Category: Alumni

Central Is Where The Heart Is

It’s a tale as old as time – older than Old North even. We’re talking about love, people.

With a history dating back to 1890, Central is no stranger to love, but what does modern-day love look like on our campus?

In an effort to discover the different stages of love at UCO, we got to know three Central couples who have weaved the bronze and blue into their “I do.”

 

The Young and the Restless

A man and woman stand in front of Old North.

Let’s start with young love.

Meet Aspen Loard and Logan Conn, two “loveBronchos” who met and fell in love right here on Central’s campus.

“We were both in Greek organizations, and we ended up being paired together for homecoming. One night at an event, we began to talk and hit it off,” Aspen explained.

“I asked her to go on a date later that week, and the rest is history,” Logan added.

That history began in November 2015, and nearly two years later, Logan got down on one knee and popped the question, during the same week that brought them together – UCO Homecoming Week.

“If it weren’t for Central, we would have never met each other. Being on campus and being involved in organizations here, at Central, allowed us to find one another,” the couple said.

“Central meant so much to us that we actually ended up getting engaged in front of Aspen’s favorite building on campus, Old North.”

A woman and a man walk away from the camera, holding hands.

On Valentine’s Day, Aspen and Logan say they focus more on being together than on material things, whether that includes making dinner together or a visit to one of their favorite restaurants (usually involving breakfast food). According to Logan, the secret to a happy and healthy relationship is in the little things.

“My advice to other couples would be that you’re never too big to sacrifice something small for your significant other. Whether you’re skipping a night out with the guys to take her soup when she’s feeling under the weather or being her designated shopping bag carrier at the mall, while you miss Russell Westbrook hitting a game-winning shot, you will be amazed to see how strong your relationship becomes because you chose her over yourself.”

We’re not crying. You’re crying.

 

Something Old, Something New, Something Bronze, Something Blue

A bride and groom pose with Buddy Broncho at their wedding.

With a few more years under their belt, Sarah and Caleb Everett are well on their way to living a forever Central love story.

Buddy Broncho dancing at a wedding.

After meeting during Spring Sing (Caleb was cast as Prince Charming and Sarah was Cinderella), the two dated for more than two years before tying the knot five years ago. And as if their story wasn’t #HoovesUp enough, these two took their wedding to the next level.

That’s right. We’re talking the myth, the man, the legend – Buddy Broncho.

“We met at UCO and Buddy Broncho was in our wedding! We both were very active on campus. Even though we didn’t start dating until senior year, both of us have amazing memories at UCO, and we give the university 100 percent credit to forming the leaders we are today,” Sarah said.

Throughout their time together, they’ve celebrated big milestones and precious life events, and let’s just say, they know how to celebrate right.

“We have a very silly tradition of eating McDonald’s Big Mac meals after every big event of our lives. Getting engaged, getting married, starting new careers and, of course, the most recent one, having a baby!”

We can’t wait to welcome baby Everett on campus for the Class of 2038!

A couple kisses, while holding a baby.

 

Art Full of Love

Two women walk in a parade.

Love at Central isn’t just for students.

Charleen and Barbara Weidell, both faculty members in the UCO College of Fine Arts and Design, have been together for 16 years.

“We met in 1999 when we both started our Master of Fine Arts programs at San Diego State University. Barb was in the ceramics program, and I was in the jewelry/metalsmithing program. We started dating in 2002, just before completing our graduate degrees. It was a graduate school romance,” Charleen said.

The Weidells share a love for art, teaching, studio practice and, of course, Central.

Two women take a photo together.

“UCO has been good to us. We’ve been given the opportunity to grow as individuals, so we’ve carved out our individual career paths while staying at the same college.”

Charleen and Barbara relish their wedding day, October 12, 2013, more than most.

“It’s not only our personal day to celebrate, but this was a time our nation stood up for marriage equality,” Charleen explained.


Love at Central is as diverse as the people who share it and the community of students, faculty and staff that foster it.

Our heart is where Central is.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Bronchos! We love ya!

A Letter to Central’s Recent Graduates

As UCO grads settle into life post-graduation, Nathan Box, a Central alumnus (Broadcast Communications, ’07) penned a letter* to these new alumni on his own blog, offering sage advice for the future:

According to social media, another 1,000+ graduates turned their tassels at the University of Central Oklahoma. 10 years ago, I sat where they sat. As I listened to the names of my fellow graduates being read and watched as each accepted their degree, my mind was elsewhere. As soon as I walked off that basketball court, everything would be different. What was expected of me would change. My contributions would need to change. Responsibilities would shift fully in my direction. This life would become fully mine for the taking. The direction I had to choose was mine and mine alone. Happiness, success, contentment, and joy would be up to me. It all felt overwhelming. It was enough to make me want to get up walk out and pretend it never happened. Unfortunately, that simple act wouldn’t change facts. Turning my tassel and walking away from UCO would change everything. 

As many of my fellow graduates can attest, life came fast and it was nothing like what I expected. Your university experience and the experience shared by college students all around the country is really good at cementing confidence within you. The world is really good at putting you in your place. For some, jobs will come easily. For others, the road may be tiresome and disappointing. You may discover your degree prepared you perfectly or you want nothing to do with your chosen field. A few of you will find your dream job straight out of college. Most of you will spend your remaining years searching for something that may never come. It is my simple hope that our choice of institution prepared us for the paradoxes of life. I know it did for me. 

10 years later, I am not where I thought I would be. Perhaps, I suffered from delusions of grandeur. Maybe, I haven’t planned adequately. Maybe, I have missed opportunities. Or, maybe I am right where I am supposed to be. Only the test of time can judge such things. I, like many of you who graduated, live a life filled with fear of unmet potential. I don’t want my life to be wasted or lived in vain. I am of the belief that I only get one shot at this thing, therefore I should make the most of it. I know wholeheartedly that my education prepared me to squash my fear. In my mind, that preparation was worth the price of admission. If UCO is worth anything, you will be saying the same thing 10 years from now. 

Be good to each other, 

-Nathan 

* This letter was edited for minor grammatical errors. View the original post by Nathan.