In the fall of 1989, Julie (Marzion) Wiedmeyer was working in the Scott Hall office, typing up incident reports — on a typewriter. Janet Karst, the office manager, noticed something: One community advisor (CA), Chad Wiedmeyer, was spending more time in the office than usual.
“I think Chad likes you,” Janet told Julie. Within the week, Chad asked Julie to join him at a gathering of CAs, but Julie declined. Not being a CA herself, she was too intimidated.
Luckily, Chad was persistent. He asked Julie to Pizza Hut — alone — the following night, and she accepted. At that point, she later learned, Chad was jumping up and down in his dorm room.
They graduated and married in 1992 and now live in Sun Prairie, where Chad is an elementary principal and Julie is a religious education coordinator.
When in Oshkosh, they swing by campus to show their boys, ages 12 and 10, where their relationship began.
Joe and Cathy (Mitchell) Lerza met on Feb. 14, 1977, in Psychology 101.
Joe’s friends were sitting in front of Cathy’s, and Tim Ganzel — one of those friends — was being a bit loud. He was asking all the girls’ names and jotting them down.
Cathy politely asked Tim to be quiet but, while glancing at his paper, noticed he spelled her name wrong.
“It’s Cathy with a ‘C,’” she told him. She turned back around and didn’t pay any more attention to the guys in the row behind her.
As she was leaving the classroom, Joe was waiting outside the door. He said, “Cathy with a ‘C,’ huh?” They walked together to their next class and have been together as a couple ever since. When they married in 1980, Tim Ganzel was the best man.
The Lerzas now live in Lexington, Ky., and have two sons and a daughter. Their oldest son, Jim, is dating Mary Lindberg, a senior at UW Oshkosh, whom he met at the Fox River Mall while visiting family in Wisconsin.
Ken Schenian and Lorraine (Molik) Schenian met at UW Oshkosh in the summer of l954. Ken had taken the two-year teacher training course at Manitowoc Normal and was teaching in a two-room school there.
Lorraine, who had a two-year degree from UW Oshkosh, was teaching in a one-room country school in Fond du Lac County. To complete their bachelor’s degrees in upper elementary education, they both were taking night and summer courses at UW Oshkosh.
Lorraine lived at Pollock House, then a women’s dormitory, and worked at Jim’s Campus Café — a popular place for students to eat. A regular customer, Ken asked Lorraine out, and they spent much of the summer going to movies, bowling and dancing.
When summer ended, Ken returned to his job in Sussex, teaching eighth grade, and Lorraine became a Neenah first-grade teacher.
An entire year passed before they met again, registering for the next summer session. They didn’t let one another get away again. During the 1955 Teacher’s Convention in Milwaukee, Ken proposed during a romantic dinner, and they married in 1956.
Later, they both earned master’s degrees from UW-Milwaukee. Following in their footsteps, their four children have also earned advanced degrees. They have four grandchildren and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with an Alaskan cruise and land tour.
Jeremiah and Jennifer (Goyke) Johnson met as freshmen in 1999. They were working together during a Homecoming competition, and Jennifer needed a red shirt for a skit. She borrowed one from Jeremiah, and that was it. For a year.
The following fall, they both were at early move-in. Jennifer was hall president and Jeremiah was working for the Department of Residence Life.
“Seeing each other again, something sparked. By the end of September, we were officially dating. On June 19, 2004, we were married. The rest, as they say, is history,” Jennifer said.
A Homecoming dance their sophomore year was where Kristin (Loepfe) Bradford and Alan Bradford met. Across the proverbial floor, Kristin, who was in the process of joining Alpha Xi Delta sorority, spotted Alan, who was a new member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
After coaxing her sorority sisters to move closer to Alan and his friends, the group danced the night away. They met again at the two groups’ next social event, Fuzzy Fright Night. They were a couple from then on.
Kristin, a second-grade teacher, and Alan, who works in marketing for Quad Graphics, both graduated in 2005. They married the following year and now live in Pewaukee with their dog, Bailey.
Susan Stigall Barker met her husband, Steven Barker, on move-in day their freshman year, 1972.
“As I waited outside my dorm, I saw this very tall, handsome boy approach me,” Susan said. After finding an excuse to talk, they began dating. Their relationship lasted two years, and they went their separate ways.
Thirty years passed.
The two reconnected in 2004 after a mutual friend saw Steven at a golf outing in Florida.
“Steven called me, and I thought it was a prank call,” Susan said. “No way could this be Steven Barker on the other end of the line. But it was!”
They rekindled their romance and married in 2006. “My sister calls it an Oprah moment when we reconnected,” Susan said, laughing.
Sarah (Chapman) Siedschlag and Cameron Siedschlag met in the Albee Hall weight room in 1995. They were assigned the same job, checking student IDs.
Both were dating other people at the time but still found they enjoyed being friends — grocery shopping and rollerblading together.
Their friendship moved to a new level after their steady relationships ended, and Cam asked Sarah out on Dec. 19, 1998 — commencement weekend — at the French Quarter.
“We had the first of many, many dates that next night in Appleton,” Sarah said.
They married in 2004 and had their first child last November. They live in Minneapolis.
Connie (Lecher) Van Lieshout and Dave Van Lieshout met in math class in 1965 and became engaged in 1967. For their first Valentine’s Day together, David spelled out ‘I Love You’ in the snow on the tennis courts behind Dempsey, where he asked Connie to look out of the third-floor staircase window. According to David, it was a key move in winning her heart.
They married in August 1968 and lived near campus in an apartment on Charles Avenue their first year. Both are now retired. In their free time, they enjoy taking trips to baseball parks. Their goal is to see a game in every Major League park.
Do you have an UW Oshkosh alumni Valentine story to share? Please e-mail Sheryl Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (920) 424-1133.