The Daily Campus sat down with three couples of different ages and generations that have met at UConn over the years. Here are their stories:
Mary and Anthony
Cathy and Mike
Diane and Dick
Mary: I’m an economics and political science double major, class of 2020.
Anthony: I’m a management and engineering for manufacturing major, also the class of 2020.
Cathy: My graduation year was ‘78. I majored in education.
Mike: Mine was ‘80 and I majored in finance.
Diane: [I was at UConn] 1964-1968. I was majoring in history and political science.
When and where did you meet your significant other?
Mary: My roommate was from Middletown and her friend from home was Ant’s neighbor in the dorms. We both lived in North but he lived in a different building. We were throwing a frisbee in the quad when we met Ant and his roommate and then we were a group of friends. At the time, Ant had a girlfriend, who was not me.
Anthony: I played baseball with a bunch of kids from Middletown and they were friends with that mutual friend, so I met him the second day at UConn. Then we all came together.
Cathy: We met at the dormitory. I was moving into a new room between semesters of my senior year. It was Mike’s sophomore year.
Mike: It was December of ‘77. I also worked in the dorm, in the kitchen as a waiter. [Note: This used to be a thing.]
Diane: My brother-in-law introduced Dick and I in East Hartford. They worked together there.
How long have you been together?
Mary: Officially, a year and, like, a week. But we’ve kind of been together for like a year and 2 months, 3 months.
Cathy: 40 years. We’ll be married for 37 in May.
Mike: Whatever that winter was, we got together the following spring. So that would’ve been February of ‘78, I guess. Holy s*** that’s a long time.
Diane: Fifty years. We met in 1967, somewhere around the middle of May.
What was your most memorable date on campus?
Mary: We’re big Blaze fans. We’re also really into ice skating now. We’ve done movies at the Student Union theater.
Cathy: We saw Marcel Marceau at Jorgensen. That was our first date and then we went to Chuck’s Steakhouse for dinner.
Mike: That was sporting back then, that was big dough back then. That was like a 20 dollar meal.
Diane: Back then, there was nothing in Storrs. We’d have to go off campus to Willimantic to go out to dinner or go on dates and everything. Campus itself was very boring if you weren’t a student, so when we went on dates we’d go off campus. If you didn’t go to UConn, you didn’t want to hang out in the library all the time. So we’d end up in Hartford or Willimantic or Springfield.
What is your favorite memory together on campus?
Mary: This is really small but, like, when we first started dating we both lived in North and we’d always have to go back and forth between the buildings so whenever I see the doors over there, it brings back memories.
Anthony: We were walking back from Storrs Center in January and the big tree by the lake was lit up. She wanted to go sit on the swing. But I waited until we got back to her room [to kiss her and ask her to be my girlfriend]. I also enjoy ice skating because we’re both people that like to be good at things and we’re both not great at ice skating but we’ve gotten better. We learned how to ice skate together.
Cathy: Just sitting out at Mirror Lake.
Mike: My favorite memory was making out in the dorm room.
Mike: Fine, say Mirror Lake, that’s original. But in all seriousness, just hanging out at South Campus.
Diane: Campus was really different back then. There were no restaurants or grocery stores like there are now. I used to live in the French B dorm, and it’s no longer there. It was in South Campus, near where the lake is. My room faced Mirror Lake. Dick and I would go sit by the lake and talk sometimes.
How did you balance your relationship and a busy school schedule?
Mary: It’s a lot of “Hey, are you around? Where are you right now?” We have each other’s locations, so sometimes it works out that we’ll be around the same part of campus and eat together. We’ve recently been trying to plan activities to do together instead of just sitting in the dorm because sometimes it gets monotonous.
Anthony: We also do homework together. It’s very exciting. We’ll sit and be together.
Mary: We took classes together.
Anthony: It didn’t go well.
Cathy: It was easy.
Mike: It was hard for me because Cathy went home every weekend. Also, we were only at Storrs together for a few months, from February until May.
How did you manage to see each other off-campus? Was it a challenge?
Mary: Not really, we live 45 minutes away from each other, so it’s not too bad. I took a class in the summer and he was working every day so that month was kind of tricky, when things get busy. It wasn’t hard and it was exciting because whenever we saw each other there was something going on. It’s fun to see each other every day but it’s kind of nice that it’s special over break.
Anthony: It’s a really easy drive but also we like to go to movies and the movie theater is halfway between our houses so we’ll meet there and see where it goes from there. Over the summer we went to Cape Cod together so that was nice.
Mike: When she graduated it was difficult. It was a lot of travel. It was a challenge because of the distance. I also had an internship in California for like four months my junior year, so that was more separation. We used telephone, principally, to stay in touch and it was very expensive. We used to call each other after 11 p.m. because the rates went down. We had “tricks” for letting the other person know we had arrived at our destinations without incurring a cost. It was unique to the time period and limited communication services.
Diane: He would commute from Granbury or Hartford to see me every weekend. He’d pick me up on campus and we used to go to a little club in Willimantic. We had friends that had an apartment off campus so we’d go have parties there, too.
Any advice for someone looking to find love at UConn?
Mary: Don’t think about it too much. If you like someone’s vibe just hang out with them, keep talking to them. For us it happened naturally. The situation in which you meet someone doesn’t set the tone for everything. If you meet each other in class, it’s not lame to keep talking to them.
Anthony: Or if a frisbee accidentally hits you in the face while your meeting someone, don’t worry about it. Just kidding, she’s really good at frisbee. She can catch things now. But just do the things that you like to do and you’ll find someone else that likes that also. What better way to find someone that you enjoy spending time with than by doing things together that you like to do.
Cathy: Be open. Get involved.
Mike: Don’t start looking for dates in the library. Get to know different people in different social situations so you can find someone that’s compatible. It’s easier now that there’s so much going on at the school, compared to when we were there. When you make [a friend] for life, whether it’s your husband or wife or whoever you meet, that’s a good thing. And I think UConn’s the kind of place you can do that, meet a lot of people and experience a lot of things. It certainly makes UConn a memorable experience when you meet the love of your life there.