By: Kara Villarreal
Today’s dating style is different compared to how WT students dated in the 1960s. Jim and Peggy Pollard, WTAMU alumni who have been married for 62 years this December, told their story about meeting the one at WT.
Peggy and Jim Pollard on their wedding day. Photo courtesy of Peggy Pollard.
Their first date was the Monday night of registration at WTAMU. Peggy was returning for her sophomore year, and Jim was transferring from a junior college. They had met at a dance in the Tulia VFW hall the previous Saturday night. He was from Tulia, and she was from Paducah. She attended the dance with several friends, “That was our summer of going to country & western dances,” she said. “You never know what will happen sometimes.” They danced a few dances, then he asked her for a date to the movies in Canyon the night of registration for classes. “She was cute. I didn't know if she had a boyfriend or not but I didn’t care,” Jim said. “I liked her physical attraction, I liked her personality, and I enjoyed her company.” Peggy also liked what she saw in Jim. “I thought he was very handsome,” she said. “He was a nice looking young man, I can’t say that it was just love at first sight. We just got to know each other and had the same backgrounds, small towns, not a lot of money. We just had a good time.” Many of their dates were to WT games because students didn’t have to pay. One of their early dates was to the first game in Kimbrough Stadium. They also attended the last game WT played there and the first one played at the new Buffalo Stadium in 2019.
Peggy and Jim Pollard back at the VFW Hall in Tulia, Texas. Photo courtesy of Peggy Pollard.
They were married in the J. A. Hill Chapel, on campus, on December 17, 1960, and had their reception at Cousins Hall. Jim graduated with a physical education degree and coached football for 30 years in various Texas towns, settling in Canadian, Texas. He served a year as the assistant superintendent and then 14 as superintendent of the Canadian schools. Peggy graduated with an elementary education degree and taught for 27 years. The Pollards ended up moving back to Canyon because they would commute to watch sporting events. “I enjoy all the sports: volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball, football,” Jim said. Peggy also helps provide meals after home games for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. “They love to eat,” Peggy said, “especially the big ole guys.” The Pollards later built their home in the addition in the Palo Duro Village area. It’s the perfect location for the Buff lovers because they drive their street-approved maroon golf cart to the games, and other events put on by WT.
Peggy and Jim Pollard showing their WT pride. Photo courtesy of Peggy Pollard.
Jim and Peggy’s story is quite incredible. Today younger people attending WT have similar values but plan to go about finding the one in a different way. While the majority of students plan on getting married one day, more than 65% of students date with the intention of marriage. Unlike Jim and Peggy and various others in their generation, current WT students would rather wait to get married between the ages 26-30 and while in college it is evenly split between being single or in a relationship. On a percentage scale, students have a confidence level of 56% that they will meet the person they plan to marry by the time they graduate college. Close to 80% of students think it is harder for our current generation, Gen Z, to find the one this young. This relates to the innovation of technology, social media, and online dating. However, most people prefer to meet someone in person at a social setting like a party or in a classroom setting.
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The concept of dating in your early 20s is exciting and scary, it brings new choices and opportunities. While there is a difference in the way people date nowadays, the Pollard’s are a great example of how there always is the possibility of meeting the one.
Looking back over their 61 years together, Peggy said, “We would do it all over again.”
Peggy and Jim Pollard photographed with their four great grandchildren as of today. Photo courtesy of Peggy Pollard.