career as the CFO for an environmental engineering firm. People ask what I do all day while Anita is at work. My response is always ͞whatever she wants me to do because I am her HB!͟ (You figure out the acronym.)I am more in love with Anita now than I was when I stalked her on campus more than 40 years ago. Hopefully, I have not misrepresented things here, Anita..? I know you will tell me but not sure you will see this before it is sent, cuz you are at work and I have nothing to do cuz all my HB duties are done for the day.
Joe ’79 and Susan Lopez ’79
Joe and I met during Orientation week our freshman year - 1975. We were together pretty much after that. We married during Winter Break ’79. Still strong after 39 years.
Mark ’79 and Kathy (Quon) Sadamitsu ’80
We began dating in 1980, a year after Mark graduated and I was finishing up my senior year. We have been married for 30+ years, with 2 children.
Ken ’86 and Patricia (Garcia) Lozano ’84
We met through athletics. Patricia was a basketball player and I was a baseball player. In addition to this, I was the scorekeeper for basketball games. Our paths crossed mainly at the gym. We had our first date after I won a bet for hitting a home run. From that point forward, our relationship grew each and every day.
D.J. ’85 and Nina (D’Anna) Santo ’88
D.J. started at Whittier College in 1981. Nina started at Whittier in the fall of 1984 D.J.’s senior year. We met at several campus events in the fall and by January of 1985 we were a couple. After D.J. graduated in May 1985, he continued at Whittier as a graduate student and earned his M.A. in speech and language pathology in 1987. Nina completed coursework in December 1987. Now we are the middle generation of a large family of Poets including Dan Santo ’60, Christina (Frumento) Santo ’83, Terry Santo ’65 (uncle), Laura (Hoyt) D’Anna ’88 (Nina’s roommate and now sister-in-law) and Cameron Santo ’14 (son).
Thomas ’89 and Karen (Ritter) Bienz ’89
Karen was the RA for Wardman Hall, home to the Whittier Scholars Program and 16 residents including Thomas (and his caiman Sammy). Thomas was a pre-med student, member of the water polo team, and avid mountain biker and windsurfing enthusiast. ͞He was always taking up the entire hallway folding his sails and was usually in his room studying on Friday or Saturday nights when I was on RA duty.͟They went out a couple of times as friends (including a Palmer barn dance), but it wasn’t until after Thomas came back from a Jan Term trip to Baja with a new girlfriend that Karen realized she wanted something more; a few months later they began dating. Next month, they celebrate 25 years of marriage and almost 30 years of knowing each other.
Matthew ’89 and Audrey (Vineys) Humaciu ’90
We had many friends and acquaintances that knew us both, but we never managed to meet during our freshman year. In 1987, during our first semester sophomore year, we had our first class together - Religions of The World. We noticed each other (as we later admitted) but probably didn’t say more than two words to each other in the five week class. The next session we had Analysis of Football together. I flirted with him most of the session and the day before the final he worked up the courage to ask me out. We have been together ever since –31 years this December!
Doug ’90 and Joann (Phillips) Kotkin ’91
We were both dating other people while attending Whittier College. A couple of years after Doug graduated, we both attended a party at the Hilton and started talking. He asked me out and less than a year later we were engaged. On April 9th we will have been married for 24 years. We continue to have close ties with the School as both our girls attend/attended Broadoaks and hopefully our oldest will be attending Whittier College in 2019.
Vince Yasaki ’91 Debbie (Hansen) Yasaki ’91
When people ask us how we met, we say we met at college. Which is true. But it conjures up a ͚met-at-a-frat-party-dated-through-college-and-got-married-after-graduation͛ kind of relationship. Which is hardly true. In fact, we didn͛t date while at Whittier at all. But we were friends, and had lots of mutual friends who probably had more to do with us getting together than they even realize. We met the first day of Freshman Orientation. There was a reception for new students at the President͛s residence and we were introduced by a mutual friend. We ended up both living on the second floor of Stauffer, right down the hall from each other. We were in choir together and had one class together and while we weren͛t in the exact same circle of friends our circles intertwined with each other due to our mutual friends. And we were just friends. Sophomore year was more of the same and junior year took us both abroad for the entire year. To opposite sides of the world, but it forged a common bond since there were so few of us having to readjust to America and to Whittier after being gone for an entire year. Senior year we became better friends, through our mutual friend who was also abroad for her entire junior year. But we remained just friends. After graduation we went our separate ways. Vince stayed in the LA area working while I (Debbie) went to Boston for graduate school. This was before email, so I͛m not sure we really stayed in touch much, but the following year I decided to come back to Whittier for the graduation of mutual friends. I wanted to see all my friends who had stayed in the LA area so I contacted them, Vince among them. We met for dinner one night in the week that I was there and the rest is history. Two years later we got married at the Methodist Church in Uptown Whittier and had our reception at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. We've been married 23 years now, have three kids, and have lived in many different places through Vince͛s career in the Marine Corps!
Floyd ’92 and Sheri (Hansmeier) Cheung ’92
We met on the steps in front of Arnold Hall. It was a recruitment event, complete with lunch at the president's house. We had been invited to consider applying to Whittier College, though I don't recall why we deserved such special treatment. Although both of us were from Las Vegas, we did not attend the same high school. Furthermore, we participated in different extracurricular activities, so we never crossed paths . . . until that sunny day in front of Arnold Hall. For me, it was love at first sight (she wore a 1980s-style, peach-colored dress and looked at me with her big, blue eyes). The meeting was nothing special for Sheri, she would tell me later. As it turned out, we both ended up going to Whittier. At orientation, I noticed that Sheri was planning to join the choir and thought that I could get to know her better via that activity. I had never sung before, but I understood that the choir was looking for more male voices. Fortunately, the conductor, Steve Gothold, took a chance on me, and through choir rehearsals, performances, madrigal feasts, tours, and other events, Sheri and I did get to know each other better. Still, she resisted my advances. We had become friends instead. Two years later--it's a good thing that college lasts four years--Sheri came around. She says that she became jealous, since I hadn't been paying as much attention to her as I usually did. In fact, I was pledging the Penn Society, busy performing our secret initiation procedures. Eventually, she approached me, saying that she had missed me and changed her mind about dating me. The last two years of Whittier were a roller-coaster ride of good times--the first blush of a new romance combined with meeting the opportunities and challenges of college together. We worked as RA's together (I was in Wanberg, and she was at the Summit); she helped me to learn how to sing better; I typed her Whittier Scholars Program thesis, since she was too sick to do so herself (Sheri dictated from her bed); and we performed in the rock-opera version of The Scarlet Letter (I played drums, and she was Pearl). Sheri had also joined the Palmer Society in her junior year, which enabled us to enjoy events like the 4P: the Penn-Palmer Pumpkin Promenade. One year, I had the Penn pledges sing to her in front of Arnold Hall. We got married right after college, only weeks after we graduated. Sheri's dad, a minister in Las Vegas, officiated. Many members of our societies attended, as well as other friends and family. And Steve Gothold, Chris Nelson (our choir's accompanist), and two other friends from our church community in Whittier, Joe and Edna Moore, sang Mozart's Benedictus at our wedding. We have now been married almost fifteen years. In that time, we completed grad school and medical
school at Tulane University, had two kids (Claire and Ben), and started careers. Sheri's now a primary-care physician in Springfield, Massachusetts, and I am a professor of English and American Studies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. We still count among our many blessings the fact that we met at Whittier College.
Shaan ’93 & Becky (Ruth) Blanchard ’92
Becky, as a sophomore, was a peer counselor to Shaan’s group of incoming freshmen. On the first day of classes, Shaan saw a familiar face in his Calculus 3 class, and later they were made partners to work in the new math lab. Their first project was to calculate π to 2 decimal places using a Taylor series and they were the only ones in the entire class who did it correctly (namely that it was beyond the means of the computer!).The rest of that school year they continued to do homework together and the next fall they became a couple for good.
Hale ’93 and Cindy (Salac) LaBore ’92
Only at Whittier College can two business majors meet in a sociology and anthropology class during a January Interim paired course titled Peoples of the World and Intimate Relationships. Little did they know it would lead to a lifetime of love and adventure.
Peter ’93 and Christina (Arriaga) Riserbato ’92
How we met? Hmmm...well, we first noticed each other during pledging in January 1990, when Peter was pledging O’s and Christina was pledging A’s. Peter was with his pledge brothers ͞guarding͟ the O pond. Christina came up with her pledge sisters to give them hot chocolate and said ͞hello͟. Peter didn’t say a word. Whether it was fear of breaking pledging rule or total disinterest he can’t remember. Our friendship blossomed in the months following pledging as we got to know each other through mutual friends.Our formal courtship began in November 1992 after Christina had moved to San Diego to attend graduate school, while Peter was still at Whittier. We were engaged in October 1993 and married in August 1994. It’s amazing what can happen in 4 short years!
Giffin ’94 and Melanie (Rivas) Himmelright ’95
Giffin and I met on a ͞double-date͟. His roommate (a fellow Sachsen) and my roommate (also an Athenian) went out on their first date. Giff and I tagged along. We continued dating even though our roommates did not.
Harry ’94 and Crissy (Stamper) Estes ’94
We met walking to the campus tent (after fire in CI) and started talking. As this was the first week or so of our freshmen year, we ended up going to a bbq/mixer in the quad. We danced and he ͞threw me down in the mud͟ and now the rest is history. Almost 22 years of marriage and 3 sons later, we are still going strong! Both class of ’94
Jamie ’95 and Michelle (Payne) Hamilton ’93
Once upon a time at Whittier College Michelle Payne and Jamie Hamilton were strangers among friends. Everything changed in 1992. We would hang out with friends watching TV and having fun. Michelle broke the ice and invited me on an Athenian Valentine Date Party. From then on we were never apart. Our love for each other grew and we were married at the Whittier College Chapel on March 27, 1994. This year we will celebrate 24 years of marriage. We are the Hamiltons, a proud Poet love story.
Andrew ’96 and Yvonne (Cutler) Huffaker ’97
We met in 1995 right before we left for a study abroad trip to India (at a meeting for the trip). We quickly became friends and confidants during our time in southern India. Around Halloween we realized that we were feeling more than friendship. Unsure of what our relationship would become back home we were hesitant. Once back in the States we couldn’t stand to be apart. We were married in 1999 after a 2-year engagement and now have 2 children, Gavin and Ella! We bought a house in Whittier and love our life together.
Brian ’97 and Tina (Ibanez) Yates ’96
Brian and I met in the CI, became friends and fell for each other while on the same RA staff in Turner. We spend many hours on duty talking and becoming the best of friends. We went to law school together and were married in May 1998. This May we will celebrate 20 years of marriage, two daughters, and 23 years together. So grateful to Whittier! Go poets!
Phillip Nolasco ’97 and Crystal Zamorano ’03
We met in the George Allen fitness center in 2003 while both rehabbing from knee surgery. I was on the stationary bike and Phillip took the seat next to mine. He introduced himself and we exchanged knee injury stories. I was a student athlete at the time and had a set rehab routine. Apparently Phillip had the same schedule and was always on the same bike, at the same time. We reconnected years later and began dating in December 2017. We have BIG, Poet Love plans ahead of us!
Kenton ’01 and Patty Juarez-Hill ’98
Kenton and Patty met through mutual friends. We had our first kiss in Turner Hall on January 16th, 1998. We dated off and on for ten years. Kenton proposed Christmas Day, 2007. We were married August 25, 2008 in Clinton, Iowa where he was working with a minor league baseball team. We have been married almost 10 years, but friends for 20. We share so many memories around the Poet campus, where our love began and now we have our own future Poet- Carter.
Manuel ’99 and Alex (Sanchez) Rosales ’01
Alex and I have built a beautifully loving relationship for 19 years. As a Thalian and Orthogonian we were a natural match. We have a beautiful 14 year old daughter named Bryana and a handsome 8 year old boy named Reyes. Our marriage has withstood the numerous storms that life has placed on our path. We have been the sunshine for each other in times of need and the necessary umbrella when life decides to pour it on! We look forward to growing old together.
Joe ’01 and Tisha (Jenkins) Hancock ’01
We met our sophomore year in college algebra. Joe came into class late and sat behind Tisha. It became apparent soon after that Joe was fighting a bad cold and Tisha was worried from the sounds he was making that she might get sick as well. She turned and asked if he had an allergy and he thought her concern was sweet.
Maximillian ’04 and Cecilia (Fortner) Renard ’06
We met at a football game, through some friends. Started dating a couple of months later when I was pledging Pennette. Dated for 3 years and got married on October 1, 2006, when he got home from a yearlong deployment in Iraq.
Dustin ’05 and Allison (Roth) Ray ’05
We met the first day of freshman year and have been together since Groundhog Day 2002! At Whittier we were on the track team, co-edited the QC and both majored in Biology.
Eric ’06 and Valene (Esqueda) Martinez ’06
Eric ’06 and I (Valene ’05) pledged the Orthogonian and Metaphonian societies. We met at Luminarias in 2004 at the Huntington Beach Hyatt. From that point on we became friends, continued to get to know each other, and eventually became official in 2006. He proposed on the steps of my work (Broadoaks School at Whittier College) on February 15, 2010 and we married each other on February 25, 2011. Soon, we’ll celebrate 7 years of marriage and love our life together! We’ve traveled the world together and continue to be best friends reaching the goals we have set for ourselves.
Aaron ’06 and Jenn (Lang) Sheehey ’07
We met at a lacrosse party in January 2005 and have talked every single day since. Been married for over 10 years and now have two kids. Beat cancer, job loss, and have more good memories than we can count.
Vince ’07 and Raquel (Caceres) McLeod ’05
I met my husband, Vince McLeod ’07, in 2004 in our IR class. We really got to know each other in January 2005 after he finished pledging Penns and I had just brought in 17 girls into the Thalian Society. We’ve been together for 13 years, married 8, and have 3 beautiful kids together!
Anthony ’07 and Dana (Allen) Taylor ’07
Dana and Anthony were introduced to each other during freshman orientation in the Upper Quad. Seven years into their relationship, Anthony proposed on... you guessed it... Valentine’s Day! They got married on July 14, 2012 and their two hearts became one. Their love story is celebrated on a Founder’s Walkway brick.
Chris ’08 and Jessica (Schlegel) Anderson ’10
We met our freshman year living in the same dorm. We were each other's biggest fan (football and volleyball). Came back to complete our Master's together and just welcomed our first child. Almost eight exciting full years of marriage!
Riley ’08 and Gabriella (Orona) Bateman ’10
I met my husband at Whittier when he was graduating and I had two more years of school. Eight years later, I graduated from UCSF School of Dentistry while my husband has two more years left at the same dental school. We have had countless adventures in between including our first child last year!
Anthony Pomponio ’08 and Charlotte Moore ’10
#PoetLove since 2007. We met and became friends in 2005 during our freshman year in Stauffer Hall, when our dorms were just a few doors away from each other. We started dating two years later, the night that Whittier won the football game against Occidental and won back The Shoes. Ten years later, Anthony brought us back to the campus and proposed next to our shared brick on Founders Walkway.
Sam ’09 and Nicole (Sandoval) Benedum ’08
Sam and I met in 2006 when we were both on the swim team. During practice one day, there was a kick set and I had forgotten to grab a kickboard. I wanted to get Sam’s attention and figured now was the time to do it. Right before the set started, I snagged his kickboard and the rest is history! We got married on September 8, 2012 and live in Whittier with our two beautiful children.
James ’10 & Jennifer (Spiegelman) Anderson ’10
My husband, James, and I met in a production of Pride and Prejudice at Whittier in 2008. We became friends and didn’t start dating until 2010. In 2011, we moved to Birmingham, AL to be closer to my family and in 2015 we came back for a friend’s wedding (also alumni!). With the help of Professor Jennifer Holmes, he proposed in the studio theatre at the Shannon Center where we met.
Eric Colunga ’12 and Alyssa De Santiago ’10
Eric Colunga ’12 and Alyssa De Santiago ’10 married on September 19, 2015. Eric brought Alyssa to the College to propose because it was where we fell in love, where we began our lives together. As the couple share an engraved brick along Founders Walkway, Eric arranged for a photographer to catch the moment when he slipped Alyssa’s engagement ring on her finger and asked for her hand in marriage.
Gus ’13 and Alyssa (Garcia) Quintana ’14
Gus and I were introduced to each other by a mutual friend because I needed tutoring at the end of my freshman year (I never got that tutoring due to a text mishap) but not until almost 2 years later did we have a class together and started getting to know each other. We coincidentally went to the same wedding and the rest is history. We were inseparable! We became engaged in March 2016 (taking our engagement pictures at the College) and were married on May 6, 2017!! We couldn’t be happier!
Spencer Crews ’15 and Frida Soria ’15
It was spring 2015 (my senior year) and I was trying to get signed into one of the two CON1 classes I needed to graduate. Professor Marks did attendance and asked people to raise their hands if they weren't on the roster. A guy named Spencer did so and Professor Marks said "You're out. We have no room." Spencer replied that he had emailed him over Jan Term so the professor allowed him to stay. I also emailed the professor so I wasn't kicked out either. Professor Fissore taught the other part of the pair and she signed us in too. Phew! The next day in our other CON1 class, Spencer and I began to talk because we were in the same group for a class activity. He was really nice and interesting. On the next Palmer Tuesday, I went to Rock Lunch and there he was! He was a Palmer Little Brother! I thought "Hmm... he's cute, nice, and smart... and he's a PLB... I might have a chance." I texted his Palmer big sister Julia if he was single and she told me to "go for it!" Unknown to me, Julia texted Spencer saying that I asked if he was single. We started to talk outside of class and we clicked almost immediately. Sometime after we started dating, he asked "Were you in that Russian politics class in spring 2012?" and I was so shocked because I was! Apparently we were in the same class three years ago. I didn't remember him but he says he remembers me because I was pretty. It's crazy to think that we had already been the in same class three years prior and that we almost didn't cross paths again because of two, full, CON1 classes. I'm very grateful to those professors for letting us into those classes!