Colgate Love Stories

Nancy Schulte and Skip Cornelius

Skip Cornelius ’80 and Nancy Schulte ’80

The first time I remember laying eyes on Nancy Schulte ’80, it was first year and I was looking for a free terminal in the computer center in Lathrop Hall. She was using one of the work stations. Nancy had prematurely gray hair, and I remember thinking, “Why is this older woman taking up limited space here when students need to work on their assignments?” Little did I know that this old lady was destined to become my “old lady.”

It turned out that we had mutual friends, so we soon became better acquainted. Meanwhile, Nancy had convinced the athletics department to let her teach a ballroom dance class that would count toward students’ phys ed requirements. It was when I took that class that I became interested in her as more than a friend; however, one of my closest friends was interested in her, too, so I kept my distance. In the spring semester of our sophomore year, Nancy studied abroad in London. Before she left, I had a heart-to-heart with the aforementioned friend, who had since become aware of my interest in Nancy, and he bowed out.

For the next year and a half, it seemed like we were always apart: Nancy abroad in London, summer in different places, separate study groups that took me to Dijon and her to Granada. Finally, we got to spend senior year together on campus, as dorm co-presidents in Cutten.

Just before graduation, prompted by the sudden awareness that we were headed off in different directions, we decided to become engaged, with a plan to marry in two years after we both completed our graduate studies. Because that decision was spontaneous, I did not have a ring to give her at that time. That was corrected when I presented one to her on the Village Green during a visit to Hamilton that summer.

Our Colgate love story culminated in June ’82 when we were married at Ketchum Church in Hamilton’s Americana Village, with legendary philosophy and religion professor R.V. Smith presiding, and the reception at (where else?) the Colgate Inn. To commemorate our 25th anniversary, we renewed our vows on a Tahitian cruise with our three children attending, one of whom was then a Colgate junior.

We never did kiss on the Willow Path bridge (we weren’t aware of that tradition), but we did just about everywhere else, so maybe that counts, too. Thirty-five years later, it seems to be working.

— Skip Cornelius ’80

Are you a married Colgate couple? If so, we want to hear your love story, whether you had your first kiss on Willow Path or didn’t first meet until years after graduation. Tell us your story in 400 words or less, and send a (current or past) photo to: the Colgate Scene at or 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346.