Colgate Love Stories

Summer 2020

A Relationship Rekindled

Black and white portrait of a young couple

Peter and I met in 1975. He was the program director at WRCU, and I was hired to update the music library. Sparks flew, and we became inseparable. Music was important to both of us, so we clearly remember our first concert together: Bruce Springsteen at Colgate in 1976. We were engaged in 1977, and though we never set a date, we planned to wed at Chapel House. 

Peter headed to Washington and Lee University law school in Virginia after he graduated. I joined him following my own commencement, earning my master’s in higher education counseling at the University of Virginia.

After we completed our graduate work, neither of us had jobs lined up. Peter’s Beta Theta Pi roommate and best friend Craig Benson ’76 was living in Utah, so we loaded up the car and headed west, just like Horace Greeley suggested. We didn’t care for Utah, so we headed back toward Virginia. Fortuitously, the car broke down in Denver, where we found an apartment and jobs and began our life as adults. Or at least he did. Admittedly, I was not ready for marriage, but at least I realized it. So, in 1982, I moved back east to earn my PhD in higher education administration, and we lost contact.

Fast forward to 2014 when I planned to attend a conference in Denver. I looked Peter up on the American Bar Association website and found that he was still living in the area. We met for dinner and enjoyed catching up on our families and activities. We’d both married and had daughters, although he was divorced. After that, we exchanged birthday and New Year’s greetings. In 2016, he moved to Vero Beach, Fla., which is an hour from Cocoa Beach, where I’d been wintering for years. We agreed to have lunch in both 2017 and 2018 while I was in the area. 

Shortly after our 2018 visit, my husband passed away. I decided that, with my recent retirement, I would spend the entire 2018–19 winter in Florida. During a visit when I was looking for a rental, I contacted Peter to arrange a get-together. Lunch at a restaurant was changed to lunch at his house, then to dinner. It didn’t take either of us long after meeting again to realize that the feelings we’d shared so many years ago never died. 

I arrived for dinner on May 15, 2018, and never left. I had a home in Virginia and 35 years of life there to wrap up, but by June 15, 2019, we were married — at Chapel House, where we were originally set to marry. In honor of our parents, who’d always believed in our relationship, our wedding invitation read: “Two moms high-fiving in heaven invite you to the long-awaited wedding…”

Our guests included Jane Pinchin [Thomas A. Bartlett Chair and Professor of English emerita], Lorraine and Tony Aveni [Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of astronomy and anthropology and Native American studies emeritus], and [Hamilton Mayor] RuthAnn Loveless MA’72, who officiated the ceremony. 

Altogether, our love story was 42 years in the making, from our first engagement to our wedding.