The 1979 union reunion

Feb 6, 2004

For 19 couples who graduated in 1979, Kettering/GMI was more than just a school where one might earn a top-flight engineering or business management degree. For these people, it was the place where they also found their soul mate.

For 19 couples who graduated in 1979, Kettering/GMI was more than just a school where one might earn a top-flight engineering or business management degree. For these people, it was the place where they also found their soul mate.

Not too long ago, Scott Donegan '79 remarked to fellow alums and Kettering staffers at an alumni event that the class of 1979 appeared to have a high number of couples who met at Kettering, married, and are still together. In fact, at least one of these families has watched as one of their children headed to Kettering following graduation from high school. This got Donegan to thinking that perhaps a small story on this fact might be of interest to readers.

As it turns out, Kettering believes there are 19 couples from the class of 1979 who met at Kettering/GMI during their college years and married. Does this suggest that Kettering provides a more inviting environment in which romance can bloom and develop? Perhaps not, but it does show that for these couples having things in common like the same field is helpful in sustaining a union.

During school, many of them studied together, commiserated over the arduous credit load and challenging classes, took restful vacations together and ultimately graduated with one another. Kettering is pleased to learn that these people found their life mates while attending the institution. They are:

  • Justin and Ann (Bax) Ford of San Francisco, Calif.;
  • Nancy and Paul Hickey of West Chester, Ohio;
  • Susan and Mike London of Jenison, Mich.;
  • Vicki and James Lyles of Holly, Mich.;
  • Jacquelyn and Charles Polk of Williamsville, N.Y.;
  • Joanne and Jim Rainbolt of Haslett, Mich.;
  • Karen and Rich Rosen of Hilliard, Ohio;
  • Barb and Jim Schlie of Kokomo, Ind.;
  • Gary and Susan (Workman) Strohschein of Clemmons, N.C.;
  • Julie and Joe Tonietto of Troy, Mich.;
  • Carmen and Jack VanDyke of Spring Lake, Mich.;
  • David and Claudia Christie of Fort Collins, Colo.;
  • Steven and Kathleen Davis of Durand, Mich.;
  • Frank and Vicki Kays of Brighton, Mich.;
  • Kenneth and Deborah Smith of Goodrich, Mich.;
  • Ernest and Marcia Tong of Canton, Mich.;
  • Frederick and Patricia Weber of Commerce Township, Mich.;
  • Joan and Robert Williams Jr. of Gainsville, Fla.; and
  • Debra and Robert Yancy of Stone Mountain, Ga.

Is that all of the 1979 mergers? Or are we missing some? How about other unions related to campus? Please let Kettering know by sending an email to gerwin@kettering.edu.

Donegan noted that the class of 1979 will host its 25th class reunion in conjunction with Alumni Reunion Weekend May 21-23, 2004, and that it would be great to have this special group of classmates well represented. The reunion will be a good time to catch up with many classmates we have not see in years. So mark your calendars now!

Written by Gary Erwin
810-762-9538
gerwin@kettering.edu