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Love was in the air at BW

On this Valentine's Day 2020, we celebrate the more than 2,000 alumni couples. Here are a few stories from YJ4Ls who found love in the air at BW.

Building on their forever together

Photo of Ashley (Schuster) Dolnosich '15 and Josh Dolnosich '14Love was buzzing through campus when Ashley (Schuster) Dolnosich '15 and Josh Dolnosich '14 met at BW and began dating in November 2012. They were both in Greek life, spent much of their time working athletic events together, loved to stop at Buzzy's to grab their favorite sandwiches and hung out in E House watching movies.

They were married in June 2019 and are expecting a baby in July 2020. When asked what BW meant to them, Ashley said, "BW will always be the place we credit for allowing us to meet, as Josh was originally from Pennsylvania and I am from Ohio. We are appreciative of the education department at BW as we are both educators. I am a second-grade teacher. Josh is a health and physical education teacher."

Ashley and Josh stay connected to the University through BW friends and Greek life. "BW gave us a beginning to our forever together, careers, lifelong friendships and many great stories to share."

From Greek life to …

Photo of Meg (Duncan) Hodge '68 and John Hodge '66Greek life was more than just a campus connection when it brought Meg (Duncan) Hodge '68 and John Hodge '66 together. They started to date after John graduated and Meg was a senior. They married in December 1969 and settled in Raleigh, North Carolina, to raise their family of three children.

They had good BW friends who stayed in the Berea area, so they received updates about Berea, BW and friends. Visits to see them always included a walk or ride through campus.

John and Meg are active in BW alumni gatherings in the Raleigh area and even hosted an event. They have also been annual financial contributors to BW. They stated that since BW gave them educations and degrees, they want to help the University continue to do that for other students.

A prediction proved correct

Photo of Phyllis (Jeffery) Holmes '59 and Reg Holmes '58"I met a lovely girl who is just right for you." Those are the words that brought this perfect match together. Phyllis (Jeffery) Holmes '59 and Reg Holmes '58 met soon after those words were spoken at the BW coffee shop, and the prediction proved correct. Ten days later, Reg said, "I am going to marry you." And three years later, their 61-year marriage began.

Since BW brought them together, the University has fostered their continuing loyalty. Even after moving to Colorado, they have remained connected to their alma mater by giving to the Annual Fund and by attending many reunions over the years. The couple says, "Not only did we receive excellent training for our teaching careers, but we also gained precious lifelong friendships from our years at BW."

A matchmaker that made all the difference

Photo of Rhonda (Nagel) Hoon '71 and Larry Hoon '70Rhonda (Nagel) Hoon '71 and Larry Hoon '70 met through a blind date in 1969 arranged by some of Larry's fraternity brothers. They routinely send a Christmas card to their "matchmaker," thanking him for getting them together. They both agree, "Finding the right partner in life makes all the difference!"

When asked what BW means to them, Larry said, "Coach Lee Tressel always said that when our playing days were over, all we would have left are the memories. The late '60s were an incredible time in so many ways. Coming back to campus and seeing old friends always reminds me of how fortunate I am to have gone to BW. It was there that I learned what I was meant to do in life - probably the most important thing one can learn in college! At BW, a confluence of sports, coaches, faculty, friends and events of the day put me on a path for the next 38 years that I have never regretted - teaching and coaching. Couple this with finding the right life partner makes BW a magical place for us."

Larry's grandmother stepped up and made sure that he would have the funds to go to college when his parents could not afford it. Rhonda's parents were farmers and sacrificed greatly to make sure she would have a college education. They have been blessed and want to make sure others will have that opportunity. As BW continues to re-invent itself and meet the needs of society in a changing world, they are confident that any contribution they make will serve others.

From an only friend to a lifelong partner

Photo of Kathy (Van Auken) Kvet '71 and Ed Kvet '71Kathy (Van Auken) Kvet '71 and Ed Kvet '71 met in the BW marching band during the fall of their freshman year in 1967. As trumpet players, they were both assigned to a trumpet squad of four members - two freshmen and two seniors. Kathy recalls that since the other members were uninterested in new freshmen, her only friend had to be Ed. They dated throughout college and married in August 1973.

BW had a transformational impact on both their personal and professional lives. Kathy's professional career spanned 41 years as a music teacher for grades pre-K-12 in public and private schools as well as part-time university teaching. Ed's career was primarily in higher education, where he taught music and served in various administrative roles.

The couple sees personal philanthropy as a way to support BW and thank the professors who were mentors throughout their lives. Kathy and Ed have supported the Annual Fund as well as naming the BW Conservatory of Music in their estate plans. They encourage others to support BW so it can have a transformational impact on others too.

A not so trivial pursuit

Photo of Kaitlyn (Szorady) Robinson '17 and Scott Robinson '15Trivia was a perfect way to start some small talk for Kaitlyn (Szorady) Robinson '17 and Scott Robinson '15. They first met while Kait was working at BW's Packard Athletic Center. Scott came through Packard with his best friend, who happened to be the brother of Kait's friend. He asked his best friend to introduce him to his sister's cute friend. After their first conversation at a trivia night, they hit it off and have been together ever since.

When asked what BW means to them, they said, "BW means family and home to us. We both can't express enough how much BW has impacted our lives for the better. BW shaped us into the man and woman we are today. BW will always be our home and a place with amazing memories. We remain connected through sports, especially the football and basketball teams. We also stay in contact with the many friends we made during our four years at BW. We live five hours away and still take the time to stop in at the school for Community Day, lunches with friends and visits to the area."

Typical is not always ideal

Photo of Melissa (Sayers-Smart) Wodtly '98 and Scott Wodtly '00Melissa (Sayers-Smart) Wodtly '98 and Scott Wodtly '00 didn't have the typical "meet in college, date, fall in love, get married, have children and live happily ever after" story. Although their story began the very first day of Yellow Jacket women's soccer practice for Melissa and the first day of Yellow Jacket football practice for Scott, it was more than a decade before they had their first kiss.

A flirtatious friendship and sporadic BW outings with fellow Yellow Jackets throughout their time at Baldwin Wallace were the beginning for this couple. However, after graduation, they went their separate ways. Scott taught in Cleveland, married and started a family. Melissa married, started a family and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Years later, their paths crossed again at a BW alumni New Year's Eve event in Berea. They started providing support, comfort and guidance for each other and began a long-distance relationship prior to Melissa moving back to the U.S.

While Scott and Melissa did not start their dating journey at BW, their 26-year friendship, their love for each other, and their appreciation for attending and still being involved with BW are what makes their marriage unique. A very memorable wave, smile and "hello" on Bagley Road across from Finnie Stadium in 1994 was the spark that continued to smolder and grew to a steady flame to unite this successful blended family.

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