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From BW classmates to soulmates

On this Valentine's Day 2021, we celebrate the more than 2,000 alumni couples. Here are a few stories from YJ4Ls who found love at BW.

Two Invitations - One Perfect Match

Skip Parks '75 was a sophomore, and Rosey (Nisonger) Parks '77 was a freshman when they accepted separate invitations to the same Alpha Sigma Phi party where the couple first met. From there, they continued their BW adventure together. Skip worked on The Exponent (student newspaper) and the Grindstone (yearbook), while Rosey took to the stage in several operas, musicals and student recitals during their time at BW.

"After almost 44 years of marriage, three sons, a beautiful daughter-in-law and various career moves that took us to California Polytechnic State University, our life together is still great!" Rosey reports. They continue to be proud annual supporters of the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music.

The Dream Match-up

Owen Davidson '64 and Joan (Worth) Davidson '67 met at BW in the mid-1960s. It was the athletic dream match-up - the Yellow Jacket football captain and the homecoming queen and future Hall of Famer. Both were physical education majors and pursued the teaching and coaching profession. The Ohio weather sent them south in 1968, and they settled in sunny New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where they raised three children and still live an active life.

The good life continues after 55 years of marriage and a number of grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. They have maintained ties with BW and are faithful Yellow Jacket followers and supporters. Yellow Jackets for Life remains their motto. "We try to pay back and pay it forward, keeping up with the activities, accomplishments and development of our respected university," Joan said.

From Tears to Scotland

Isaac Hopkins '16 and Meredith (Hudock) Hopkins '16 were freshman Conservatory of Music students when they met. Isaac was majoring in trumpet performance and music education, and Meredith was majoring in violin performance.

Isaac, who was headed to the Con to practice as he did most nights, saw Meredith for the first time sitting on the Conservatory steps in tears. His typical reaction when seeing someone upset is to stand clear and not get involved. But when he saw Meredith, he stopped to talk and to make sure she was OK. They started hanging out, walking to and from the Con together and watching movies on the projector in a Conservatory classroom with friends. The couple began officially dating in November 2012 after their first kiss outside Saylor Hall.

When Meredith was studying in Scotland for her master's degree, Isaac visited and proposed in a graveyard. They married in July 2018. "BW gave us the opportunity to meet, become friends and gave us a family outside our own," Meredith said. The couple has remained connected by teaching at the BW Community Arts School summer camps over the past several years.

High School Sweethearts

Unlike our other romance stories, John Hoyt '67 and Dee (Lisowski) Hoyt '67 met in high school when they were sixteen. Dee had her eye on John and asked him to a dance. He accepted, and since then, they have been a great pair. They continued their journey in life and as sweethearts, enrolling at Baldwin-Wallace College. Dee, an English major, and John, a science major, say BW expanded their world through their courses, cultural events and exposure to diversity in various ways. The couple married while at BW during their sophomore year in 1964.

John went on to medical school and has been very successful in the world of critical care medicine. They have been running a critical care physician group, Pittsburgh Critical Care Associates, Inc., together since 1989. John and Dee have continued their culturally diverse life during their 56 years of marriage. "BW has offered lifelong learning," Dee said. They continue playing key roles at BW. John is a member of the BW Board of Trustees, and Dee is a member of Women for BW and serves on the steering committee.

The Life-Changing Stitch

Tom Jones '66 and Penny (Carpenter) Jones '66 met early in the first quarter of their freshman year. Before they met, Penny's close friend mentioned seeing "tall, blonde Tom Jones" at an event. In the second quarter, they were in the same botany class where Penny noticed a button missing from Tom's shirt. She offered to sew it back on using the only sewing skill she had. Later, the couple began dating and became engaged their senior year; they married on July 1, 1967.

The pair enjoyed many extracurricular activities at BW. Penny was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, Greek Council and The Exponent staff, as well as a senior class officer. "I left BW realizing, as a result of the courses I took, that everything is connected to and related to everything else, a concept that had eluded me previously," she said. Tom kept busy as a member of Alpha Sigma and captain of the men's tennis team. They have two daughters and four grandchildren who are the "apples of our eyes."

BW is a significant part of their heritage, and that is why they remain so connected to the university. "BW is simply in my blood, and if I can assist a current student to have as wonderful a time at BW as I did, that makes me very happy," Penny said. "Tom has fond memories of BW, too - being there launched him into a master's program at Teachers College, Columbia University, and played a role in earning his Ed.D. at Rutgers University. Both of us had very satisfying and gratifying careers, and we hope that many current and future BW grads will, too."

A Birthday to Remember

Corinne (Halberg) Lindway '11 and Lexi Lindway '10 met at BW in 2008 when they both lived in Lang Hall. They were happy to see each other and sit together in the same interpersonal communications class. After summer 2010, both returned to campus, and Corinne invited Lexi to her 21st birthday celebration at Mike's Bar & Grille, where they got reacquainted. "From that point on, we became inseparable," Lexi said. The couple became engaged in 2011 and married in 2013.

"BW means a lot to us not just because it's where we met, but it's also where we got to discover our true selves. We made friends that became family, and we couldn't imagine what our life would be like without the experience," Lexi shared. The couple stays engaged by supporting BW where they can, including donating directly and attending programs like theatre performances. They are active on BW's social media pages to see what new developments are happening at the university, graduates' accomplishments and ways BW is looking to improve our community and our world.

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