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The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Campus Couples: Courtney and Phillip Vallejo

Courtesy of Courtney Vallejo
The Vallejos posing on campus at Marshall University.

Romance can blossom in any capacity, and the heartfelt story of two Marshall faculty members who have lived in numerous time zones and work in different departments shows how love can thrive regardless of where it resides. 

Phillip Vallejo, the director of bands, and journalism professor Courtney Vallejo’s love story stems back to Phillip’s sister attempting to set him up with one of her friends, he said. 

“My middle sister tried to set me up with one of her friends from Bible study,” Phillip said. “As soon as I walked in, I pointed to Courtney and told my sister I wanted to be set up with her.”

Despite Phillip’s longing, Courtney initially turned him down, he said. Phillip also said he sent her a message on MySpace, which gave him hope for a relationship to progress.

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“I saw she had messaged me and raced home,” Phillip said. “It turns out she deleted her account right after she sent the message, so I couldn’t see it.” 

Courtney said, initially, she was not ready to risk her friendship with Phillip’s sister.

“I was new to the area, and I really wasn’t looking to destroy this friendship,” Courtney said. 

Eventually, though, the pair went on their first date and were soon engaged five months later, she said. 

“Our first date was the most memorable,” Courtney said. “I just knew that he was it.” 

Phillip said he agreed, and their first date laid everything on the line in the hopes of not wasting the other’s time.   Phillip said he even told Courtney he wanted to have twelve kids, a bold statement for a first date.

The couple were swiftly engaged and married, with their wedding day featuring a choreographed dance, they said. 

“Our first dance started traditionally,” Courtney said. “Then it turned into a dance choreographed to ‘Everybody Dance Now.’”

Despite living in four time zones in the past four years, the couple found their way to Huntington for work, they said. The pair are joined by their three children. 

“Life as a band director can be very crazy,” Phillip said. “Courtney has been great, making it a priority for the whole family to be involved in music events.”

Phillip went on to say that Courntey’s dedication and determination are just a few of her admirable qualities. 

“There’s nothing that Courtney can’t do,” Phillip said. “Even if she can’t do something, she will end up figuring it out.” 

Likewise, Courtney said Phillip’s dedication to serving those around him is a desirable attribute. 

“Phil’s love of leadership and serving is just unmatched,” Courtney said. “He is always looking for ways to better those around him.” 

Nowadays, the pair look forward to spending their free time traveling, they said. 

“We went on a fifty-day road trip,” Courtney said. “We have family in Idaho, Oregon and California, and we made our rounds.” 

Likewise, Phillip said, “I believe we clocked 5,000 miles on that trip.” 

In addition, the pair said they have traveled to Europe, as well as Cancun and road trips with their kids. Courtney said she travels with Phillip if he travels for work. 

“We have a map of the United States where you can fill up the states with pictures in each state,” Courtney said. “Our goal is to fill up that map.” 

“On Mondays, it is super fun because we are in the building at the same time,” Courtney said. “It’s nice. I can stop in and say hello.” 

Courtney went on to say that both her and Phillip split up tasks at home, making both work-life and home-life a bit easier. 

Both Phillip and Courtney said they appreciate working at the same university, even if they are in different departments. 

“We both get to be a part of it,” Courtney said. “We can talk about it, and it is not different enough to where we can’t bond, which is really nice.”

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    Bianca LomeliApr 30, 2024 at 10:41 am

    I love this what a beautiful live story you both continue to create!