How we met: Pam and Jerry McGreal
Pam Franco ’68 was a freshman when her roommate, Linda Ohmart ’68, worked at convincing her to go to yet another Friday night campus mixer at the student union. “I wasn’t all that excited,” Pam recalled of the offer that came in November of 1964.
And yet, Pam eventually agreed to tag along. The main purpose was for Pam to meet Linda’s boyfriend at the time, Mike Moore ’68. Mike just happened to bring along his own roommate, a shy fellow named Jerry McGreal ’68.
“He asked me to dance, and we’ve been together ever since,” Pam said, remembering the serendipitous meeting between the two. They became an instant couple, going on to build a solid relationship during four years of dating while at Illinois State.
Pam majored in physical education and dance, with Jerry studying business education. Both remember their Redbird years as an exciting time for reasons beyond their romance. Jerry was part of the outstanding basketball program that helped bring national attention to ISU Athletics. Pam found her passion in the impressive Orchesis Dance Troupe, and as part of the nationally recognized physical education program.
Not many days after graduation, the couple married on June 1, 1968. They celebrated the 50th anniversary of their wedding earlier this year. As newlyweds, the two launched into their professions quickly following commencement. Pam began a teaching career that spanned nearly 25 years. Jerry obtained a law degree at the University of Miami, and has practiced as a lawyer in Florida since 1980.
The couple have two adult children, Amy and David, as well as five grandchildren. Pam and Jerry have chosen Melbourne, Florida, as their home, but their hearts remain true to Illinois State University.
“We have lived in Florida since 1980, but when anyone asks where we are from, the answer is always Illinois,” said Pam, adding that they are quick to promote the University. “We have always considered our days at Illinois State many of the happiest days of our lives.”