Love is in the air at Wilkes University. Each year, the Office of Alumni Relations calls out to Colonel couples during the Valentine season to share how Wilkes helped create their happily ever after. The sweetheart stories are shared on Wilkes’ alumni relations social media during the month of February.
Jacqueline Lukas Eovitch, manager of alumni relations and advancement special projects, shared insights on collecting Wilkes sweetheart stories and some highlights from the dozens the office receives.
Love grows here. Each year, submissions have increased according to Eovitch. Colonels have been sharing their stories for the last eight to ten years, with an increase in yearly submissions. In 2018, 18 alumni submitted their “how we met” tales. You can read them here.
Love at first sight? Well, not quite. As alumni share their love stories, the trend hasn’t been “love at first sight.” At least not for many. “They vary. Even if people met at Wilkes, they didn’t start dating until their senior year,” Eovitch explains. “There have been a couple (submissions) that knew each other the entire time but circumstances didn’t line up. Finally, senior year they ended up getting together.”
But sometimes, one look is all it takes. For alum Bob Vanderoef class of 1967 and Norine (Williams) Vanderoef, who was also a student at the time, a chance encounter at the cafeteria was the start of their tale.
“It was truly love at first sight. Our dorms used to dine together often in the “caf” (she was in 36 West River, I was in Hollenback), so I slowly got to know my blonde little beauty. Sadly, she had a high school boyfriend, so she really wasn’t too interested in my advances. One snowy night, a group from our two dorms borrowed some trays, and headed to the park for some “tray sliding”. It was there I stole my first kiss. After that, the high school boyfriend was history! We were soon dating, pinned, engaged and then married.” You can read their full sweetheart story here.
Blue and gold finds a way into wedding plans. “You come to college to get a degree and excel in your field,” Eovitch says. “But then you have this added bonus of maybe meeting the love of your life and making amazing friends. That’s the part of college that is super fun and those are the possibilities that college opens up to you.” That’s exactly what happened for Colonel couple Christopher Hopkins and Lindsay Behrenshausen Hopkins, both graduates of 2011. So when the time came, Wilkes was part of their wedding theme – down to the blue and gold socks worn by the groom.
“Christopher and Lindsay met in the fall of 2008 during their
sophomore year at Wilkes. As two communication studies majors, the two had many classes together and first met while working on a group project together… Chris proposed on December 21, 2012 and on September 20, 2014 the two were married in a special ceremony that celebrated their love story and the place it all began – Wilkes University! The couple often reminisces about all the great memories they had during their four years on campus and Wilkes will forever hold a special place in Chris and Lindsay’s hearts.” You can read their love story here.
Have a story you’d love to share? The alumni office will continue to take Wilkes sweetheart stories through Feb. 13. After that, they will gather to read (and gush) over the submissions. Eovitch explains that when sending stories, photos are a must. “We want to see what you look like now. Some people even submit a then and now set.” She also looks for specifics—the class you met in, the time of year, etc. And don’t forget to submit an update with exciting new installments in your life. “Life is always different and changing and we want to know what’s going on.” You can submit your sweetheart story here.
Colonel couples will be selected to be featured on the alumni association social media pages as well as their website. All the submissions will be available online.
Want to see more Wilkes sweetheart submissions? Head over to their Facebook page, Wilkes University Alumni Association, and check out their photo albums filled with romantic tales.