Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Couples on Campus: Jill Treftz and Cody Lumpkin

Cody+Lumpkin+and+Jill+Treftz+pose+with+their+assortment+of+feline+companions.%0ACourtesy+of+Jill+Treftz
Cody Lumpkin and Jill Treftz pose with their assortment of feline companions. Courtesy of Jill Treftz

A true love story sprouts in the quiet moments between lectures and book pages for two professors in Marshall’s English department. 

“We got married on Dec. 16,” said Jill Treftz, English professor and lover of 19th century British literature. “I was excited because that is also Jane Austen’s birthday.”

The couple met shortly after Cody Lumpkin, English professor and lover of Appalachian literature, came to Marshall in 2012. While Treftz said she does not remember their initial meeting, Lumpkin said recalls their meeting with perfect clarity.

“I remember she had hurt her wrist,” Lumpkin said. “She was very animated and hard to miss.” 

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Treftz married Lumpkin in December of 2023, but the pair have been together since 2017, she said. 

“We had to learn to live together during COVID,” Treftz said. “It really wasn’t that hard.” 

“Jill is like coffee: I can have a lot of it everyday, and it’s not a problem at  all,” Lumpkin said. 

Impish, Treftz said, “I actually got him started on drinking coffee.”

The pair said they are like puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly. 

“Grocery shopping stresses me out,” Treftz said. “Cody takes care of that for both of us.” 

Likewise, the couple supports each other’s respective work pursuits. 

“There is lots of cheerleading,” Lumpkin said. “We both have to do that for each other.”

“If one of us has a huge project, another makes dinner,” Treftz said. “I’m likely to eat  cereal for dinner, so he makes sure I eat.” 

The pair said they regularly lean on each other for support.  

“We are both sound boards for each other,” Lumpkin said. “It is good to have a sympathetic ear from someone that gets it.”  

However, the couple’s time together transcends work and domestic activities, they said. 

“When the weather is nice, we like to go hiking,” Treftz said. “We also enjoy watching shows together.” 

Treftz went on to say the pair went on a camping trip in Washington state, where she is originally from. 

“It was cool to show him all of these places,” Treftz said. “We grew up in different parts of the country.”

Both Treftz and Lumpkin enjoy traveling and have visited places such as Key West, Florida and, recently, Indiana to go snow-tubing. 

In addition, the couple finds joy in bonding over their shared love for their feline companions. 

“We spend time talking about our cats, taking pictures of our cats,” Treftz said. 

Likewise, Lumpkin said, “We are those cat people.” 

As for working together, the pair said they have had no issues navigating sharing a workplace.

“We really only see each other at meetings,” Treftz said. “It hasn’t changed a lot for me.”

However, Treftz said that the support of the university has aided immensely in this.

“They don’t treat us as one half of a pair,” Treftz said. “Our department has been great about it.”

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