She noticed him in pre-Calculus and swooned. He spotted her at a dance and asked for a turn. There was magic in the air and conflict in the heart.
Eduardo Lanzas and Perla Torres whirled and spun to the music, sparks lighting around them, until the final song. He walked her to the dorm.
“Want to go out with me,” he asked.
She wanted to say “yes.” She ended up saying “no.”
“I am taking chemistry and it requires my attention,” Perla explained. “I have a scholarship.”
So began the chase, a relentless pursuit of romance. He followed her to the cafeteria. He caught up with her in the hallway. He met her in the courtyard. He kept asking her out. She kept putting him off. When it came time for final exams, he tried again. She agreed to a date on a night when she didn’t have to study.
They went to Mi Tierra for dinner. He asked a Mariachi Trio to serenade her. They took a stroll along the River Walk. They talked for hours. He pulled her close.
“I finally had that good look into his eyes and saw into his soul,” Perla says. “I knew it! He was the one I had been dreaming of. He was the one for me.”
Eduardo and Perla got married in 1992 – three years after she felt herself blushing in pre-Calculus. They are among hundreds of couples – perhaps thousands – who have fallen in love at Our Lady of the Lake since the University became co-educational in 1969.
Twenty five years after they shared a class together, Eduardo (BBA Human Resources Management 1996) and Perla (BAS Natural Science 1993) enjoy fond memories of the Lake. He works for Citibank. She teaches science at Kennedy High School.
“I loved my years at OLLU,” she says. “OLLU helped my dreams come true.”
Here are some other couples who found Love At The Lake:
John Augillard III and Paulishia A. Green
They met at a rehearsal for a lip sync contest. He was doing a sax solo from a song called, “As If We Never Met.” She and a group of friends were performing the 1990 hit, “Poison.” She had a boyfriend. He liked another girl. A mutual friend introduced them. Nothing happened.
Before the introduction, John Augillard III had noticed Paulishia A. Green in the hallway outside the cafeteria. He was thunderstruck. John thought Paulishia was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. They became friends after the contest and exchanged addresses before leaving for summer break. She returned home to Houston. John went back to New Orleans. He wrote a letter but never mailed it.
The following September, they ended up at Fiesta Texas with a group of friends. “It was there,” John says, recalling water rides they shared, “that something sparked.” They began dating on Oct. 12, 1994. In the winter, they performed together at a talent show.
“I played the piano and she sang, ‘Ribbon In the Sky,’ by Stevie Wonder,” John recalls. “We came in third. I think music performance was part of our connection.”
He took her to the Riverview behind the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. She cried when he dropped to one knee. They married on June 12, 1999. Before he became a speech and debate teacher in high school, John taught theater at Houston Can Academy.
“I wrote a play based on our story and had students act it out,” John says. “The title was, ‘When I First Saw You.’”
Henry and Vanessa Padilla Trevino
Love came late for Henry Trevino and Vanessa Padilla. It started with a spat, turned into laughter, weathered heartbreak and became a cherished memory.
In the final semester of their senior year, Henry and Vanessa met in a ceramics class. Their introduction began with a fight over a cubicle for their books. “It was a simple laugh that started our friendship,” Henry explains.
They spent the spring of 2006 eating lunch together, taking walks and trying to focus in ceramics. But it was hard for their gaze not to wander. Henry graduated in May (BA Philosophy), Vanessa received her degree (BA Psychology) the following spring. Their love grew.
In 2008, Henry invited Vanessa to the grotto. He proposed and she teared up. “I recall shaking as I held her ring in my hand,” Henry says, “and my knees trembling as we hugged in excitement.”
Wedding plans commenced. As the anticipation grew, tragedy struck. Henry’s mother was hit and killed by a drunk driver on April 24, 2009. Three months later, Vanessa lost her grandfather to cancer.
“We found strength in each other and continued, with some heartache, to plan our wedding which was coming up fast. With love, faith in God, trust in peace and hope, we approached the day.”
They married on Oct. 10, 2009 in Sacred Heart Chapel. “Through it all – the laughter, the pain, the loss, the hope – we owe this great story to the blessing of Our Lady of the Lake University,” Henry says. “Today, we have a beautiful daughter by the name of Sophia Grace Trevino. She is seven months old and a constant reminder of our love for one another. She does not know it yet, but she is already an OLLU SAINT.”
Gregg and Maria Segura Gonzales
He noticed her in the fall of 1993. Long legs. Short hair. A Lake Ambassador beauty. He met her nine years later when he visited her class – not as a student but as a campus police officer.
Gregg Gonzales has law enforcement in his DNA. His father is a former Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy who started the OLLU campus police department and became its first police chief. After Gregg left OLLU in the spring of 1995, he drifted through other schools until he returned to the Lake as a cop.
“One day while I was on duty, I had to tell a class in Moye Hall their speaker would not be able to attend due to a bad storm,” Gregg says.
When he entered the classroom, he recognized a face. The Lake Ambassador beauty. Maria. He spoke with her briefly, then found her profile on an internet dating site. They exchanged messages. He asked her out. She was unavailable. He tried again. Same response. “It was frustrating,” he says, “but my persistence paid off.”
They dated for several years. Gregg re-enrolled at OLLU. Maria earned her master’s in counseling in 2002. Two years later, Gregg received his bachelor’s in sociology. As he stepped off the stage, in front of family and friends, he proposed. They married on July 1, 2006.
“We chose to have our wedding at the Sacred Heart Chapel,” he says. “The Lake still has a place in our hearts.”
Jeff and Cathy Flores
It was a match made, unintentionally, by mom. In the fall of 1992, an anxious mother from Waco took her daughter to enroll at Our Lady of the Lake University. During orientation, the mother met a Lake Ambassador, a young man who was giving tours to parents. Jeff Flores was a third year student. He appeared mature and trustworthy and spoke articulately about the University.
“Would you please look after my daughter,” the mother asked him.
Cathy Ramos had turned down a full ride to a university in Rhode Island. Her mother, Julie Ramos, did not want her to leave the state. Cathy had reluctantly agreed to attend OLLU. Julie was concerned that her daughter would grow homesick or regret her decision. Jeff assured Julie that he would watch after Cathy.
For two months, Jeff checked up on Cathy in the halls, the mall and the cafeteria. He asked how she was doing. He asked if he could do anything for her. In October, they both attended a movie in the University Wellness Activities Center.
“I don’t remember what was playing,” Jeff recalls, “but I remember that I looked over at her and for the first time noticed that Cathy had the most beautiful brown eyes I had ever seen.”
He made up a reason to walk her back to her dorm. He made up reasons to engage her in conversations afterward. He offered to drive her to the store. There was a spark. Then came the first kiss – at the front door of Pacelli/Ayers. He proposed in Renaissance Parlor with Mariachis playing in the background. They married on Jan. 10, 1996.
“OLLU introduced me to the love of my life via Providence,” Jeff says. “I had dreams of attending Schreiner and Cathy was planning on attending Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, yet we met at a small university on the Westside of San Antonio.“
Roger and Martha Swarm Martinez
Roger and Martha graduated from OLLU in 1973 – he with a bachelor’s in business management, she with a bachelor’s in accounting. He wrote the following story from Mexico City, where he is working:
“We met in the fall of 1971 on our first day of Business Law class. She had the most beautiful warm smile I had ever seen. I was mesmerized during the remainder of class that night and for the remainder of my time at OLLU. Staying in school to maintain my Vietnam student draft deferment became my secondary goal. Martha became my first.
We became best of friends but nothing more, though, obviously I had much greater aspirations. Graduation was bittersweet for me as I walked away with a diploma in one hand and a broken heart in the other. I knew I would never see her again as she was returning to her hometown of El Paso.
Two years later I got the phone call that changed my life forever. She called to tell me she was traveling to Houston with her parents and would be spending a night in San Antonio and asked if we could visit for a while. I was overwhelmed with the opportunity and vowed not to let her get away this time without expressing my true feelings to her.
As the evening was ending, I finally got the courage. As I tried to speak, I noticed she was getting teary eyed so I thought things were going very badly for me. But I was committed not to let her get away this time without her knowing how I felt.
The evening culminated with me telling her that there was nothing more I wanted in life then to spend my whole life with her. She shed a tear and replied, “Ok.”
We married two years later, much to everyone’s surprise who knew us back at OLLU. We spent almost 35 years together until she was called to heaven three years ago. No man could have asked for more in a soul mate. I miss her dearly and thank OLLU for admission, as it was a challenge, and to God for blessing me with the greatest treasure of my life.”