My wife Donna (Copas ’83) and I met at Illinois Wesleyan in the fall of 1981, now twenty 21 years ago, while I was a sophomore and she was a junior. Donna was a Resident Assistant (RA) at Pfeiffer Hall and shared a corner suite with Susan Flamm Turnholdt ’83 and Becky Kaiser Hansen ’83.
Donna and the other RA’s were in charge of the “Secret Spook” penpal program between Pfeiffer and Dolan, where I was a resident in room 301. The idea behind the program was that the girls would send “hints” of who they were over a week or two period to the guys along with some kind of treat. The program would then culminate with a “dinner” where we would get to meet each other and the guys would bring something special to our new friend…
The original idea was that each dorm would have a sign up list and then randomly each pair would get matched up 1 with 1 & 2 with 2 and so on… I’m here to say it didn’t quite work out that way.
I was coaching Pfeiffer’s intramural volleyball team at the time and when Dolan’s list found it’s way to Pfeiffer, someone told Donna that she should switch the matches around so that she got me, since I was a nice guy and “cute”. Of course, I am recollecting this from memory…
The bottom line here is that Donna DID grant a few favors (at least a couple anyway) for others including matching her roommate up with Brad Gregrich ’82 who was one of the star basketball players at the time and who Susan always wanted to meet.
Brad and I received the same Secret Spook gifts during the week and notes that included references to them being roommates. The last gifts that we received were huge chocolate chip cookies that were in the shape of BRAD and DAVE, which of course we shared throughout Dolan!
When Donna and I met at the end of the week dinner, I brought a HUGE bag of candy in a Halloween bag, while other guys brought flowers, stuffed animals or cute little gifts. As we talked it turned out that we shared many common interests including sports and old time TV shows. Nickelodeon had just gotten started (cable TV was just in it’s infancy) and we spent many late nights watching old reruns of 50’s television shows. Donna joined the intramural volleyball team and we played golf and tennis regularly.
We spent many days and nights walking and talking as we walked throughout Bloomington. We loved going to the David Davis Mansion and spent allot of time at Miller Park. Garcia’s Pizza, Tobin’s Pizza and Avanti’s were our eating hangouts and we spent many hours NOT doing homework in the Dugout on campus.
If you were looking for us late-night you’d probably find us in Dolan’s or Pfeiffer’s lounges since the opposite sex wasn’t allowed to be upstairs after 11:00pm on the weekdays and Midnight on weekends. Of course we never broke the rules…
I proposed on March 31, 1982, the spring after we met. We dated until after I graduated and we got married on September 29, 1984. We currently have three wonderful kids 13, 11, and 8 who are a direct result of a “chance” meeting in the fall of 1981 and some silly “Secret Spook” mixer. I’m really glad Donna didn’t randomly match up the names.
Thanks for the opportunity to publicly share my love for my wife and best friend by hearing our story. We will be married 18 years in September and we enjoy each time we are on campus to reminisce about the days gone by. When we see young couples at IWU holding hands we can’t help but wonder if 20 years from now they will have a story to share.— Submitted by Donna Copas Moravec ’83, Dave Moravec ’84