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Husband and wife smiling for a photo

Victor and Carol Palomino

Alumni royalty: Redbirds couple chosen as Homecoming queen, king

A simple meal in Fell Hall’s dining center turned into 52 years of companionship, family, and love for this year’s Homecoming alumni king and queen. They are Victor ’68, M.A. ’70, and Carol (Miller) Palomino ’67, M.S. ’70. 

The lovebirds met in 1965 through Carol’s roommate, who played in the marching band with Victor. Band members often gathered for dinner, and Carol would join the group. That started a strong friendship between the two. Victor fell for Carol’s smile by 1966, and asked her to the Fell Hall Christmas Dance.

From that point on, they spent time at The Cage, strolled through downtown Bloomington, and shared a love of music. Carol sang in a choir that Victor directed. She graduated in 1967 with a degree in special education. That same year Victor proposed, and the couple married in September.

Carol admits she found Victor’s last name silly when she first met him. Now 52 years later, they can’t imagine not sharing their lives as spouses. During those decades, Carol accepted a job as an elementary teacher in LeRoy, while Victor completed his student teaching and graduated with his Spanish degree in 1968.

Both accepted teaching offers in Chenoa, staying within the district for 25 years. Victor taught Spanish and English; as well as directed plays, musicals, and the speech team. He went from instructor to principal and served as the superintendent prior to retiring in 2001. Carol stepped out of the classroom for several years to raise their children, returning to teach special education until retiring in 2003.

At the conclusion of that stage in their lives, the couple made their home in Normal. Victor was a full-time assistant professor for Heartland Community College, teaching Spanish until 2013. They now enjoy giving back as community volunteers. They attend many ISU events, including Homecoming, which was made especially meaningful this year given their role as royalty representing all alumni.

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