Duck Love Stories

Tim Mabry ’75 with Nancy Mabry ’74

I did fall in love with my wife of soon to be 40 years, at the U of O.

It is a very romantic story.

As well as a being a J-School student, I was Head Sanitary Engineer (stall cleaner) at Shady Acres, the barn where the UO Equestrian Team kept their horses.

My future wife and her sister kept their horses there and one day my sister-in-law's horse became cast (stuck) in his stall by getting a hoof caught under one to the walls of the stall.

Nancy and I had different approaches as to how to extricate him and had a little argument about how to do it. We got him loose and then got to talking afterward. We discovered we had some classes together. We agreed to meet again.

We had many long discussions at the "Bull Shed" on 13th, and "Murphy & Me" off Franklin and got to be best of friends.

We still disagree from time to time on how to do things, but we are still best friends, Valentines and she is the love of my life.

I really value the education I received at the U of O, but it wasn't the best thing the happened to me there. She was.

Thanks U of O.

Richard Sze ’01 and Christie

I met Christie, my fiancée, in Vancouver, BC, during a summer camp shortly after I completed my college journey at UO. We did not really talk to each other until we met again 10 years later through social media. When I realized she was “The One,” I proposed—in June 2013—and we got engaged in Hong Kong.

Christie was born in Macau and lived in Vancouver since she was six years old. Until she met me, she had no idea what the Oregon Ducks were, and I am slowly but surely turning her into a Duck fan! In August 2013 we drove to Eugene for the first time since I graduated, and it was Christie’s first visit.

AnneMarie Knepper-Sjoblom ’05 with Chris Sjoblom

The University of Oregon has long played a special role in my life. My parents, Ken '74, MBA '75 and Connie '75, met at the University of Oregon in 1972. They like to tell stories about taking baby me to football games in a Moses Basket. I graduated from the School of Journalism and Communication in 2005. After seven years in newspapers, I found my dream job in 2012—writing and coordinating photography for the UO Lundquist College of Business. My dream guy was just one EMX stop away: Chris serves as IT manager for the Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes. We were married October 18, 2013, in Portland with much Duck fanfare, including the playing of "Mighty Oregon." We recently bought our first home here in Eugene.

KayLee Helfrecht ’13 with Miles Medeiros ’13

We met through mutual friends at Max's Tavern one night about two-and-a-half years ago and the rest is history!

Regina Mitchell ’08 with Daniel Miller ’07

Most people normally wouldn’t peg Rennie’s as the place where a romance could develop, but Dan and I are a special case. Dan came all the way from New York to attend the UO, and I am glad he did! During our undergrad from 2005-07, Dan and I would routinely meet up with our friend, Meghan, for an after-class drink at Rennie’s. Striking up conversation with him was always a challenge, mostly because he was a geeky computer science major while I focused on journalism and public relations. It was hard to find something to talk about. For those two years, he had little idea that there was flirting taking place. It wasn’t until we bumped into each other (four years later) to meet our friend, Meghan, that we found a romantic connection! We are now together and plan to be for the rest of our lives… and we have UO to thank for that!

Jill Westphal ’00 with Dylan Westphal ’01

On February 6th, 1998, I walked into the Old Gym to watch a friend play basketball; saying good-bye as I was to head back home to Southern California after the Winter Term. I was homesick, and after a year and a half, I was ready to call it quits. 

Prior to the game, a number of guys were shooting hoops, and had just finished up upon my arrival. I stood at the doorway as he sat on the sideline. Attempting to make my way in, I asked him if spectators were allowed to sit and watch. He nodded his head yes.

I proceeded to sit beside him and watch the game, and I was immediately bombarded with a game of what seemed like "20 questions." It ended with, "So can I have your phone number?” I politely wrote it down on a small slip of paper and handed it to him. He asked "Is this your real number?” .....And...I laughed.....From that moment on we were inseparable. 

I did not leave the UO thank goodness. He helped me remember why I choose Eugene to begin with.

We have been married almost 12 years, and have 3 sweet little boys. I couldn't imagine going through life with anyone else. He is my everything! 

Thanks UO.

Ann McDowell ’05 with Travis McDowell ’05

Travis and I met in the summer of 2001. I was starting my junior year at the university. Travis was starting his sophomore year after returning from an LDS mission in Missouri. We both happened to be in the auxiliary percussion section of the University of Oregon Marching Band. We soon became pretty good friends and started dating. We were married June of 2003. We have been married for 11 years with three beautiful children: Madison (10), Zachary (7), and Brynley (3). If it weren't for the Marching Band we wouldn't have met!"

Josh Alder ’05 with Emily Alder ’07

Emily grew up in Eugene and graduated from Sheldon High School in 1999. I grew up in Hermiston, Oregon, graduating from Hermiston High School in 1998.

I spent the 1998-99 academic year as a freshman at the UO before embarking on a two-year LDS Church mission in Quito, Ecuador. I returned to the UO in 2001 and was an RA in the Walton Complex from 2001–2002. I worked at the Yamada Language Center in Pacific Hall from 2001–2005, as a desk assistant at the Barnhart Complex Area Desk from 2003–2005 and as a UO Bookstore cashier during rush weeks. I also played trombone in the Oregon Marching Band for four years.

Emily and I met at the Eugene LDS Institute in 2005. I was studying news editorial and public relations at the School of Journalism & Communication and Emily was earning a bachelors degree in psychology (she received a bachelors degree in English in 2003 from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah). We started dating in February 2006 and got married in July 2007.

Emily was accepted to the Pacific University School of Professional Psychology in Hillsboro in 2007. She earned her masters in 2010 and completed a postdoctoral internship at the University of North Dakota prior to earning her doctorate in Summer 2013. She is currently completing a postdoc residency at Washington State University in Pullman.

We both love the UO and have been Ducks football season ticket holders since 2007. We look forward to returning to Oregon soon and spending many years back home at the UO for athletic games and alumni events. GO DUCKS!