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The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Couples on Campus: Kat Williams and Greta Rensenbrink

Greta+and+Kat%0A%0ACourtesy+of+Kat+Williams
Greta and Kat Courtesy of Kat Williams

Love can find its way through unexpected seasons of life, as illustrated by two Marshall history professors.

Kat Williams, CEO of the International Women’s Baseball Center, and Greta Rensenbrink, professor of American history, stand as evidence that romance can occur at any point in one’s life journey.

“We were not spring chickens when we first met,” Rensenbrink said. “The early parts of our relationship was figuring out our baggage and learning to become loving and supportive.” 

Prior to the couple’s romantic relationship, Rensenbrink went on a trip to El Salvador. There, she said she learned the meaning of the phrase, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

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“I just thought about Kat the whole time and wanted to see her,” Rensenbink said. 

Upon Rensenbrink’s return, she said she felt an immediate sense of joy when she reunited with Williams.

“I saw her in the hallway and couldn’t stop smiling,” Rensenbrink said. “We started talking, and I was like ‘Oh, I’m a goner.’”

Likewise, Williams said this occasion served as an “aha” revelation for more than just herself and Rensenbrink. 

“It was just an explosive moment,” Williams said, “the moment everyone knew.” 

The pair married on July 31, 2010, in Rensenbrink’s family’s backyard.

“Same-sex marriage legalized in Maine,” Williams said. “That public acknowledgement and celebration of our marriage was so important.” 

Rensenbrink said her wedding day was filled with last-minute nerves.

“I was in my childhood bedroom getting ready, and I just realized what a big deal it was,” Rensenbrink said. “I was shaking with fear, joy, love and just couldn’t believe it was happening.” 

Following their wedding, both Williams and Rensenbrink spent their honeymoon apart. Williams was on a trip for her work with a professional baseball league, and Rensenbrink went on a kayaking trip with her sisters. 

Similarly, the pair said they rarely spent their anniversary together. 

“It is during baseball season, so I’m committed to work,” Williams said. 

Playfully, Rensenbrink said, “Oh, every day is an anniversary with you.”

Travel plays a key role in Williams and Rensenbrink’s relationship, they said. 

“We went on a trip to Savannah, Georgia, and drove all the way,” Williams said. “It was epically magical, and we went for March Madness.” 

Rensenbrink added, “It was spring, so everything was in bloom, and the hotel was called the Marshall Inn.”In addition, Williams said traveling to meet Rensenbrink’s family in Maine was a “life-altering” moment. The lobster rolls were a plus, she added. 

While both Williams and Rensenbrink enjoy their wonderful relationship, there have been some minor hurdles. 

“Greta’s learned she needs to close the cabinet doors,” Williams said. “Her family had all the cabinet doors open, and it just drove me nuts.”

Rensenbrink went on to say, “It is not always easy to mold into another’s home.” 

Despite the cabinet fiasco, Williams said Rensenbrink is truly one of a kind. 

“She’s the best person I know,” Williams said. “She has a level of personal goodness that I don’t always see in people.” 

Correspondingly, Rensenbrink said, “Kat is fully 100% herself and real. You see who she is, and I gravitate towards that.”

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