Many amazing things happen on the University of Arkansas campus. Students become leaders, classmates become friends, and relationships are born that last a lifetime. “Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you, I had no control over.” – Anonymous
Elisabeth Yates, a 2013 chemical engineering graduate, came to the University of Arkansas in search of an education and amazing college experience. What she did not expect to gain was the love of her life.
Yates recalls the first time she saw Brandon Mathews, a 2013 human development and family science major, at the HPER. “We met the fall semester of our junior year at the University of Arkansas. I remember him coming into the gym at the HPER and putting on his knee brace while I was warming up for a basketball scrimmage…the first game we played, Brandon ended up being ‘stuck’ guarding me. Incidentally, his first memory of me is of me knocking him down during that game. After that, he asked to guard me every time.”
After getting to know each other, they realized that their paths might have crossed many times before without even knowing it. The two were highly involved in intramural sports, mentored many of the same students through R.O.C.K. Camp and the Freshman Engineering Department, and, of course, were both huge Razorback fans. “We both lived in Pomfret freshman year. I remember always seeing this group of enthusiastic freshman guys getting painted up in The Great Hall for the gymnastics meets. As it turns out, Brandon was one of those guys.”
The night of graduation, the couple took one last walk on campus. The walk ended at Spoofer’s Stone where they sat and looked back at their time together at the University of Arkansas.
Mathews summed up the experience to Yates in two sentences, “College is where you’re supposed to find the love of your life…I didn’t think that was going to happen for me, but here you are.” The couple returned to campus seven months later at Christmas to see the finished campus updates. When they once again made their way back to Spoofer’s Stone, he got on one knee and proposed to her. Yates states, “There was no hidden photographer. No ambush of family and friends. Just the two of us. It was a very special moment that we will cherish together for the rest of our lives.”
They plan to get married this summer at the University of Arkansas where it all began.
Yates describes the wedding destination as, “where we met and fell in love. It’s an almost magical place for us now. When we go back we see so many places with special and specific memories of when we were first dating and ultimately falling in love. There is no other place that could possibly be more meaningful to us than the historical steps of Old Main shaded by the towering trees.”
Like many others, their story began here at the University of Arkansas. What about yours? We would love to hear your Razorback Romance. Submit your story to www.arkansasalumni.org/hogtales.