All great love stories start with a first encounter. Maybe it’s love at first sight. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s even flat-out dislike at first sight. Whatever it is, it’s life-changing, and for many University of Louisville students, it takes place right at the heart of campus. Meet four couples, all of whom walked onto campus single, and left arm-in-arm with their soulmates.
Ann & Bill Windchy, married in 1967
Before raising children, before she was a dentist and he a lawyer — even before she was the Cardinals’ Ladybird mascot and he a men’s basketball player — Ann, 67B, 71GB, 80DMD, 86DR, and Bill, 67B, 69GB, 72L, were an inseparable duo.
Their love story began with an “I do” over 50 years ago, in fall 1963. Bill had been living in Threlkeld Hall all of three days before he decided to venture over to the girls side of the residence hall. “It was a Sunday afternoon,” Bill remembered. “I was walking around, and I saw my wife and two other women coming down the hall. I said, ‘Do any of you girls like tall guys?’” At 6 feet 7 inches, he figured his pickup line was worth a shot.
His hunch proved correct. Without hesitation, Ann responded: “I do!”
They left the dorm and toured campus together. Then they went down to 4th Street to see a movie. From that day on, the two were always together, and within a year, Ann and Bill were engaged.
Their engagement, however, lasted much longer than expected. There was no on-campus housing for married students at the time, and because Bill was required to live on campus to keep his basketball scholarship, getting married meant losing the scholarship.
“So we got married a couple weeks after we graduated,” Ann said.
The two moved back to Bill’s hometown of Chicago for a year. Then, in a surprising twist of fate, they ended up back on UofL’s campus. They were returning from a Florida vacation when they ran into an assistant dean at UofL in a parking lot.
“I told him about our situation, and he offered me a job running married student housing at UofL,” Bill said.
“So that’s how we got back to Louisville,” Ann said. “We’re such big fans. We always were. So it was wonderful that we ended up going back. And we’ve been here ever since.”
Calling Ann and Bill “big fans” is almost an understatement. As an undergraduate, Ann was the woman behind the Cardinals’ Ladybird mask, which required her to create her own costume, using her own money. And when the university was considering eliminating the football program in the early ‘60s, Ann and Bill were among the many students who
protested on the steps of the Administration Building. “I like to think that I had a
part in keeping football around,” Ann said.
They’ve also had season tickets for basketball and football since 1963.
“There are only a few people who are more crazy than that,” Bill said, laughing. “And now, it’s a different world. We’ve been with them for so long, and to now see 15,000 people in a stadium, it’s just, it’s fantastic.”
For Ann and Bill, the University of Louisville is more than just where they met. It’s a vital part of their relationship, woven into the fabric of their marriage.
They went on to raise two children — a son and a daughter — who both graduated from UofL as well. Now, Ann and Bill spend their free time supporting the Cardinals and traveling with the team any chance they get.
Connie & Chris Anggelis, married in 1984
When it comes to matters of the heart, doctors Connie, 84MD, and Chris, 84MD, Anggelis are experts. Both are practicing cardiologists.
So it seems fitting that their relationship began a bit like one would on a television medical drama. The situation: bustling medical students in the midst of rotations. The scene: a hospital elevator.
“We were both in our third year of med school, doing rotations at the VA Medical Center,” Chris said. “There was a group of us on an elevator, and she was in the group. So later I asked one of the other women on the elevator, who I knew, if Connie was available. And the answer was…”
“Yes, I am!” Connie said, laughing.
From there, they double-dated a lot. Eventually, double dates turned into solo dates, and the two formed a bond that withstood the rigors of medical school.
“[In medical school,] you had to work very hard. You had to study very hard. And it was more fun to do it as a couple than doing it alone,” Chris said.
Connie agreed, explaining that building their relationship in such a high-pressure environment didn’t just make them better partners for each other, it also made them better students and, ultimately, better doctors.
“As we continued our education, we had to apply for Double Match programs,” Connie said. “That means either both of us are a good fit, or neither of us are. It can be competitive. We were blessed to both be accepted into our first-choice programs. So we studied together the entire time.”
They also grew their family along the way. During their internships and residencies, they had their first child. During their fellowships in cardiology, they had their second child. And when they moved back to Louisville to join the same cardiology group, they had their third child.
“Over the years, it’s taken a great deal of balance, being in medicine and raising a family,” Connie said. “But it’s certainly doable because we have the same basic commitments in life.”
As avid Cardinals fans and proud alumni, Connie and Chris are thankful that their careers have led them back to the place where it all started.
“Coming back to Louisville to practice was like coming home,” Connie said.
“It has been very, very gratifying to practice medicine [together] in this community,” Chris agreed.
With their days of medical school behind them and their careers in full swing, Chris and Connie now enjoy cheering on the Cardinals and watching their children pursue their own careers in the medical field. They’re also proud grandparents.
“As young people, we envisioned what our lives would be like. And I’d say it turned out the way we had hoped,” Chris said. “Yes, it has,” Connie said.
Verlisa & Ted Washington, married in 1992
When Verlisa, 91A, set foot in The Red Barn during her freshman orientation, she didn’t know it would be the night she’d meet her future husband. After all, she was there as a Woodford Porter Scholar, and she was ready to take on college.
But that night, she met Ted, a UofL football player who noticed Verlisa from
across the room. “He had these amazing eyes,” she remembers.
“Oh hush,” said Ted.
It wasn’t until a couple weeks after Verlisa’s orientation that they bumped into each
“I was checking into Miller Hall. I was on the scholars’ floor, and I ran into him while I was
getting situated. From then on we started dating.”
As the couple continued their relationship through college, Ted’s football career started to take off. He was a first-round pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, a professional league milestone that would prove to be the first of many. He is a Superbowl Champion. He has won several bowl titles. He has even been awarded the Ed Block Courage Award, which is presented to NFL players who are models of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.
And while Ted’s 17-year NFL career created many exciting moments for the duo and their five children, Verlisa admits that, like most married couples, they’ve faced adversity.
“We’ve dealt with ups and downs that most couples deal with. But it’s been interesting because we have the foundation we built at UofL,” she said. “We built a bond there. We built a friendship, and we’ve always had that to fall back on.”
Now, the couple is getting ready to downsize as their youngest child prepares to move away to college. They’re also considering moving back to Louisville, as Ted is creating a Louisville-based charity mission to provide homeless veterans with housing.
They’re thankful that fate brought them together that night at The Red Barn. “One of the best gifts we got from the school was each other,” Verlisa said.
Jordan & Nick DeLeon, married in 2013
Jordan, 13A, and Nick were both student athletes during their time at UofL. She played softball; he played soccer. But it took mutual friends to get them together.
“My best friend had a big thing for Nick’s roommate,” Jordan recalled. “She’d force me to go over there with her, so Nick and I ended up hanging out a lot. From there, it just happened.”
The couple agreed that learning to support each other as UofL athletes has made their first few years of marriage enjoyable. Their advice to current students is to soak in every second and stay open to new experiences. “There’s no better place to meet than in college, when you’re finding yourself,” Jordan said.
They now live near Washington, D.C., where Nick plays professional soccer for D.C. United and Jordan stays home with their five-month-old daughter, Marlee.