Do you study? Tour the campus? Twiddle your thumbs quietly?
If you’re like Lisa and Dwayne Price, you very well might fall in love.
“Dwayne was almost literally the first guy I laid eyes on at UMBC,” said the former Lisa Dates, who, like her husband, arrived on campus very early.
“We got to know each other during the orientation, remained friends, and later started dating in the second semester of freshman year.”
Made for each other
After they met, it didn’t take Lisa and Dwayne long to figure out they had a lot in common. Both grew up in Prince George’s County, MD. Both were active students. And both planned to major in Information Systems at UMBC.
While at UMBC, the couple threw themselves into their studies while making plenty of time for fun student activities. Dwayne played an array of intramural sports – tennis, table tennis, basketball (for which Lisa acted as a cheerleader) and football. Lisa took on duties with the Office of Residential Life, organized events like UMBC’s first water gun fight, and volunteered as a “sweetheart” for the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. She also worked with the Federal Aviation Administration as a Cooperative Education student.
Still, being together was the best activity of all.
“In terms of romance, walking the campus loop was a favorite activity for us, when we weren’t studying,” said Lisa.
Achieving their goals
Two years after graduating from UMBC, Lisa and Dwayne married. Already deep into their blossoming careers in IT, they decided to return to school to earn their master’s degrees before having children.
“We both understand and appreciate the opportunities education brings,” said Dwayne. “We both started graduate school part-time within a few years after earning our undergraduate degrees. We achieved our goal of earning our advanced degrees before we started our family.”
Over time, Lisa earned her master’s in IT from Johns Hopkins and a project management certificate from George Washington University. Dwayne also earned a master’s in IT from Bowie State University.
The decision paid off for both. Today, Dwayne is director of information technology for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Lisa is director of IT project management for the Board of Education of Prince George’s County Public Schools. In addition, in 2003 Lisa was selected from a nationwide pool as a participant in the American Society of Association Executives’ Diversity Executive Leadership Program. She also served a term on the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors.
“I enjoy the continued ability to apply technology to the field of education,” said Lisa of her job. “It’s particularly gratifying to support my own community and county. However, the best part of my job is collaborating with my staff, an excellent, hardworking team that rises to any challenge.”
The secret to their success
So what’s the trick to staying happily in love for nearly 20 years? For the Prices, it’s family, commitment, honesty, humor and faith.
“Our shared Christian faith is essential to our marriage,” said Dwayne. “And we really do believe we were made for each other.”
The couple has two children (or “future UMBC alums,” as the Prices call them), son Devin, 13, and daughter Layne, 12. Devin shares the name of friend and fellow UMBC alumnus, Devin Walker, and Layne’s name – crafted during their college days – is a combination of her parents’ first names, a constant reminder of their special union.
“The friendship, love, and respect that we experienced in courtship continue to be the hallmarks of our marriage,” said Lisa. “As my husband and friend, Dwayne is the very best souvenir I could have received from UMBC…in addition to the excellent education, of course!”
– Jenny O’Grady
Originally posted February 2007