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Love in the Air for ‘RoseWood’ Couples

December 4, 2013

Stan and Trudy Mickey

Stan and Trudy Mickey

Blind dates, first dances, and fraternity parties have brought together Rose-Hulman and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) alumni in wedded bliss for decades.

“A mercy date” for a Rose-Hulman party brought Stan Mickey, a 1971 mechanical engineering alumnus, together with his wife of 40 years, Trudy.

“My roommate asked me to go out with Stan that night. When he came to pick me up, I sent her down to scope him out. With her approval, I came down the stairs and said ‘I’m your date for the night. If you don’t like it, I will turn around and go back upstairs,’” says Trudy.

Stan approved. They had a good time at the party and talked well into the night.

“He went home that night and told his mother he had met the girl he was going to marry,” Trudy states.

The couple became engaged three dates later and married in 1973. One of their sons, Jeffery, is a 1995 Rose-Hulman graduate, while a daughter is a SMWC alumna.

It was another storybook romance for James Chinni, a 1988 mechanical engineering graduate, and his wife, Gina. They met when he came to drive five SMWC students to campus for a party.

“I couldn’t keep my eyes off this girl I saw in my rearview mirror,” he says. Later, he got up the nerve to ask for a formal date. The couple married in 1989.

Another blind date brought together Paul Troy, a 1973 mechanical engineering alumnus, and his wife, Clare.

“We were friends, first, and it blossomed into something worthwhile,” she says.

A 15½-hour blind date has resulted in the 36-year marriage of James Tribble, a 1974 chemical engineering alumnus, and his wife, Judy. It started with an Indiana State University homecoming party, then traveling to attend an Indiana University football game in Bloomington, and dinner before returning to Terre Haute for a concert by 1960s pop idol Frankie Valli.

Finally, it was fate that Richard Payonk, a 1986 chemical engineering graduate, would meet and eventually marry his wife, Kymberli. His mother had attended SMWC in the early 1940s and always admired the young women pictured in the college’s alumni magazine.

“Mom sat me down one day and said I should marry one of the ‘fine young girls’ pictured in the magazine,” he says.

Little did Mom know that Richard had been dating one of the smiling faces, after being brought together by mutual friends.

“Mom was always right,” says Richard.