The University of Texas at Austin
  • In Love at UT

    By Tracy Mueller
    Published: Feb. 11, 2014

    UT engagement

    Photo courtesy Ashley Hayes, B.A.’10, who shared her engagement story: “He already had the ring for me and planned to propose after football season but just couldn’t wait. So in the miserable hot sticky August weather, we dressed up in burnt orange and went to the tower. I honestly knew it was coming! Sure enough, he proposed in the middle of the main mall, right in front of the tower. My sister, also a UT grad, took pictures from afar, hiding, until I said yes and then she rushed up to capture the moment!”

    The University of Texas at Austin is one of the world’s leading research universities, populated by some mind-blowingly smart and accomplished scholars. But that doesn’t mean we’re not in tune with matters of the heart as much as the mind.

    In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week we’re celebrating love at UT. We’ve gathered alumni and student love stories (including two proposals caught on camera), the best campus date spots and a roundup of love-themed research. Because, as the saying goes, smart is sexy.

    Longhorns in Love

    “Scott proposed in what was then CBA 3.214 during a Business Council meeting my senior year in February of 1997. We were married in 1998 and are very happily married, raising three little Longhorns. My great-aunt and great-uncle also became engaged on the UT campus. Gerry proposed to Lou behind Littlefield fountain. They were married for 40+ years.”

     —Nicole Stonehouse, BBA ’97

    “After talking for a while, Dan invited me to be his date to Bill’s wedding, which was held at the UT Alumni center. At the reception, we went for a walk outside and had our first kiss right by the Bevo statue. After three years of long-distance dating and five total years of dating, we got married on July 5, 2013. I now teach in the math department at UT, and we’re hoping to stay in Austin for a long time.”

    —Alisa Havens Walch, M.A. ’08

    “My husband and I met on the UT campus in the fall of 1967. He was a sophomore living in Brackenridge. I was a freshman, living in Littlefield. There was a mixer at the very beginning of the fall semester at Littlefield, and the guys from Brackenridge were invited. I decided to go (even though my roommate demurred). When I went into the living room where the mixer was being held, I saw another girl I knew talking to two guys. So, I went over and introduced myself. One of those guys was Jim. He and I chatted for a while, then he invited me to the next football game. Two years later (1969) we got married. One daughter (B.S. ’01) and 44 years later, we’re still married! Jim says the invitation to the mixer said there’d be food. When the guys got there, the “food” was Popsicles! He says, ‘I went for food and I got you!’

    And a note about my roommate who wouldn’t go to the mixer: after Jim and I started dating, we introduced her to one of his friends from Brackenridge Dorm. They got married in the fall of 1968 and, several kids later, are still married!”

     —Mary, B.S. ’70, M.Ed., ’76, and Jim, B.S. ’72, Milner

    “With many of Sadie’s friends in town for the game, tickets in hand and ring in pocket, we made our way to Darrell K Royal Stadium. When the band started playing ‘The Eyes of Texas’ (five minutes before Matt had anticipated), it took just a bit of scrambling on his part to tell Sadie how much he loved her, find the ring buried deep in Matt’s pocket and bare down on one knee. Before she knew what happened and it took her a while, as she was so confused about all of this stimuli she had gladly said ‘Yes!’ Shortly after the proposal Matt was accepted and offered a fellowship to UT’s LBJ school where he graduated in May 2013. They were married 9/10/11 (yes, during a UT football game) in Kansas City, Mo., with burnt orange bridesmaids.”

    —Sadie, B.S. ’05, and Matthew, M.P.Aff. ’13, Cornelius

    “I was a graduate student in music and human learning, and my wife was an undergrad English student with a minor in Asian Studies. We worked together at the Starbucks on 24th and Nueces. Not long after she was transferred to my store, I asked her out on a date. We used to meet up for lunch at the stadium twice a week — we loved Hat Creek Burger so much that we requested their food truck deliver handmade burgers to guests at our wedding!”

    —Jay, M.A. ’12, and Beth, B.A. ’12, Carlin

    Best Campus Dates

    The love-struck commenters at /r/UTAustin compiled the most romantic spots on campus. A few of their suggestions:

    * The Blanton Museum of Art – free for UT students, staff and faculty

    * The top level of the Manor Garage – “great view of downtown Austin at night.”

    * Waller Creek behind the Alumni Center

    * Evening stroll to the Capitol and back

    * Comedy clubs Gigglepants and Snafu

    * Butler School of Music classical concerts, like this Valentine’s Day show

    * Tower tours

    Gigglepants UT improv

    “We dated a year and he proposed at the top of the UT Tower on March 26, 2011! We just celebrated two years married and had our first baby in August (definitely a future Longhorn)!”

     —Katie Landin, B.A. ’06

    “As members of Alpha Phi Omega, we’ve had great times running the world’s largest Texas flag with our friends, taking pictures with Bevo, and getting our horns up. We both love UT nearly as much as we love each other!”

     —Betsy Roche, senior English student, and Colin Christ, B.S. ’13

    “Me and Justin met our freshman year in 2008 when we tried out for the marching band together. We became best friends very fast and in 2011 we started dating. We are still happily together. This past fall we attended our first Longhorn Band Alumni game and we are excited to go every year. We couldn’t be more proud of our time at UT, and we are very thankful for meeting at school and falling in love.”

     —Victoria Hurley, B.A. ’12

    “I met my husband as we both ran on UT’s intramural marathon team in ’03 while training for the ’04 marathon. We are still running after each other and now our two children! Love and Hook ‘em!”

     —Emily Garrison-Grigsby (B.S.N. ’04, M.S.N. ’07) and Will Grigsby (Ph.D. ’08)

    “[My husband and I] started dating in 2010 during Texas-OU weekend and knew pretty quickly that there would be wedding bells in our future. On April 15, 2012, we went to the Tejas House where we had first met years ago, and suddenly several of the Tejas Braves circled around me, just as they do on March 2 for Texas Independence Day — a fun campus tradition where the Braves wear suits to campus, find unsuspecting ladies, sing ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,’ and hand them a yellow rose. But this time, they all had red roses, and Kyle got down on one knee with shiny diamonds! Kyle and I have both stayed very involved in campus life, and we hope to one day send our kids to the best university in Texas.”

     —Muneezeh K. Carpenter, B.A. ’11

    Longhorn Aggie House Divided wedding cake

    Lisa (Levine) Rubin’s “House Divided” wedding cake.

    “He went to Texas A&M (don’t judge!), but we were both part of Hillel on our campuses. Texas Hillel hosted Shabbat 1000 at the Student Union, inviting students from Hillels around South Texas. At the start of dinner, there was a fire drill in the Union! We all had to evacuate to the West Mall. I saw my friend Jason Scheib standing next to my now-husband Eric Rubin. I asked Jason to introduce us, and the rest is history. I knew he loved me when he took me to the Texas at UCLA football game a month after we got married.”

     —Lisa (Levine) Rubin, B.S. ’03, M.Ed. ’04

    “I met my husband, Matt McCullough, in the Longhorn Band in 1988. Each year we both returned for the Longhorn Alumni Band football game, and in 1993 we began dating after this event. In 1994, Matt had an engagement written into the halftime show in which we were marching. This is the only engagement that has been written into a LHB or LHAB show. We will be spending our 20th anniversary with the Longhorn Alumni Band in England performing in the New Year’s Day parade with LHAB! My life is fantastic today because of going to UT, joining the band and meeting my awesome husband!!”

     —Linda McReynolds McCullough, BBA ’90 and Matt McCullough, B.A. ’93

    “My wife Teena and I fell in love at UT in the Spring of 2002, when I was a freshman at the University of North Texas and she was a freshman at UT. I transferred to UT the next fall. One night in the spring of 2003, I carved our names into one of the railings around the East Mall Fountain while waiting for the Wickersham Lane shuttle bus. Someone walked by and asked me if I was ‘making my mark’ and I answered yes. We both graduated in 2005, and now we live in Tulsa, Okla. I proposed at the Driskill Hotel in July of 2011 the original plan was to propose at the East Mall Fountain, but it was closed that day due to construction. We visit Austin about once a year and we always spend some time walking through campus. Needless to say, UT made its mark on us, too.”

     —Sean, B.A. ’05, and Teena, B.A. ’05, Killian   

    In love at UT

    Note to lovebirds: please choose non-vandalization methods to woo your sweetheart.

    “Murray suggested that we take a picture in front of the UT Tower (which is also my favorite spot on campus!) He deftly set up a camera and tripod before coming to join me for the picture. It was then that he asked me to marry him on the very campus where we met nine years earlier. It could not have been a more perfect moment. Now, when I see photos of the iconic tower, I am imbued with immense pride as that was where I celebrated graduating from UT, as well as immense love, as that was the same place where one question changed our lives forever. Hook ‘em, and Happy Valentine’s Day!”

    —Erica Rosentraub, B.A. ’04, and Murray Shapiro, B.S. ’04

    UT Tower engagement

    Murray Shapiro, B.S. ’04, pops the question to Erica Rosentraub, B.A. ’04

    And here is our Valentine’s gift to you – new Facebook cover images, free for you to download and share. (Click each image to get the full size.)

    UT Facebook cover

    UT Facebook cover

    UT Facebook cover

    • Quote 2
      Lesly said on Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:01 p.m.
      I am in love with all those stories. I hope that happen to me, Because Me and my boyfriend we're graduating from KFHS Houston '14 and we planning to go to UT and we wait we can share our stories in the future as the last histories written :'D
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      Nicole said on Feb. 26, 2014 at 9:03 a.m.
      Beautiful story. Love is in the air, let's hope it reaches out and everyone gets shot by cupid's arrow. Thanks to everyone who shared their love stories.
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      Michele said on Feb. 17, 2014 at 11:31 a.m.
      I met my husband in San Antonio the summer before his last semester at UT in 2005. We knew it was something special when I found out he was a Longhorn and I was working towards going to UT for film school. Our courtship included UT basketball and football games and when we were married in Sept.2007 his groom cake was burnt orange and we sang the Eyes of Texas at our reception. I finally made it to UT in 2011 and we happily celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary at DKR with a winning football game. Now that we are both Alumni we joke that while I may have graduated with a higher GPA he had the better football and basketball season (Vince Young and a Championship. We are looking forward to our future lil longhorns!
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      Laqueefa Jones said on Feb. 16, 2014 at 6:43 p.m.
      I met my wonderful boyfriend while tailgating before a UT football game. We laughed a lot and talked a lot and just got along really well. That summer, we took a tour of the Capitol and the Clock tower and fell in love. We're getting married this September right here in Austin. So, as you can see, coming to UT was without a doubt the best decision I ever made!!
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      Jennifer said on Feb. 15, 2014 at 9:35 a.m.
      Its a great collection on Valentine's day. I and my husband loved reading this amazing love story at UT.
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      Adrian said on Feb. 15, 2014 at 12:19 a.m.
      Carla and I met and fell in love at UT in 1986. In 1990, we were married on the top of Mt. Bonnell at sunrise surrounded by friends and family. Today we live in Qatar and eagerly look forward to returning to Texas and being near our alma mater soon.
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      Jennie said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 8:50 p.m.
      My girlfriend and I met in our calculus class and fell in love while studying! That was 3 years ago! Now weŕe getting married in San Antonio and being with her at UT was absolutely wonderful! I can't wait until she becomes my wife!!
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      Billy Bob Jenkins said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 8:10 p.m.
      UT was an awesome place to meet people of all types, even the love of my life. My boyfriend and I fell in love while he courted me many years ago near the Tower. We've been together for 4 years and soon we're getting married at the Austin courthouse. Y'all are invited, ya hear?!
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      Cecile Stewart Crawford said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 7:46 p.m.
      I met Dave in the spring of 1950 - a blind date arranged by a Theta pledge mate, for a Jazz Concert...we dated from that time on, graduated in the Class of 1951, married in Feb. 1952, and were married 50 years before illness took him from me. He was one of the many Veterans just back from World War II. I was a junior transfer from Stephens College. Our favorite place to dance and meet our friends was called "The Shorthorn" , a small but lively place to meet friends for a pitcher of beer and lots of music. My father graduated from U.T. in 1926, I graduated in 1951, my brother in 1957, my son in 1978, daughter there in 1980, grandsons graduated in 2003 and 2005, grand-daughter in 2005.....lots and lots of Orange blood in our family. and we await the birth of our 5th generation-to-be Longhorn this spring! Hook 'em !!!
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      Jessica said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 7:40 p.m.
      Another beautiful love story which started on the 40 acres! <3
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      Lowell said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 3:02 p.m.
      My wife and I met at freshman chemistry in '87. We loved each other, UT and Austin then, and still do today. Each of our three sons were born here, two while I was in Law School, and one when my wife went back to finish her pre-med. Our oldest learned to walk and run at DKR when it was still open to the public.
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      Lauren Hug said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 1:23 p.m.
      I met my hubby a few weeks into my freshman year of college at UT. We ended up on the same Mock Trial team, were dating by Thanksgiving, and went through undergrad as a couple. We got engaged on February 13, 1998 (the same night we went to see Phantom of the Opera at Bass Concert Hall). He graduated in May '98 and started law school at UT that fall. I graduated in December '98. We were married in January '99, and I started law school at UT that fall. The first seven years of our love story were lived out in the shadow of the Tower. I love UT for a lot of reasons, but most of all for connecting me with the love of my life! Happy Valentine's Day!
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      Doreen said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 1:14 p.m.
      My boyfriend Alex and I met our freshman year in our intro to microeconomics class at UTC 4.112. We started dating quickly after that, and have no been together 2 years. We are so happily in love. People say it's so hard to find love in undergrad, but I found my soul mate.
    • Quote 2
      Michael Warren said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.
      Met my love and future wife at UT. We were pledging at the same time in the Fall of '88. I was pledging Alpha Phi Alpha and she was pledging Delta Sigma Theta. While we formally met while pledging, we didn't actually have a conversation until the following semester. And we have been together every since. 21 years married now. I love you Rachelle (Young) Warren
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      Roger Landeros said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:31 a.m.
      What's not to love about being in a relationship at UT! My then girlfriend and I went to UT from 1987-1992. For years, we had dinners together at Kinsolving and Jester, we went to parties organized by student organizations, we had strolls by the scenic areas of the LBJ library, went to church on Sundays right there on 21st street and we also caught movies at the movie theater that used to be on 24th & Guadalupe. We didn't have a car for years, but it didn't matter. Everything we needed was on campus or just across the street. Most of the time though, we studied together and probably rotated through all the libraries on campus over the years, but our favorite was the 6th floor of PCL. We studied till it closed at midnight then I would walk her to her dorm across campus at the Quad and I would bike back to my dorm at Roberts. We'll be married twenty years in May 2014 and now bring our 12 year old daughter for strolls through campus whenever we can! Roger Landeros, BS in Computer Science '92 and BA in Math '92
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      Paloma Diaz said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:08 a.m.
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      Ashley said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 9:25 a.m.
      I met my husband in 2007 when I started working for UTPD. He was a UT alum, who played football here, and after graduation he decided to stick around. Once I met him, I knew that he was the man I would marry. This June will be our 5 year anniversary. We have two wonderful little boys and I couldn't be happier. Thank you UT for my job and my husband ;)
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      Madilynn said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:39 a.m.
      I would like to acknowledge that heterosexual couples are not the only special or meaningful relationships that are formed at The University of Texas. The inclusive communities on campus, student as well as faculty and staff groups, have lead to countless life-long friendships and relationships. The failure to acknowledge such a large group of people on campus is disappointing. As an institution that leads, we should celebrate love at UT (which I think this article does seek to do) in all forms.
      • Quote 2
        Tracy Mueller said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 9:06 a.m.
        Thanks for your comment, Madilynn. The stories shared here are ones submitted by our fans on social media when we asked for stories of falling in love at UT. Please feel free to add to the mix or invite your loved ones to do the same. With such a large and diverse community, we know this sampling only scratches the surface of romantic tales!
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      Rick Smith said on Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:39 a.m.
      My boyfriend and I met at UT Austin 5 years ago when we were both in our senior year. We met at a party and talked into the wee hours of the night. In 6 months, we're getting married right here in Austin. Falling in love at UT has been wonderful!!!
    • Quote 2
      Kelly said on Feb. 13, 2014 at 9:18 a.m.
      My fiance and I met during a movie night in San Jac. Been engaged for three months now! (:
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      Sterling Wright said on Feb. 12, 2014 at 11:31 p.m.
      It was freshman year. I never had a girlfriend in my life. I was searching but I found everything that I was looking for. My first class for UT was calculus and it was at 8:00 AM. At first, I really thought that I was insane for signing up for the class at that time. My initial thought was that I will not do well and I will oversleep. However, it turns out that I was suppose to go to that class. Being the geek that I am, I always sit right in front of the class. I thought since I was at UT that there would be more nerds that would sit in the front but that was not the case since all the seats were taken behind me. Lo and behold, about five minutes before class started I met the love of my life. When she walked in with her long luscious brown hair and dreamy smile, I was at a lost for words. I guess that's why when she asked, "Is anyone sitting there?" I said, "Uhhhhh, no. You can but I mean there are other seats but this one is fine I think." She sat down and told me her name which was Kate. Her eyes were as gorgeous as the wine dark sea. Her face outdoes anything Michelangelo could have sculpted. But above all, her kindness and selflessness is why I will never stop loving her. I tell her that our love is like the universe; it never ends.
    • Quote 2
      Amy Downey said on Feb. 12, 2014 at 4:43 p.m.
      My husband and I met while we were both working at UT, on the loading dock at Jester. We have been happily married almost 29 years!
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      Ken said on Feb. 12, 2014 at 4:01 p.m.
      Shannon, my beloved wife of 30 years, and I met in a small US History class in 1978. We courted (that was the word in those days) on campus and at Barton Springs, graduated one and two years later, and wed in Austin a few years after that. And we are still happy to call Austin, and UT, our home.
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      Alan said on Feb. 12, 2014 at 11:53 a.m.
      My wife and I met at UT in 1985,while both living in Dobie dorm. We became great friends and went out on a couple of dates over the years, but finally during our senior year we starting dating seriously. After graduating we both moved to Atlanta, but made regular trips to Austin for football games and the like. In July 1991 we traveled to Austin to celebrate the 4th in our favorite place. After eating the best fajitas in town, at the Hyatt on the river we drove over to campus for an evening stroll. As we started walking up the steps to the Tower in got down on one knee and proposed to my best friend and live of my life. It's 21 years later, we've got 2 awesome boys (who have been appropriately brainwashed into being longhorns). In fact our oldest son is a Sr in high school and we're anxiously awaiting word from Austin add to whether we'll be adding another longhorn to the family. Happy Valentine's day to you all.
    • Quote 2
      Devon said on Feb. 12, 2014 at 8:48 a.m.
      My boyfriend and I met our first semester at UT in our FIG. We were both dating other people at the time and really had no interest in each other. Then we happen to bump into one another the first week of our Sophomore year, both newly single, and began chatting. Five years later we are still going strong and are now both employees at UT. :)
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