Colgate Love Stories

Spring 2018
Dave Reed ’86, P’16 and Debbie Merrick ’86, P’16

I came to Colgate in August 1982, and spent my first two weeks on a cot in “Camp Huntington” with 31 other first-year football players. It was one large, sweaty room stuffed to the seams with gridiron dreamers, at a time when Jack and Diane ruled the world. Our cots were separated only by “nightstands” (upside-down garbage cans); I was situated between current Board of Trustees Chairman Dan Hurwitz ’86, P’17,’20, and Long Island’s best, Neil Viserto ’86.

Move-in day was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, and I remember being thrilled to escape … happy to lug my belongings up three flights to 300 Cobb in Bryan Complex. That afternoon, after meeting my roommate, Tad Brown ’86, and saying goodbye to my parents, Neil came down from Stillman Hall to spend our first free Saturday in weeks healing and hanging out. When Neil walked into my room, he announced to Tad and me: “Hey, there are two good-looking blondes in the room at the end of the hall.”

In short order, the three of us were standing in the doorway of 304 Cobb, the new home to second-generation Colgater Debbie Merrick ’86 and her roommate, Vicky Anderson ’86. (I found out later that Debbie’s father, Harold “Hap” Merrick ’54, was an All-American soccer goalie; his name is displayed on the banners in Reid Athletic Center.) Debbie and I spent all afternoon and evening talking, exploring the dorm, meeting other students, and just generally getting to know one another. I was smitten.

The next day, Tad, Debbie, Vicky, and I decided that, with Monday being Labor Day and classes not starting until Tuesday, we would walk downtown to the bars (yes, the drinking age was 18). It was on that walk that I told Vicky, “I’m going to marry your roommate. She just doesn’t know it yet.” It had been but 24 hours, but I knew.

Debbie and I dated through college and were married in 1990. We fondly remember Vicky regaling all in attendance with this unique Colgate love story on May 4, 1990, at our rehearsal dinner. We now have three awesome kids, one of whom became a third-generation Colgate alumnus in 2016.

— Dave Reed ’86, P’16 (and Debbie Merrick ’86, P’16)