Tech Employees Find Love on Campus
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we decided to highlight four couples on campus who fell in love here — and managed to maintain the spark over the years.
Debbie and Robbie Rice
Debbie, director of information technology for Enrollment Services, and Robbie, a mechanic in Facilities, have been together for five years.
Although Debbie had known Robbie since 1992, he didn’t ask her to dinner until 2007. Initially, she said no — she thought he was too young. But Debbie reconsidered and accepted.
“Although I wasn’t sure we would have enough in common to have a 15-minute conversation, we sat at the Flying Biscuit Café and talked for more than three hours,” Debbie said.
She knew it was meant to be the first time she visited his home and he was cooking dinner and handed her a favorite drink.
“I knew that Debbie was the one when she went to a conference, and I realized that I didn’t want to ever be without her,” Robbie added.
The two agree that the best part of having a spouse on campus is having a built-in carpool buddy — especially since their commute is more than an hour each way.
Colleen and Scott Riggle
Colleen, assistant dean and director of the Women’s Resource Center, and Scott, an application developer in Student Affairs, got together five years ago.
Although the two had chatted quite a bit, it was hard to find time for a date because they lived on opposite sides of town.
“We went to lunch one day at Rocky Mountain Pizza, which was our first official date,” Colleen said. “However, our first dinner date was after attending the Women’s Center production of Eve Ensler’s the ‘Vagina Monologues.’ It was his first time seeing the production, and I knew that he was a keeper at that point!”
They realized it was time to make things official when Colleen was selected to go on the Oxford Student Abroad trip as a group leader.
“It was then that we knew that we never wanted to be apart again,” Scott said. “It was, and to this day has been, the longest we’ve ever been apart.”
And the two have a few Tech traditions they enjoy sharing.
“We really loved going to Junior’s for breakfast, but our new tradition is running the Pi Mile race each spring,” Colleen added.
Judy and Mark Reese
Judy, an academic advisor in the College of Management, and Mark, a senior facilities manager in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, went on their first date 11 years ago.
The two had met but hadn’t seen each other for years when one day, Mark just started thinking about her and decided to give Judy a call.
“It was a coincidence,” he said. “Judy was about to call me because she was having car trouble and needed a ride home. I started talking, one thing led to another and here we are.”
Like all of the other couples, the Reese’s think one of the big advantages of working together is saving on parking and gas — and your commute is more entertaining.
“Also, by working at the same place, you understand what the other’s work day is like and what each of you do,” Mark added.
Jeanne and John Balsam
Jeanne and John, who both work in the Electronic Systems Lab at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), have been together since 1977.
The two met when John came to work at the Engineering Experiment Station (EES), now known as GTRI. Jeanne was a student assistant who graduated soon thereafter and stayed at EES as a research scientist.
“Our first time out of the office together was for a Tech football game,” Jeanne said.
After dating for a while, John asked Jeanne to move to Boston with him, and her response was “Not if we aren’t married.” So, John proposed on New Year’s Eve.
“Our relationship is full of Tech traditions,” Jeanne said. “We have season football and basketball tickets and enjoy tailgating and going to the Wreck Homecoming Parade — we drove our 1967 GTO in this past year’s parade. We’ve also participated for several years in the Georgia Tech Auto Show.”