Gardner-Webb Love Stories: Happy Valentine’s Day

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, we asked University faculty and staff to submit their Gardner-Webb love stories. We received the following submissions. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Stephanie & Bradley Capps

“On a Tuesday morning in early December, we planned to meet for a quick jog to get our day started. We met up at my little white rental house we comically called “the Casa Blanca.” We went against our normal route based on his suggestion and headed down Memorial Drive. Before long, his complaints of cramps brought us sitting on the black bench behind the GOAL house and next to the Community Garden. (This was the same seat we sat at eight months previously, where we decided we wouldn’t pursue a dating relationship.) Now, here we sat, after dating for five months, and the man I loved was asking for my hand in marriage. It was romantic and thoughtful, and of course, I said YES. Bradley had come to Boiling Springs as a part of Crossroads Ministry’s Community Discipleship House Internship program during my senior year of college, and we became friends. He finished the program and found a job in Shelby, while I graduated and found myself working at Gardner-Webb. Two years of friendship with countless memories occurring on campus, including the snow day sledding behind Mauney, concerts on the Quad, and of course, jogs around campus. We tied the knot in May of 2012 at the Old Boiling Springs Gym, a.k.a., the GWU wrestling building…YES, the WRESTLING BUILDING. Our son Turner Alan Capps is now six months old. If it weren’t for this place, we would have never crossed paths and because of that, Gardner-Webb will forever have a place in our love story.”–Stephanie Capps, Director of Student Leadership & Community Engagement

*****

Tracy & Teresa Jessup

Name:
Tracy Jessup

Title/Position:
V.P. for Christian Life & Service and Senior Minister to the University

Spouse’s Name:
Teresa

How long have you worked at GWU?
22 years

Briefly describe how you met your love:
On August 19, 1985 during freshmen orientation week, I was playing the piano and singing with some friends in Gardner Hall (OMG as it was called back then). Teresa and her friend, Amy, were walking from Stroup to Bost Gym to see a movie sponsored by Student Activities. Hearing music coming from Gardner Hall, they decided to step inside. And the rest (as they say) is history. Teresa didn’t make it to the movie that night, and I never dated another girl.

When is your anniversary (if married)?
June 24, 1989 (this June will be our 25th wedding anniversary)

If you have children, please provide names and ages:
Christian (18), Anna (13)

How/Why is GWU an important part of your love story?
Gardner-Webb University embodies so many things that are important to both of us – Christian faith, family, and friendship – just to name a few.

*****

Mark & Erin Houser

Name:

Mark Houser

Title/Position:
Media Specialist

Spouse’s Name:
Erin (Mann) Houser

How long have you worked at GWU?
5 Years

Briefly describe how you met your love:

Erin was dating a friend of mine when we met as students at Gardner-Webb. Their relationship wasn’t going strong and they were having a few problems, and I was actually trying to help keep them together by encouraging her to stick with it, for her sake and for the sake of my friend. At that time I hadn’t considered her with romantic interest; but once he broke off the relationship, she became available and the thought crossed my mind. She began to think to same, and now here we are, six years and two kids later. We were married in the Chapel here at Gardner-Webb in 2008 and we continue to make the community our home.

When is your anniversary (if married)?
July 19, 2008

If you have children, please provide names and ages:
Juniper Ainsley (3), Tilden Wyatt (1)

How/Why is GWU an important part of your love story?
In addition to the Chapel, Gardner-Webb provided the close-knit environment for people to know one another who normally may not cross paths. Erin worked sewing costumes at the theater, and I spent a lot of time working there as well. I am thankful my circle of friends was wide and relationships were varied, and thanks to the intimate atmosphere here I did meet the love of my life and tuition is thus justified, or so we tease.

*****

Olivia & Cory Morgan

Name:
Olivia Morgan

Title/Position:
Athletic Bands Administrative Assistant

Spouse’s Name:
Cory Morgan

How long have you worked at GWU?
1 1/2 years

Briefly describe how you met your love:
I met Cory when I was a junior at GWU and he was a freshman. We were both members of the GWU Marching Bulldogs. Our relationship began as a friendship, but developed into something more as time progressed. We began dating in the middle of my senior year and he proposed a year later. We got married last summer!

When is your anniversary (if married)?
July 6, 2013

If you have children, please provide names and ages: Not yet 🙂

How/Why is GWU an important part of your love story?
If we had never come to GWU as students and decided to be in the marching, we would’ve never met!

Other comments/info:
Since we met at GWU, we decided to get married here! Our ceremony was in Dover Chapel and our reception was in Ritch Banquet Hall.

*****

Jeff & Lydia Powell

Name:
Jeff Powell

Title/Position:
WGWG.org (GWU Radio) Operations Manager / Adjunct Instructor

Spouse’s Name:
Lydia Grainger Powell

How long have you worked at GWU? A combined total of more 25 years

Briefly describe how you met your love:
I had just finished up studies at GWU and was attending a talent show on campus when a young freshman girl walked up and introduced herself to me. So we were friends, a year later we were dating. Two years after that we were married. Lydia was in her senior year.

When is your anniversary (if married)?
July 25th we will have been married for 25 years.

If you have children, please provide names and ages:
Jacob (17), Sarah (14), and Leah (13).

How/Why is GWU an important part of your love story?
We met here, fell in love here, got engaged on campus and got married in the Chapel.

*****

Noel & Beth Manning

Name:
Noel T. Manning II

Title/Position:
Chief Communications Officer/Adjunct Instructor

Spouse’s Name:
Beth Lamb Manning

How long have you worked at GWU?
16 Years

Briefly describe how you met your love:
I was a commuter student and lived across campus in a small apartment. Beth’s parents (GWU Divinity School Dean Emeritus Bob Lamb) lived on that same street so I would see her drive by my apartment, and at campus events as well. Although I was a commuter, I was very active in campus life and actually served on the Student Entertainment Association (SEA) Board my freshmen – senior years. Prior to one of the SEA meetings in Stroup residence hall, I saw Beth in the lobby and she came up to me and said, “My dad lives on your street.” Then she walked away. Yep, a pretty odd first encounter. Shortly after that meeting we became better aquainted through mutual friendship circles. Before the end of my freshmen year, Beth and I became best friends. Although I was scared to admit my true feelings to her until much later (2 years later to be exact), she and I spent as much time with each other as possible. Even though over the course of the next two years we would date other people, when it got down to who we confided in, who we wanted to hangout with – it was each other. Even when I was an idiot and refused to see the “true love” staring me in the face, Beth was there. She knew, and I did too (even though I refused to admit it) that ours was a relationship worth waiting for.

It was the summer of 1991 when I first admitted I loved Beth. Two years later we were engaged, and in June 1994 we got married in Boiling Springs, N.C. This summer we will celebrate 20 years of marriage. She makes me a better person every day with her strength, her wit, her compassion and her brilliance.

When is your anniversary (if married)?
June 18, 1994

If you have children, please provide names and ages:
Kathryn (17) and Thomas (14)

How/Why is GWU an important part of your love story?
Gardner-Webb is where my heart, mind and soul were challenged, and Beth has been a part of that journey since my first year in Boiling Springs. Because of her in my life, I found out more about myself and where I fit into the world. She has always been an encourager and honest sounding board for my life’s decisions. Today, she is still my best friend and the one I turn to in good and bad times.

Other comments/info:
At the time Beth and I met, she was a senior, and the shy daughter of a Religion professor and I was a crazy freshman with long hair (… no she didn’t rob the cradle, it just took me a bit longer to find my way to college). Because of those very visible differences, sometimes people would approach Beth’s dad and ask what he thought of his daughter dating “that crazy boy with long red hear?” His response was always the same, “I don’t care if my daughter dates an alien as long as he treats her with respect, love and kindness.” I continue to try to honor those virtues today.

A funny note: The first time Beth remembers seeing me was at a GW football game. I was running around the stands exhibiting all kinds of “Dawgpound Crazy” – and her initial thoughts about me were, “Who is that idiot?” Little did she know that years later she’d be married to him.