Where Are They Now?

Keeping It in the Family: Four Generations Find Love at Drury

By Megan Waterman '13


Some families have dinner together every night. Some families go to the lake every year. Meg (Clark) Rhodes's family has a more unique tradition. Meg, her parents, her grandmother and her great-grandparents have all fallen in love at Drury University.

Meg Clark and Eric Rhodes began their freshman year at Drury in 2002. They moved into their dorms, met their Alpha class and began Orientation. Orientation weekend ended as it does now, with fireworks and Pineapple Whip. It was there, as the last glowing spark fell from the sky, that Meg and Eric became friends.

Their friendship grew throughout fraternity and sorority dances and Dr. Peter Meidlinger's Alpha class. By the end of the year, Meg and Eric began dating. During their time at Drury, they not only made an impact on each other's lives, but they contributed to the founding of Drury's underground publication, Life on the Lane, a satirical take on Drury life that still continues, even after their graduation in 2006. Meg and Eric were married in August 2007.

Colette Detwiler '69, Meg's mother, met her future husband under different circumstances. Dragged to a Young Republicans of America meeting, Colette had no idea that this favor for a friend would amount to more than just a couple hours stuck in a meeting. It was there that she met the Young Republicans president, John Clark '70. They began to bond over hours spent drinking coffee and chatting at a local café. Together, they contributed to the Rockefeller presidential campaign against Ronald Reagan. By 1972, they were married by Senator Jack Danforth in Stone Chapel.

Margaret Ruhl (mother to John and grandmother to Meg) and her sisters all attended Drury, and she fell in love there. In between classes, she met and fell for Paul Whitcoski. They were married in 1931. Paul passed away soon after, but later in life Margaret met Howard Clark, who would become Meg's grandfather.

Little is known about the exact circumstances under which Meg's great-grandparents, Effie Sterret and Otto Ruhl, met. But Meg and Colette know that Otto lived in the basement of McCullagh Cottage and stoked the furnaces while he worked his way through school to become a mining engineer. Effie lived in McCullagh while she was a student, and they were married in 1903.

In August 2011, Meg and Eric Rhodes welcomed their baby girl, Weslee Grace, into their family. Will the family tradition continue?

No one can say, but Meg believes that, at least for herself and the past generations, "Drury is not just the place we all became adults and found the paths for our future, it is also the place we found the person we would share that future with."

Megan Waterman is an English and writing major and student assistant in the Office of Alumni & Development.