As Valentine’s Day approached this year, I began to brainstorm post ideas incorporating both our beloved university, JMU, and Valentine’s Day. Then it hit me. Why not reach out to couples who started their journey together on our very own campus? Whether they met freshman year in the dorms, through mutual friends, or kindled their romance post-graduation; all of these alumni offer unique, touching stories. After posting on JMU Nation, a popular Facebook group for JMU alumni, fans, and students alike- I was blown away by the outpouring of responses. Take a look at a few of the many touching JMU love stories I received:
Alli (’11) and Chris (’12) Freeman
Chris and Alli first met at Orientation in 2008. She was Chris’s FROG during his freshman year orientation. The two remained friends throughout college and reconnected at homecoming in 2012. Alli was living in Philly at the time and Chris was in D.C. He came up to visit for their first date, where they spent the first half of the day watching a JMU football game on TV.
Fast forward 3 years, and the two were back on campus celebrating their anniversary. Chris brought Alli over to the kissing rock and got down on one knee. They tied the knot this past October and made sure to grab a JMU picture and play the fight song!
Alli was an SCOM major with a PR concentration and Chris was a Management major. They currently live in Alexandria, VA but are going to relocate to the Philadelphia area in the coming months. Alli works in Student Affairs at Marymount University doing administrative and communications work. Chris works in IT for the federal government.
Take a look at Alli & Chris’ JMU wedding:
Hunter (’07) and Lindsay Jarman Dunlo (’09 and ’10)
Hunter Dunlo (‘07) and Lindsay Jarman (‘09, ‘10) started dating at JMU in the fall of 2006. Their first official date was at Dave’s Taverna. Hunter majored in English; Lindsay majored in IDLS for her Bachelor’s and Master’s. Both Lindsay and Hunter are now teachers in Virginia Beach. The two got married on campus in the Arboretum in 2011. The couple expressed their love for JMU in the naming of their dog whose middle name is Bridgeforth and the first names of their children: Duke and Harrison – get it, like Harrisonburg?
JoAnn (’79) and Bernie (’78) Dean
Paul (’86) and Michelle (’87) Hux
Several years after graduating from JMU, Paul and Michelle Hux met at a homecoming event in 1989. Paul was attending law school at the University of Richmond with Michelle’s best friend at the time. Michelle’s younger sister was living in the Tri Sigma house. Michelle was also a sister of Tri Sigma during her time at JMU! Paul considers their first date to be at a party, when he stopped Michelle and asked her to dance.
Then the rest was history! Paul is now a partner of the law firm Allen, Allen, Allen, and Allen in Richmond and Michelle is a stay-at-home mom, working part-time as a health coach/nutritionist. They have three children- including their son Dustin, a recent JMU graduate in 2017. Their youngest is a junior in high school currently debating between attending JMU and Virginia Tech.
Rob and Alicia Lacey (’09)
Rob and Alicia Lacey were both JMU graduates from the class of 2009. Their first date was seeing a movie at the Grafton Stovall Theater on campus followed by a bite to eat at Chili’s afterward. Rob majored in Anthropology and Alicia in Marketing.
The two currently live in Northern Virginia where Alicia works as a wedding photographer and Rob works for the federal government. They have a 3-month-old son and future Duke, Landon. Landon’s middle name is James (like James Madison) to pay homage to JMU, where the couple met and fell in love.
Caitlin & Kyle Schwizer (’13)
Photo courtesy of Kristi Mckeag Photography
Caitlin and her husband met at JMU during their junior year, both graduates of the class of 2013. Caitlin first saw Kyle from a distance at a JMU football tailgate. After conversing with mutual friends, the two ended up with each other’s cell phone numbers. This led to Facebook friend requests and eventually, Kyle asked Caitlin out to lunch on campus. Their first date was grabbing lunch in Festival on campus, so how appropriate is it that the two had their engagement pictures and wedding reception there! This Valentine’s Day, Kyle and Caitlin plan to have a casual evening, cooking dinner and watching a movie at their home in Stephen’s City, Virginia.
Quin & Erin Sweeney (’13)
Quin and Erin met back in 2010 through the JMU nursing program and clicked immediately. They went mini-golfing and then took a trip downtown to Billy Jack’s for some sticky nugs. The Sweeney’s reside in Richmond, Virginia and both work at VCU hospital only two floors apart. As far as Valentine’s Day plans, the couple will most likely be working but always make time for a nice dinner and perhaps a bouquet of flowers.
Amanda (’94) & Chris (’93) Lawing
At a reception for early admitted students in Northern Virginia, Amanda was introduced to Chris whose parents served on the Parent’s Council at the time. Amanda was attending the reception with her sister and celebrating her early admittance to the university. Chris’s mom and Amanda began to converse and she asked if Amanda would like to meet her son, who was a JMU freshman at the time.
The two hit it off instantly and Chris found Amanda’s address in the guestbook after talking nearly the entire duration of the reception. Chris began writing letters to Amanda and showed her around campus when she visited JMU for Choices. The two served as Student Ambassadors and dated their entire time at JMU. This June, the Lawing’s will celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary. Funny enough, the couple now serves on the parent’s council together just as Chris’ parents did when they were first introduced.
Katie & Anthony Frye (’12)
Katie and Anthony met during their senior year at James Madison and immediately fell in love. The two JMU enthusiasts had their engagement photos done throughout campus and even had a JMU-themed wedding at the arboretum in 2015. The Frye’s are spending their Valentine’s Day this year welcoming a baby girl (and hopefully future Duke) into the family, as Katie is due any day now. Congrats Katie and Anthony!
Charlotte (’07) & Will (’13) Jones
Happy Valentine’s Day from The Daily Duke! Thank you all for your submissions, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your JMU love stories and looking at the heartwarming images.
Feel inspired to share your own JMU love story? Comment below!