Maize and Blue “I Do’s”

Red might be the traditional color of Valentine’s Day, but for many U-M alumni, true love’s hue is Maize and Blue.
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Throughout its history, U-M has served as the backdrop for untold numbers of romantic relationships that form between students. Many of those relationships fizzle out quickly while others last a lifetime. And then there are the alumni who met long after graduation, happening by chance to find true love while on the job, through mutual friends — or on a game show. We share both kinds of stories here.

Annette Martin, ’61, and Pep Martin, ’62, MBA’62

Annette Martin, '61, and Pep Martin, '62, MBA'62Pep: In late May 1960, I was walking across the Diag with a friend when we came upon this attractive woman with her arm in a cast. My friend, who was leaving to go overseas, introduced us. Fast forward to late September: I was looking for a date to go to Wisconsin for the football game. My thoughts turned to the girl on the Diag, but I had forgotten her name. I asked my friends and searched the Michiganensian, all to no avail.

Then, in early November, I was sitting on a ledge in Mason Hall between classes — and guess who sat down next to me! “I’ve been looking for you for two months,” I told her. Her reply: “I don’t even know who you are.” I told her I had met her on the Diag the previous spring. “And your arm was in a cast. You want to go to Drakes for coffee?” She said, “OK, but I will have a 7UP.” The rest is history; 59 years later, we are going strong.

Emily Therese Cloyd, ’01, and Stacy Cloyd, MUP’09, JD’09

The following was adapted from Emily’s Twitter thread about their romance.

Emily Therese Cloyd, '01, MPS'04, and Stacy Cloyd, MUP'09, Emily: In early 2009, I took the “Jeopardy!” online test and was invited to audition in person in Washington, D.C., where I worked as a climate scientist. One of the coordinators at the audition asked who had come the farthest, and a woman, Stacy, said she’d come from Ann Arbor — she’d just graduated from the Law School and was planning to move to D.C. I later introduced myself as a fellow alumna.

At the end of the audition, the coordinators said the show might call any time in the next 18 months. I had almost forgotten about it until the end of December, when I got a voicemail from one of the contestant coordinators asking if I could travel to California in January to tape the show. I was thrilled.

On the morning of the taping, I looked around at my fellow contestants (“Jeopardy!” tapes five shows in a single day, so 15 of us were there) and recognized Stacy, the woman from the audition. It turned out I’d be playing against her and Manny, the returning champion.

I didn’t get off to a great start. At the first commercial break, it was Manny $4,200, Stacy $2,400, and me $600. The scores at the end of Double Jeopardy! made it clear who was going to win: Stacy: $15,000, Manny: $1,000, Emily: $400.

My story might end there, but it doesn’t. The organization where Stacy worked, Bread for the City, was planning a viewing party when the show aired in March. So as she was getting ready to go back on stage to defend her title as champion, I suggested that we make it a joint party.

We were in occasional contact as things came together for the viewing party. Since we’d both attended U-M (although at different times), we made sure to gather all of the Michigan grads for a photo. After the party, Stacy and I kept hanging out, and eventually started dating, and 2012, we married.

Amira Woodruff, ’06, DDS’11, and Warren Woodruff, ’06, DDS’10

Amira Woodruff, '06, DDS'11, and Warren Woodruff, '06, DDS'10Warren: When I was a sophomore, I stayed in South Quad. Amira and I had become friends by then, but we weren’t close.

Amira: One day in the middle of sophomore year, I ran into Warren on the bus. He could tell something was wrong. I explained that I was switching from engineering to LSA and was interested in majoring in psychology, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with that degree. He told me that he had actually just transferred from engineering to LSA to major in psychology and planned to go to dental school afterward. A light bulb went on because when I was 6 years old, I told my dentist that I was going to be a dentist one day, but over the years that career hadn’t been at the forefront of my mind.

Warren: I was happy to be the person to reignite her interest in dentistry.

Amira: A few weeks later, Warren ran into me in the Fishbowl while I was registering for my classes. He told me about several classes that he heard were great. I ended up registering for a lot of those classes. Once the new semester started, I was surprised to see I had a lot of classes with Warren. Not once had he mentioned that he had already registered for the classes he was encouraging me to take. He definitely did that on purpose!

Warren: It was just my intention to give her suggestions on what she may want to look into taking. But I did think it was funny to see that she ended up with a schedule that was very similar to mine.

Amira: Every Tuesday that semester, lunch was sandwiched between two classes that we had together. So we ended up going to lunch together. It was during those lunches that we realized that what we were building was possibly more than just a friendship.

Warren: We officially started dating right before we went to the U-M School of Dentistry together. I appreciate that we built a solid friendship before dating, because that’s what has kept our relationship not only strong, but also so much fun.

Susie Lau, ’55, and Philip Loh, MPH’54, PhD’59

Susie Lau, '55, and Philip Loh, MPH'54, PhD'59Susie: During the 1950s, many college students in Hawaii spent two years at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, then transferred to schools on the mainland to finish their degrees. I had been accepted at both the University of Michigan and Ohio State University. Three weeks before traveling to Ohio, I suddenly decided to change plans and headed for Michigan.

On my first weekend at U-M, I met a good-looking, intelligent, confident graduate student from Singapore, who also happened to be a marvelous dancer. In an instant, we both knew we belonged together. By Valentineʻs Day, we were engaged. After graduating a year early, I taught elementary school while he worked on his Ph.D. in virology. When he obtained his degree, he continued to work in the virology department at U-M.

Although my husband was considering an associate professor offer from UCLA, a telegram arrived from the University of Hawaii with the message, “We learned you are thinking of moving to the West Coast. Why not move further west?” We ended up moving to Honolulu, and in our wonderful 58 years of marriage, we have lived and traveled throughout the world. U-M was the incredible catalyst that brought us together.

Monica Griffin, ’14, MSE’15, and Ronnie Trower, ’15

Monica Griffin, '14, MSE'15, and Ronnie Trower, '15Monica: We were both at U-M at the same time and in the same school — the College of Engineering. But we never met. At least, we don’t think we met. Ronnie was in one of the engineering fraternities, and one of my best friends was in an engineering sorority, so they knew each other. We might have met then. There is another time when we think we might have met: I was on the leadership team of the National Society of Black Engineers and sometimes led the meetings, which Ronnie attended. So there definitely are some instances where our paths might have crossed.

But we didn’t actually meet until after we left U-M. Since we both work in the automotive industry (he’s at GM, and I’m with Chrysler) and we both went to U-M, we have a lot of mutual friends — that’s how we met. In fact, after we started dating, our first weekend trip was to Ann Arbor, where we showed each other our favorite places when we were students.

During the pandemic, we spent a lot of time together, including taking walks. During one of our walks on Belle Isle in Detroit, he proposed, and now we’re planning a wedding for this September.

Pat Ravicz, ’58, and Art Ravicz, PhD’59

Pat Ravicz, '58, and Art Ravicz, PhD'59Pat: I met my husband, Art, during a square dance at a Wesley Foundation retreat weekend in 1956. Through the formation of the dance, we became partners for the entire night and spent a lot of time together the next day, too. When we parted at the end of the weekend, he took my phone number and said he’d be in touch. I was a 19-year-old nursing student; he was 25 and studying for his Ph.D. in engineering.

Well, time went by and no word. When my roommate and I went to church on Sunday mornings, I’d always look to see where he was ushering and we would go to that aisle to be seated. He was always pleasant, but he still didn’t call me!

Then, when he did finally call, I was going home and had to decline. When I returned, he asked again, but I had to work! I could have cried and figured he would never call again. Miraculously, he did and invited me to a picnic along the Huron River. (I never did get a straight answer about why it took him so long to call me!)

Because Art grew up in Colorado, he was an excellent skier and wanted to teach me to ski. So in March 1957, we went to Boyne Mountain in northern Michigan; that evening, we drove to the top of a hill that overlooked Boyne City. Art started talking, and, after a while, I realized that he was going to propose. His proposal was long, but my answer was short: “I’d love to.”

We were married at the end of my junior year of college on Aug. 30, 1957, which was my three-week vacation from nursing school. After a long, happy marriage, I lost Art when he died in December 2019.

Anne Beaubien, MALS’70, and Phil Berry, ’53, MBA’53

Anne Beaubien, MALS'70, and Phil Berry, '53, MBA'53Anne: In July 2003, I joined an Alumni Association trip to Ireland with my brother and sister-in-law. I found one of my fellow travelers, Phil Berry, particularly interesting. We got to know each other during the nine-day trip and were surprised to find out that we were the only two in the group who had signed up for a few extra days in Dublin. There, we enjoyed exploring the city — even experiencing a musical pub crawl together. At the time, Phil was a widower and I had never been married.

After the trip, we returned to our respective homes, mine in Ann Arbor and Phil’s in the Cleveland area. He called the very next day to ask me to dinner (a proposition that involved a three-hour drive). That fall, we spent a lot of time together and Phil repeatedly asked me to marry him. I finally said “yes” in October.

We were married in February 2004 and enjoyed a wonderful reception at the Ann Arbor City Club, which featured a live performance by the U-M Men’s Glee Club Friars. We bought a house in Ann Arbor and now enjoy retirement in our college town, where we are particularly enthusiastic about U-M football games and concerts at Hill Auditorium. And, of course, we love to travel the world — even enjoying a 2019 return to Ireland, where our romance began.

Naomi Goldberg, MPP’08, Libby Hemphill, MSI’04, PhD’09

Naomi And LibbyNaomi: I met Libby (pictured right) for the first time in the summer of 2006 at the Heidelberg on a ladies’ night. Three months later, we met again at Leopold Brothers, which no longer exists but was a brewpub with board games. Finally, the third time we met — again, three months later — at a dinner party of a mutual friend, it stuck. She asked me out to a Detroit Tigers game for our first date. There was a lot of flirtation, but it was complicated as I was moving to Boston that summer for an internship.

We kept in touch and then started dating in earnest in the fall of 2007. When I graduated and moved to Los Angeles for work, she was still finishing her Ph.D., so we did long-distance until she finished her dissertation. We then moved to Chicago. We had a marriage ceremony in May 2012 and a civil union in April 2013, and we converted our civil union into a legal marriage in May 2014. The power of threes in our relationship. We moved back to Ann Arbor with our 6-year-old son in 2017, as Libby is now an associate professor at U-M’s School of Information. I now work from home for a think tank on LGBTQ policy. All roads lead back to Ann Arbor!

Danielle Davis, ’99, and Edward Davis, ’95

Danielle Davis, '99, And Edward DavisDanielle: I met Edward in October 1997 at a house party I attended with friends. I was an undergrad in LSA, and he had returned to U-M to get his teaching certificate after earning his bachelor’s degree two years earlier. The following week, he asked my friend for my number. She gave it to him, and he called. Turns out, he had to see a movie for one of his classes and he asked me if I wanted to go with him — one hour before the movie was scheduled to start! I said no, but we later made a date to go out with friends.

When we met, Edward was a graduate student assistant for the football team, having played on the team when he was an undergrad. That meant that football was a major part of his life that fall. In fact, our first trip together was to the Rose Bowl, when U-M beat Washington State and claimed the National Championship. We married three years later and now live with our two sons in South Carolina, where I’m a pediatrician and Edward is a middle school principal.

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Barb Penney, ’76, and Chris Penney, ’72

Barb And Chris Penney 299x332Chris: In the fall of 1981, a colleague invited me and a guest to the UM-MSU football game. Knowing that Barb was a U-M alumna and a rabid Wolverines fan, I decided to invite her to come with me. We were both employed in hospital administration at a community hospital on the west side of Michigan. Barb, realizing the value of the tickets, could not determine if I was offering to sell them to her or was asking her on a date. Awkward moment! I intended it to be a date.

While entering Spartan Stadium along with nearly 78,000 other fans, we ran into our boss, who was unaware of the budding workplace romance. Second awkward moment!

Michigan won 38-20, and the rest — as they say — is history. We relocated often for our careers and, after retiring to south Texas for 12 years, returned to Michigan in 2006. We have been married for 38 years and hope to score tickets for the game this fall to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the momentous occasion.

Carol and Mark Casmer, ’88

Carol and Mark Casmer, ’88Mark: I met Carol on the Dearborn campus before she moved on to finish her degree at Wayne State University. We never dated when we were both at U-M but became good friends, dated each other’s friends, and were active with the WUMD radio station. But we eventually found our way to each other and started dating in 1989. Within a few months, we were engaged, and we married in 1991.

Years later, our oldest daughter, Sydney, also attended UM-D. And thus began our family’s second UM-D love story. She met her fiancé, Caleb Menna, while she was studying for her degree in health and human services and he earned a social studies degree with a teaching certificate. Both graduated in December, and they married in January.

If all goes as planned, our youngest daughter, Lindsey, will also attend UM-D this fall. So we might have yet another UM-D love story soon!

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