Welcome to Day 5 of Bleu Devil Love 2021
The Dillard University National Alumni Association (DUNAA) Awards Committee and the Dillard University Office of Alumni Relations will highlight married Dillard University couples that submitted entries.
We asked our Bleu Devil couples to tell us how their Dillard love story originated (while on the Oaks, after the Oaks with a Dillard alumnus, or they were married in Lawless Chapel). We had 40 couples respond and here are 8 of those couples.
James B. Stafford, IV ’99 and Ocpivia Johnson Stafford ’99
Celebrating 17 Years of Marriage
We meet sophomore year in Dr. Gavin’s English class.
Darlene Riggins White ’72 and Ronald Henry White ’71
Celebrating 49 Years of Marriage
Our paths crossed often between 1968 through 1971, since Ronald and I were both Chemistry majors from New Orleans (he from the lower 9 and I from Algiers) . We were both busy on and off campus but when we slowed down and talked in Stern Hall, the magic of connection and Love grew. He graduated and went to grad school. We missed each other so much we were married in November 1971.
Judy Pringle James ’86 and Roderick E. James ’86
Celebrating 32 Years of Marriage
In our freshman year I asked a fellow Dillard Alum my spouse’s name and he introduced us in the cafeteria of Kearny Hall. Shortly after that we began dating. After graduation his job brought him to my home town of Atlanta and 2 years later we were married.
Linda Soule Buckner ’71 and Coleman Buckner ’71
Celebrating 47 Years of Marriage
We met in class as freshmen because we had the same major and became friends. We used to hang out at the flag pole on campus with our other friend group (the Morale Boosters). Both of us dated other people throughout our first 3 yrs. Coleman started inviting me out to dinner senior year and we began dating. We got engaged on graduation day.
Marie A. Anderson-Simmons ’88 and Mark G. Simmons ’86
Celebrating 30 Years of Marriage
We were introduced on the Avenue of Oaks by my childhood friend, Trina Slaughter, my first semester. I mistakenly asked which freshman cluster he was in. He promptly corrected me and said he was an upper classman. We developed a friendship that turned into a lifetime love. We were married in Lawless Chapel on November 3, 1990.
Keyonna Glenn Watson ’04 and Jarvis Watson ’03
Celebrating 12.5 Years of Marriage
We would see each other around campus. He played on the basketball team so I knew of him. Apparently, he also knew of me but we did not actually “know“ each other. At a mutual friend’s party at the Chateau, we had our first real interaction, exchanged phone numbers and the rest is history.
George and Maria Johnson
Celebrating 16 Years of Marriage
In the summer of 1991, a young man stopped at a gas station in New Orleans, LA to make a quick stop with some new acquaintances. The young man, a transfer student to Dillard University from a school in north Louisiana, got out of his acquaintance’s car to see the most precious and beautiful woman that he ever beheld. She was pumping gas into the car she was driving. When he gazed upon her, all he could notice was her beauty and her shirt which proudly displayed the letters of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. It was at that moment that he heard the voice of God whisper to him, “That is going to be your wife.” At that moment, the youthful gentleman declared back to God, “If she is my wife, bring her to me.” After he responded to God, he got back into the automobile and rode off with his newly found cohorts – never even speaking to this beautiful young lady. (She never saw him, by the way.)
At the first Dillard University Choir rehearsal for the semester, he saw her there! The young man, George Kimbrough Johnson, saw this beautiful woman and exclaimed to God, “There she is!!!” There was no response from God. After rehearsal, George was in hot pursuit of his bride to be. He ran up to her as she was rushing off to her next appointment and said, “Ma’am, may I speak with you?” She answered and said, “Actually, I don’t have time to talk right now. I am on my way to Bible Study, but you’re welcome to join me if you’d like.” George immediately jumped into the car with her. As they began to chat, George asked the young lady her name. She replied, “My name is Maria – Maria Denise Church.” Upon their arrival at the church in the Carrollton area of New Orleans, George said, “This church looks familiar.” Maria replied, “Really? That’s interesting.” George said, “I think my aunt goes to this church.” As they talked more before entering the church for Bible Study, they discovered that George’s aunt did indeed attend this church, and Maria knew her. (You see, Maria knew George’s aunt and family years before even meeting George! Interesting to say the least!) The two young people entered the church, and Maria introduced George to her family, which included her father who was the pastor of the church. After enjoying Bible Study and returning to Dillard’s campus where George resided, George asked Maria, “Remember I told you I wanted to talk with you about something?” Maria said, “Yes…what would that be?” George excitedly told Maria, “God said that you are going to be my wife!” Maria laughed. She said, “You don’t even know me, George.” “That’s what God told me,” George replied. Maria was in shock…in awe…happy, but confused. She felt these feelings because a little over 30 years prior to that, Maria’s father, (Rev.) Percell Church (Sr.), told her mother (the former Marie Modest Frank) almost the exact same words!
After 18 years and other relationships, the couple realized that they were still in love with one another. They were joined in Holy Matrimony on July 24, 2010 in Atlanta, GA.
Gina Williams ’89 and Kirk Williams ’88
Celebrating 33 Years of Marriage
My best friend had met Kirk and felt there was something about him that made her think I’d like him. We were eventually introduced by my husband’s line brother who was trying to recruit me to be an Alpha Sweetheart. We became friends immediately and were soon inseparable. 33 years later, we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons.
Note: All information above was submitted by our Bleu Devil couples. The order of appearance is based on the order the submissions were received.