That Someone Special

Did you meet your spouse on a classroom on the Hill? Or your BFF in a residence hall? We asked our Facebook friends if they met someone special at UT, and here’s what they told us.


“The second day of orientation, I went with my roommate to eat at The Torch on Cumberland Avenue for lunch. By chance, her boyfriend saw us sitting by a window and he and his friend came in to join us. That’s the day I first met my husband—over thirty-nine years ago!”

—Cindy King

“Met my husband on campus in 1980 and married him the week after I graduated in 1982. We sat side-by-side when we received our master’s degrees in 1987. He’s still on campus (professor in materials science), and our daughter is carrying on the family tradition at UT.”

—Alice McCorkle Simpson


“My parents met on the Hill in 1968. My mom’s car (Nellie June Chapman) rolled into my dad’s car (Mike Oakley) and smashed it. She wasn’t going to leave a note, but my aunt talked her into it. So when my dad called about the damage they arranged to meet to settle up. Well, long story short, they were married the following August in 1969, and I was born in May of 1970. So I truly owe my life to UT. When my daughter (Candace Cardwell) graduates in 2016, she will be the third generation of women to graduate from UT. We are a UT family. Go Vols!”

—Kimberly Oakley Cardwell (’11)

“The first night in Hess Hall—fall 1981. I met and found a life-long friend. Rest in peace Harold Lee McKinney.” —Kevin B Wood

“Thanks to UT my parents got together! They got engaged in the little park near the frat houses. Picnic table is still there. Became my favorite place to study while attending in the nineties.” – Kym Miller

“Met my husband the first day of freshman chemistry lab—Sept. 21, 1973—ate dinner together at the Presidential dining hall and talked for hours. We’ve been together ever since then.”

—Cindy Summers

“I met my husband in Hess Hall in October 1990. He was a freshman and I was a sophomore. We lived in Hess the whole time we were in school. We would spend a lot of time together and we would take walks down to the docks on the river. We have been married since 1995.”

—Patti Ophaug Melosh

“Met my husband of forty years when he was dating my best friend/roommate/sorority sister. And yes, we are all still friends.”

—Lucy West Lee

“I picked up my wife at Andy Holt for a blind date in 1996. After we graduated we married in 1999—going strong. VFL!”

—Douglas O’Donnell

“Met my husband on the Late Night T in fall of 2006. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary this past September.”

—Kasie Jackson

“Met my husband in fall of 1983 at the Beta House! We were both in our junior year at UT. Been married since 1986—twenty-seven amazing years. We have three wonderful children—one is a graduate of UT, one is a senior at UT, and one planning to attend UT upon graduating from high school! Definitely a Big Orange Family!”

—Connie Thornton Leifheit


“I met my husband of forty-four years at UT Homecoming in 1967. We married September of our senior year (1969) and lived in the married student apartments. Our oldest son also met and married his wife at UT.”

—Patsy Golden

“I first met my friend Megan who lived across from me in Strong Hall. We had a lot of fun that school year (my favorite year at UT), roaming the halls of Strong, and those memories will always stay with me….”­

—Misty Richards

“I met my husband (and best friend), Jason Flowers, during The Pride of the Southland band camp our freshman year in 1995 while waiting for Presidential Cafeteria to open for breakfast.”

—Shelby Flowers

“Made friends for life in Army ROTC. Elizabeth Sharp, Todd Breasseale, Michael McCusker.”

—Karen Westbrook Johnson

“I met my best friend, Lynne McIntosh Estes, in 1977. I also met the love of my life, Joe Ross, there in 1978. I’ve lost my love, but my best friend and I still spend time together every summer.”

—Jeanie Brown

“I met my husband, Jarrod Albert, during our sophomore year right outside of Hodges Library. He was meeting his date for my sorority’s formal, and I was returning some books I probably did not read!”

—Marcia Hitchcock Albert

On Valentine’s Day we asked our Twitter followers to tell us their Big Orange love stories in 140 characters or less. Take a look at some of the collected tweets!

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Melanie Hill Alexander February 18, 2014 - 6:21 pm

I met and dated a very special man while attending UT from 1976-1980. We lost touch when I graduated, but as fate would have it we have been reunited after 34 years. So far the relationship is flourishing and I am very happy that this VOL friendship has lasted all this time.

Melanie Hill Alexander

Lisa McInturff Chamness February 18, 2014 - 8:51 pm

I met my husband thanks to a Social Dance class at Alumni Gym in January 1979. We dated that quarter until my graduation in June. We resumed dating at the end of summer during his first year of Veterinary School and married in September 1980. He graduated from Veterinary School in 1982. We have been married now 33 1/2 years and have two grown children. Our daughter was a 3rd generation UT Vol who graduated in 2005.

Jane White Jaros February 18, 2014 - 9:34 pm

I met my husband, Norman Jaros, in an Economics class in 1951. We married in 1953, and will celebrate 61 happy years this summer. We have two daughters, eight grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. Unfortunately, our daughters attended Georgia and Auburn!! We have lived in the Atlanta area for 58 years.

Nancy Keller Salstrand February 19, 2014 - 1:41 am

I met my husband, Charlie, in 1958 at the Baptist Student Center. We got engaged 3 months later at Newfound Gap and were married a year later on July 4th. We will celebrate 55 wonderful years of married life this summer. We have 3 children, 10 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren. One of our granddaughters will graduate from UT in May. My father also went to UT. We have had season football tickets since 1965, so you know we are Big Orange fans through and through.

Carol Schwenke February 20, 2014 - 10:52 pm

I met my roommate, Ursula SCHNEIDER Moses, the first day of our freshman year, 1958. Ursi and I did not know each other before that day but we have been friends ever since. Ursi and her family were my second family. I would spend weekends and holidays with them in Tullahoma because I lived in the Panama Canal Zone and could not go home except in the summer. I felt so welcomed at their house. They treated me like another daughter.


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