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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Love at SMU

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Ken+Mattox+and+Melody+Mattox+hold+hands+in+celebration+of+their+30th+year+anniversary+at+the+place+they+were+proposed+to.
Saki Teng
Ken Mattox and Melody Mattox hold hands in celebration of their 30th year anniversary at the place they were proposed to.

All you need is love … and SMU

Your palms are sweaty, your heart is racing, your stomach drops and everything goes quiet. For a moment, you forget to breathe.

It’s love at first sight. We’ve all heard about it. And these Mustangs found it.

Ken Mattox (‘90) and Melody Mattox (‘91)
It was the summer of 2000. The sun had set, and Ford Stadium was under construction yet perfectly moon-lit. SMU graduates Melody Mattox and Ken Mattox crawled through a slightly open fence. They walked through the seats, looking for where they might sit once it opened. Then they made their way to the roof. The stadium was almost complete.

Melody met Ken in her first week at SMU. She was a freshman and he was a sophomore. As Ken was unpacking his car to move in, Melody was instantly drawn to him.

“He had pink shorts on and a tank top … and he was very tan and very muscular,” she said. “My first impression was ‘He’s hot.’”

At a party later that night, Melody knew she had to be there because Ken would be there, too.
The two hit it off and talked all night. They left and sat on a grassy knoll on Skillman Road, which still brings back memories every time they drive by.

Ken and Melody at a party on February 9, 1989. (Credit Mattox family)

The next day, Ken couldn’t remember how to find Melody. All he remembered was her residence hall.
“The next day he showed up,” she said. “ I was walking out and he was walking to try to find me. That’s when we made plans for our first date.”

After the first date, came the second. That’s when they knew.

“I spent the whole day with this guy and we had so much fun. I was like, ‘Maybe he could be the one, right?’ That was the very first time I ever thought that about anybody,” she said.
It turned out, he was.

The two dated throughout the rest of college and continued for a few years after that. When Ken proposed six and a half years later, it was on SMU’s campus, at a place he knew was special to Melody.

The two were out for dinner with friends, and Ken managed to get Melody back to campus where his plan could unfold.

When Melody was in SMU’s student senate, the revitalization of the seal on Bishop Boulevard was near and dear to her heart. It was a project she had been working on her senior year.

The seal had just been cleaned when Ken took her to see it on Homecoming weekend, years later.
On that seal, he got on one knee and asked her to marry him. The couple wed a year and a half later.
November 6, 2023, marks 30 years since the couple got engaged.


Buddy Ozanne (‘70) and Linda Ozanne (‘74)

On September 15, 2023, Buddy and Linda Ozanne celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Yet, Buddy Ozanne has never forgotten July 16, 1973.

He was a graduate of the SMU class of 1970 and an emcee for a bible study group holding a conference at SMU. Linda Stewart was a rising senior at Baylor attending the same conference.
The two immediately felt drawn to each other. So much so that Linda let him call her the wrong name.

“He called me Glenda and I was too embarrassed to correct him,” she said. “One of the girls, who was attending, finally said ‘Her name is Linda.’”

Linda returned to Waco after the conference and the two began a long-distance relationship, visiting each other on the weekends.
One weekend, just before class registration at Baylor, Buddy surprised Linda with a visit.

“There’s no such thing as cell phones, no email and Waco was a long-distance call,” he said. “I was visiting with a client and I asked him if I could borrow his [landline] phone. He just laughed and said, ‘Sure.’”

Buddy called Linda to ask her out and headed down to Waco, where the two took a stroll at nearby Katy Park. Then and there, just two months after the couple met, Buddy spontaneously asked Linda to marry him.

The two drove back to Dallas to tell Buddy’s parents and began to talk about the wedding. Two words from their bible study teacher would change the course of their lives:
“Why wait?”

“We planned a wedding in three weeks,” Linda said.

They married on September 15, 1973, at 5 p.m., the only date available at Perkins Chapel.

And then they moved on to the next question. Where would Linda finish her senior year?
“I wanted to liberate her from Baylor,” Buddy said.
He did just that.

Buddy and Linda Ozanne at the Boulevard. (Credit Ozanne family)

Buddy made a call to SMU President Willis Tate’s office, a man he called “one of the finest human beings that has ever lived,” and he asked Tate’s assistant to speak with him.

Not thirty seconds later, he was on the line, Buddy said.
“He said, ‘I’ll make 15 minutes available to you,’” Buddy said. “‘You be in my office at 4:15 this afternoon and you bring that pretty bride of yours.’”

Sure enough, the two went to his office. Tate looked at Linda’s transcript and said “This is not going to be any problem at all.”
Tate picked up the phone. He made a call to the dean of the education school.
“[He said] ‘I got a young couple, he graduated from SMU in 1970, and she just finished her junior year at Baylor,’” Buddy said. “‘We want to make her a Mustang.’”

Linda then began her senior year at SMU.

The two wed weeks after, and Linda graduated from SMU in 1974.

Dan Pitts (‘16) and Alicia Pitts (‘16, ‘19)
Music was blaring.

Dan Pitts was a diver on the SMU swim and dive team, but tonight, he was a DJ at a party.

Alicia Arnold was invited to the same party by a mutual friend. There, the two were introduced and were instantly hooked.

They began to hang out right after. Throughout the next three years, the couple fell more and more in love.
One of the special places on campus for them was the benches outside of Perkins Chapel. There, they would sit together, days and evenings.

“I wanted to marry him from the third time I’d hung out with him,” Alicia said.

Alicia in her white raincoat when Dan proposed to her in front of a rainy Perkins Chapel. (Kristen Collie)

One of the central things in their relationship is faith, Alicia says.

“He was fun, cute and also loved Jesus,” she said. “We’re both very devout Christians and that honestly is what made me interested in him to begin with.”

Late October 2015, on Family Weekend of their senior year, Dan and Alicia got engaged. It was pouring rain, and Dan was standing outside of Perkins Chapel with an umbrella.

Alicia knew what was coming. She got out of the car, having switched her yellow rain jacket with a white one her mother had, and Dan got on one knee and proposed.

From inside the chapel, family and friends were watching as the two embraced in the rain.
“He had it all planned out,” Alicia said. “We got married two weeks after we graduated from college.”
After Dan graduated from SMU, he was instrumental in restoring Young Life on campus. He was the director of Young Life at SMU from 2019 to 2023.

Alicia graduated from SMU in 2016 and again from SMU Law School in 2019.
The couple has a 1-year-old daughter, Rory, and two dogs. They live in Lake Highlands and remain involved at SMU.

Love for and through SMU Football
However their story began, these couples have a continued connection to SMU through football.
Buddy and Linda Ozanne lived beside SMU all throughout their lives. They would make frequent visits whether casual strolls, or their son’s wanting to see Peruna.

The Ozanne family with Peruna. (Credit Ozanne family)

During football season in 1981, the two attended almost every away game with their sons.

That November, the family went to Fayetteville for the “Polyester Bowl” game.

SMU fans stormed the field after a win, and the couple’s son Tyler, just 2 years old, was right down there with them – doing somersaults.

All through these years, Buddy and Linda Ozanne have gone to almost every football game. They have a tent on the Boulevard where they wear their SMU pride.

Dan and Alicia frequent SMU football games and go Boulevarding. They also remain involved with Young Life on campus.

Dan and Alicia Pitts with their daughter, Rory Pitts at the Boulevard.

Ken and Melody share a basketball suite with Buddy and Linda. They also share their love for SMU football.

The two live in Dallas and would bring their son, Luke, to many football games.

Being SMU alum, the two didn’t want their son to feel pressured to attend SMU – so they made sure he kept his options open.

The one rule: don’t go to TCU.

The Mattox family at an SMU football game.

Luke is now an SMU student in the class of 2026.

 

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About the Contributor
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor
As video editor, Sara works with the social media editor to develop video content for The Daily Campus. She works with the newsroom to develop a "Question of the Week," relevant to SMU students, which helps us get to know our community a lot better. Sara was previously news editor of The Daily Campus in fall 2023 and works as a digital news intern at NBC Channel 5 in Dallas.