17 Short Stories of SpelHouse Marriages

 

The following profiles were written by Spelman Alumna, Kia Smith, former social media coordinator to Spelman College.

These stories were orginally posted on Spelman's Facebook account.

 

 

Shaun King, C'2001, & Rai-Tonicia King, C'2003

We were high school sweethearts in Kentucky. We met at church and began dating while Shaun was in his senior year of high school. As fate would have it, I wanted to attend Spelman, and he planned to attend Morehouse before we even met! He was accepted and left for Atlanta while I finished my last two years of high school. We miraculously managed to date long distance for two years until I received my acceptance letter and joined him in Atlanta after my high school graduation. We got married my junior year at Spelman. Four kids, four states and four countries later, we're still best friends and happily raising our SpelHouse babies! 

 

 

Bryant & Courtney Phelps (Morehouse/Spelman 2013)Bryant and I met our freshmen year through a mutual friend. Throughout our time at Morehouse and Spelman, we became good friends. He, being the preacher that he is, would always tell me that I was going to be his “first lady.” I would laugh it off, but I clearly didn’t know how serious he was. It wasn’t until our senior year that he finally asked me out on a date. After graduating and continuing our relationship long distance for a few short months, he put his power of words to the test. We married on May 24, 2014 and currently reside in Dallas.

 

 

Alfred C Jones II, C'03 & Renee Jones, C'04We met in high school back in November 1998 in New Rochelle, NY. Alfred proceeded to attend Morehouse, while I finished high school. I then went on to attend Spelman one year later. We got married in August of 2006 after we both finished our college careers. Fast forwarding 16 years later, we are still married and have two beautiful children, daughter age 6 and a son age 1. We currently live in Silicon Valley, California.

Djenaba Kendrick, Spelman C'1994, and Renate Brison, Morehouse C'1995My husband and I met at his sophomore dorm in 1992. My girlfriend was visiting her boyfriend over there, and I tagged along. We didn't start dating until 1993 after I returned from studying abroad in Paris. We dated from 93-96. Once I left Atlanta in 1996 to attend graduate school we broke up. There were many years of back and forth and dating long distance. I now lived in Washington, D.C., and he was living abroad in St. Maarten (where he is from), Amsterdam and then London. We stopped communicating for what we thought was for good in 2001.

Then came the SpelHouse website! In early 2008, we reconnected on the famous Spelhouse website and started talking online again. We saw each other for the first time in 2008 when I met him in St. Maarten while he was visiting his family for the summer, and I was there on a cruise. Later that year I moved from D.C. to Venezuela for my job, and he would fly from London to Venezuela every six weeks to visit me or I would go to London. Finally in 2010, we got engaged and we got married in Aruba. In 2011, we finally moved to the same location, and he followed me to Liberia while I was there for work. In 2013, we moved back to the U.S. where we had a son who is now 19 months old!

 

Stanley Raynor, C'2000 & Taylor Ruth Raynor, C'2004 (formerly Taylor Ruth Bertley)City: We both hail from the fabulous city of New YorkWe were informally introduced by my cousin, Morehouse Man Dr. Terrell Jefferson, C'2004. We later officially met at an impromptu dinner party. Stanley was working on a project for his MBA program during the party, and I came up to him to inquire why anyone would deliberately not partake in a social gathering. He seemed annoyed at first, but then I smiled, and it clicked, and I knew he would be my husband. We encountered a lot of challenges, but eventually he asked me to be his wife in the middle of Times Square. I couldn't imagine anything better in the whole universe. We were married at my family's home and beach in South Hampton, NY on August 27, 2005 by my uncle, Bishop Herbert Thompson (who also married my grandparents and my parents). It was the most magical day, and we are so blessed to love and be loved.

 

 

Nicole Marie Dunson, C'2003 & Calvin Thomas McAllister Jr., C'2004Married: June 19, 2010. Love story from Calvin's perspective: From the first Lower Manley party, we knew of each other and had many mutual friends. We had several encounters between 1999 and 2003 while in school that reminded us of each other, but the fast life and current relationships at that time would prevent us from getting to know each other better. Always being curious about Nicole, I jumped at a chance to make her a part of my life in 2005 when I randomly saw her out on July 15th (yeah, I remember the date) while she was visiting her sister on break from her second year of law school. From that day to the present, she has been the most important part of me. We got married here in Atlanta in 2010 and have 2 little boys, Calvin III and Nicolas, oh, and Mike, the Rottweiler. It has been a pleasure to go through life’s journey with Nikki and the family, and we can’t wait to see what God has in store for us next! Spelhouse Love is like no other!

 

Vera (Harris) Woods, C'81, & Bobby Woods, C'79

Submitted by the daughter:

I saw the album on Facebook and knew my parents would never submit their story, so I wanted to do so on behalf of what is undoubtedly my favorite SpelHouse marriage. 

My mom met my dad at a cookout where he gave her what I believe was an extra hamburger or hot dog to encourage her to "put some more meat on her bones." While she claims she was offended, one thing led to another, and they started courting. A year after my mom's graduation from Spelman, they were married on July 10, 1982, and 33 years and a set of twins later still have a love that shines and explodes like that of college kids! 

 

 

Amani Coker-Warren, Spelman C'2007Dominique Warren, Morehouse C'2007Dominique and I met in Navy ROTC the summer of our freshman year. We dated our entire college career. After graduation we both joined Teach For America but were assigned different cities. I moved to Philadelphia, and he moved to Chicago. For two years we visited each other during breaks and I spent the summers in Chicago. In 2009, I continued my graduate studies at the University of Chicago, and Dominique was accepted to the University of Michigan. Before school began we were engaged. After graduation in 2011, I returned to DC and Dominique to Baltimore. In the fall of 2012, we were married in Annapolis, Maryland.

 

Yemi Seriki (c/o 2008) & Amber Seriki (c/o 2009)Yemi and I met in Tokyo, Japan. We grew up less than five miles apart in Columbia, Maryland and attended Spelman and Morehouse around the same time; however, our first encounter was abroad in 2010. I was traveling while teaching English overseas, and he was stationed in Japan as an active duty Navy officer. He spent another six months in Tokyo while I started a career in teaching in Maryland. We kept in touch, began dating once he was re-stationed stateside and never looked back! We married in September 2013 and currently reside in Alabama.

 

Love Story of the 14sNatiya and Charles Curtis, class of 2003, met under remarkable circumstances. As sophomores, they had never crossed paths. In the spring of 2001, Natiya was initiated into the Eta Kappa chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and Charles was initiated into the Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi. They were both the “14” on their respective lines. The following semester they began a friendship based on this obscure commonality that blossomed into a relationship. The couple, who currently lives in Washington, DC., married in 2007 and have a beautiful daughter, Naima Sade. Despite meeting “by chance”, Natiya and Charles do not believe in luck and happenstance. Instead, they love with purpose, intensity, and humility. 

 

 

Sean and Ajaa met freshmen year at the Graves Hall and Packard Hall social. Their story, however, did not begin until junior year when Sean returned from studying aboard in London. It was love at “second sight." Sean couldn't resist Ajaa’s energy and smile, and Ajaa was drawn to Sean’s gentlemanly charm, though Sean likes to credit his jokes and Philadelphia swagger. After graduating in 2004, Sean and Ajaa moved to New York. They married in 2009 and reside in Brooklyn with their 1-year-old daughter Giselle Grey Long.

 

 

Travis Harry, C'2004, and Erica (Parker) Harry, C'2006, actually met in a club in the Underground in Dec 2006. Neither were looking for love in the club but after a few dances, Travis was smitten. Erica was skeptical about Travis' advances, but one of her line sisters was Travis' neighbor and insisted that he was a really sweet and genuine guy. After a few dates, and a fabulous steak dinner prepared by Travis, Erica learned that her line sister was absolutely right about him. "I found myself pretty smitten too," said Erica. "We were engaged a year and a half after we met, and this September we will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary. Time truly flies when you're spending it with your best friend." 

Erica found herself smitten too. This September they will be celebrate their 6th wedding anniversary.

 

Marvin and Millicent (Whitaker) Phinizy, C’2005, met when Millicent became school psychologist at Pebblebrook High School where Marvin was a special education teacher. Having never met during college the two quickly became friends while reminiscing over lunch about parties they had both attended and friends they unknowingly shared. Both Millicent and Marvin were recently single and were not looking to enter a new relationship so they did not view each other as anything more than colleagues. However, three older women who also worked at the school had something else in mind. Every day these three women would comment on how great of a couple Millicent and Marvin would make and found ways to bring them together at work. Finally, Marvin asked Millicent to come hang out with him after school at a football game. From that day on the two became great friends and that friendship eventually grew into love. That summer the couple took a trip to Jamaica where their love blossomed. It was there while lounging at the pool bar watching the sunset that Marvin looked at Millicent and said "we should get married," and Millicent said "yeah." Just as casual as their relationship had begun the two became engaged. They were married on July 11, 2010, welcomed their first child, Madilyn, in July 2011 and are expecting their second child later this month.

 

The ValentinesThe union between Curtis Valentine and Daria Miller, C'2000, began long before each of them stepped on the campuses of Morehouse and Spelman. Curtis’ great-uncle and Daria’s aunt were neighbors and close friends for years in Curtis’ native New Jersey; a fact both wouldn’t discover until long after they began dating. Only a week after reaching Atlanta in August 1996, Daria caught Curtis’ eye as they participated in the time-honored Spelman/Morehouse Brother-Sister Exchange in the Martin Luther King Chapel.

What began as “freshman flirting” matured as they pursued one another with alternating intensity. The seeds of their union were nurtured as “friends” living separately in the same off-campus apartment complex until their graduation in May 2000. When asked about her relationship with Curtis, Daria was quoted saying, “We were flirting friends, but we never committed to anything more even though I knew we had a future.”

After graduation, Curtis joined the U.S. Peace Corps and moved to South Africa. Daria returned to her home in Prince George’s County, MD to attend Graduate School and teach Middle School Science. 

Though they were dating other people, Curtis and Daria remained connected during his time overseas through occasional emails and letters. A chance phone call and much appreciated care package, Curtis’ first ever, from Daria sealed the deal in Curtis’ eyes as he prepared to return home in 2003. 

Nearly 2 years later Curtis and Daria returned to the Atlanta University Center (AUC) to celebrate their 5-year Spelman/Morehouse Reunion. On the final day of the reunion Curtis and friends orchestrated an elaborate plot to lure Daria to the King Chapel and propose to her in the exact place were they’d met almost 9 years earlier. 

Curtis and Daria were married September 1, 2006. Currently, Daria is an assistant principal at a local high school while pursuing her Doctorate in educational leadership. Curtis is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an at-large member to the Prince George’s County Public Schools’ Board of Education. Both are active members of their local alumnae associations. Curtis and Daria live in Fort Washington, MD with their 5-year old Curtis and 3-year old Ivy.

 

The Encounter, the Exchange, the Engagement: Tanea Chane, C'2005, and Earnest Womack (affectionately known as "EW"), C'2007The EncounterTanea: I first met EW during a communications class at Morehouse College in Spring of 2005. I was the only female amongst a sea of men. One day, I noticed a guy wearing sweats and sandals, showing his FEET. His toes were actually well-groomed so I had to comment. I thought I was being cute and playful, but EW, not so much. After his slight chuckle, I realized he wasn’t too pleased with my sarcasm. I left him alone after that day and for the remainder of the semester, until we met again outside of the classroom.

EW: It all began on the historic hill of Morehouse College. During spring of 2005 , I laid my eyes on this Spelman lady, Ms. Tanea Chane, so fine! That day God smiled on me and I knew that I found a good thing.

What was more ironic was the name of the class, “Communication in Small Groups,” a real foreshadowing of what was to come. I was smitten, but Tanea could not take her eyes off my feet! I had a crush, but Tanea looked at me and said, “but your feet?” Although she was being sweet, I still thought she was trying to play me. She did not realize how much I valued my sandals. However, she laughed and so did I, eventually! Even though I thought Tanea was joking on me, I was sold.

The ExchangeTanea: At the end of the semester, we saw each other again at the bookstore. We talked for a while and I shared that I was actually staying in Atlanta for pharmacy school. He must have been over the ‘toes joke,’ because after hearing that I’d be around, he asked for my number. In the past, I was notorious for changing the last digit but I gave EW the real thing! Only time would tell how this friendship would blossom.

EW: At the end of the semester, I came to the university bookstore and I ran into Tanea. I found out she was staying in Atlanta and I decided that it was time to take destiny into my own hands. That’s right…I got the digits! I immediately knew Tanea was no easy woman to impress. But now I had time because she was set in Atlanta for the next few years. 

The EngagementTanea: Our relationship progressed over a span of 5 years. During the summer of 2011, EW came home with me to Minnesota. We were eating dinner with my family when EW mentioned how much he valued our relationship and how we’d grown. I really didn’t know where he was going with this until I saw him get on one knee with a jewelry box engraved “Tanea, will you marry me?” It held the most beautiful ring ever! Of course I said yes and agreed to spend the rest of my life with the love of my life….my Edubbie. 

EW: Now, although my friendship with Tanea had grown, it took me a full year to earn that first date. Either way, I was on cloud 9 because I was truly with the woman of my dreams. I had played this moment in my mind countless times never realizing that it could actually get better.

We shared, laughed, and listened four years. Then came year five. I decide to take a trip to Minnesota. The shine in her mother's eyes encouraged me; I asked for her hand in marriage before all to see in her own territory. My words? “Tanea, we are growing every day with high expectations. Tanea, I am your man and your earnest love…WILL YOU MARRY ME?”

 

Diamonds and Pearls: Aldwin Martin and Alisia Goree-MartinIn 2004, Dr. Aldwin Martin and I met as freshman while I was promoting an HH freshman dorm party. With both of us being from the south, we instantly felt a connection and discovered several things that we had in common. Aldwin was so smooth and affectionate when we started dating. He literally swept me off of my feet. While dating in college, Aldwin and I were pre-med and pre-law majors, respectively. In the Fall of 2004 Aldwin became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Pi Chapter and I joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Mu Pi Chapter in the Spring of 2006. We continued dating throughout college and on into law school and chiropractor school. In 2009, Aldwin proposed to me at Café Intermezzo where we had our second date back in 2004. I was so busy studying for my law school exams that I was completely surprised by his proposal. We currently live in Alexandria, VA. I am an attorney contract specialist for the Department of Defense and Aldwin is the sole practicing chiropractor at PalmerCare Chiropractic in Washington, D.C. We have one 14 month old son, Aldwin, II.