James Stevens Fowler '78 and
Ann Mary (Talbot) Fowler '79
Where and how did you meet while students at UW-Eau Claire? We met at the dorm we lived in, Katharine Thomas Hall, in September of 1975, my freshman year. It was after a home football game in the dorm lobby on Sept. 13, 1975. There was a bunch of us sitting and talking in the lobby. Jim came in and joined the group. Later on the two of us went down to the basement piano lounge and talked until 4 a.m. getting to know each other.
Was it a “love connection” from the start? There was a connection from the beginning, but we didn't have our first date until almost six months later for the dorm dinner/dance. We enjoyed each other's company and did things in a larger group of friends until that first date. After that, we were inseparable.
Special place on campus: There were a lot of places in Eau Claire that had special meaning to us. Living in the same dorm made it special. Outside of the dorm, it would have to be the Ecumenical Religious Center. Although not Catholic at the time, Jim attended services there with me after we starting dating. We got close to the pastor at that time, Fr. Bob Cook, and were active in the parish community all through college.
What is your fondest memory as a couple that connects you to UW-Eau Claire? I think my fondest memory on campus was the Viennese balls we attended in 1976-79. It was my first formal affair, as I didn't go to my high school prom. At the Viennese Ball in 1977, Jim got down on one knee in the middle of the dance floor right before "The Merry Widow Waltz" and asked me to marry him. With tears in my eyes I said yes, and he slipped a diamond ring on my finger.
If you are married, when did you tie the knot? Jim and I were married Jan. 26, 1980, at the Ecumenical Religious Center. Father Bob Cook co-officiated the service with a cousin of mine, Father Tom Finucan. We tracked down Father Bob in 2005 to give us a special blessing to commemorate our 25th wedding anniversary.
We celebrated our 28th anniversary this past January. We have a son, James Jr., 22, and a daughter, Katharine, 16.