George Tuttle ’58 and Joann Swanson ’68, M.S. ’73, met in a registration line for the 1955 fall semester at Illinois State Normal University.
It was a hot fall September day. The lines were long and slow moving. Registration took place in the library of the University, which was located on the eastern side of the Quad. Each student received a form printed on cardstock weight paper the size of the small card table top. Many small forms were printed on the large paper which required the student to repeat information such as name, date of birth, home address, campus address, phone numbers, parents or guardian’s names and address, etc.
On this day and at this time the S’s and T’s were scheduled to register. George and Joann were one behind the other in this pokey procession. Conversation took place and names were exchanged. Fortunately the two were able to find places to sit near each other at the long wide library tables. It seemed to take a long time to complete all the information required before they could move on to the next step of the process. Soon they went in different directions.
George lived in Dunn Hall on the third floor with a roommate. Joann lived on the fourth floor of Fell Hall with a roommate. At that time, there was one telephone on each floor of each building located centrally in a booth at the side of the long hall. When there was a phone call for one of the girls on fourth floor, any one who happened to be near the phone would answer it. The name of the girl who was wanted would be relayed down the hall and she would then go to the phone. George made several attempts to contact Joann before he finally had success. They did begin to date.
George worked in the library. Joann would get out of class, walk to the library on Wednesday mornings, and they would go to the required assembly in Capen Auditorium. Three absences were the maximum allowed even for illness, so most students made certain to attend if at all possible. There was a museum in the basement of the library building. On one Wednesday George convinced Joann that they needed to go there before rushing to Capen Auditorium. When they got there George presented Joann with an engagement ring. Her answer was “Yes!” They ran with joy, but fearful about getting marked absent, to the assembly. That was March of 1955. The couple became the talk of the campus as word spread after the engagement became known.
Their marriage took place August 18, 1957. The following spring George received his degree from ISNU. Ten years later in 1968 Joann received her degree, and in 1973 a master’s degree from ISNU.
The summer of 1992 found both retiring and looking forward to many years of travel, dance, reading, writing, volunteering, and socializing with friends and family.