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Couple Return to ACC, Where Six-Decade Love Connection Was Born

Jim and Betty Stephenson revisit a campus landmark ...
Jim and Betty Stephenson revisit a campus landmark …
... and the stage where they met 62 years ago.
… and the stage where they met 62 years ago.

Klump Academic Center regularly hosts Penn College’s summer Connections program, acquainting incoming students and their families with the exhilaration and expectations of campus life. Coinciding with an orientation session earlier this month, the college had two additional VIPs: a New Castle couple who met in the building’s auditorium as high school students in February 1952. Jim and Betty Stephenson had been selected as violinists in that year’s All-State Orchestra Festival, hosted at what was then Williamsport High School. The course of true love being what it is,  they separated … then reconnected … then embarked on a postal courtship that led to marriage in 1958. During a break in the July 15 Connections session, the Stephensons asked Anthony J. Pace, assistant director of student activities for student organizations and orientation, to photograph them in front of the building. “I bet you don’t know why we want you to take this picture, do you?” Jim Stephenson asked, before recounting their journey. Retired and traveling around Pennsylvania, Pace was told, the couple wanted to revisit Williamsport “and they weren’t sure if the building still existed or if they’d even be able to go inside.” Thanks to an obliging college employee, the Stephensons got their wish and PCToday readers get a reminder of life’s occasional happily-ever-after moments. “Their story was full of love, laughter and an obvious excitement to be visiting the place that had brought them together so many years ago,” Pace said.