As part of a week-long series alongside Valentine’s Day, University of Findlay regularly features stories about UF couples, past and present, called “Findlay Faithfuls.” To complement the Findlay Faithfuls Renewal of Vows at the Griffith Memorial Arch during Homecoming and Family Weekend on September 28th this year, we’re telling this special story of a young couple who met and married while at UF.
In a study done a few years ago, an idea was presented that some might consider a sort of paradigm shift. The study, co-authored by two separate colleges, attempted to upend the idea that “opposites attract,” instead, suggesting that we may be drawn to those who are like-minded. The story of “Findlay Faithfuls” couple Cody ‘19 and Kaylee (Davis) Ohnmeiss, shows that their similar passions in life also brought the two of them together, appearing to support this specific “birds of a feather” theory, and further giving strength to the idea that life-changing things happen at University of Findlay.
Cody and Kaylee arrived at UF as freshman athletes, he a wrestler, and she involved with women’s tennis, each coming from different, yet comparatively small villages in Ohio. Having been brought up in similarly athletic households, the two already had backgrounds in common before ever setting eyes on each other. “I have two brothers and two sisters,” Cody said, “and we were all athletes growing up. We enjoy being competitive.”
“My dad was my tennis coach from when I began at age five all the way until high school graduation,” Kaylee added. “We still play a couple of times a month.”
Athletics was certainly something about which the two were passionate, but, with so many other interests, they weren’t defined by it. Cody, especially, found out early in his UF athletic career that, as life frequently doesn’t go as planned, it’s important to put just as much emphasis on other aspects of college life aside from sports. As UF prides itself on guiding athletes to a meaningful life and productive career beyond the playing field, it was when Cody faced a setback that the University and its myriad of offerings kept him on top of his life. “Initially, I chose Findlay as a wrestling recruit,” he said. “But after a career ending injury, my focus quickly changed to more of a servant leadership role. I stayed involved with the wrestling team as a leader and took on a big leadership role with campus ministry. I led a Bible study at my house once a week, and also was the president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).”
As it would happen, there was another athlete getting involved on campus, and it was at one of those meetings of the FCA that, unbeknownst to the two for whom it would soon happen, a convergence was about to take place. “It was one of the first Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings that I attended my freshman year,” Kaylee explained. “Cody was a sophomore and was speaking about how he came to his faith and Christ and how it impacted his life. I distinctly remember thinking that I wanted to be with a man just like him.”
Those thoughts turned to action and the connection between Cody and Kaylee was formed. The couple remained side by side through their young college career, and saw it through to a graduation and career for Cody and graduate school for Kaylee. The two were married this past May, and have since begun the next chapter of their lives together, one that was and is still being helped along by the University.
Meeting each other and forming an inseparable bond is undoubtedly at the top of the highlight reel for the couple, but they made it clear that their time at UF has been one full of many other significant connections. Aside from their closeness to campus ministries, the couple cites both career and educational relationships as paramount to what it means to be involved at University of Findlay. The people on campus, they offered, have been instrumental in helping to form their lives moving forward. Cody said that he “developed great relationships with professors and mentors that helped [him] to seek out and find great career enriching opportunities and internships.”
“All of the professors in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program care about the students and truly want us to succeed in order to help patients one day,” added Kaylee. “We can see their love and passion for the profession and that, in turn, excites us for our careers. In the future when I am a physical therapist, I think that the connections I have made at UF will be very important.”
Cody, now an outside sales representative for Fastsigns, a company that provides signs and graphic solutions for businesses and organizations, and Kaylee, who will graduate from the DPT program at UF in 2022, reside in Findlay and, according to them, live a “blessed life.” And, because of the connections they made with one another and others while at UF, it seems a safe bet to say that more blessings will come. “UF is more important to me than I ever imagined it would be, and I could never have thought of going to a different school,” Cody said.
“It has given us connections that have totally sent our lives in a different direction than expected,” Kaylee continued. “I would have never thought that I would have gotten married before starting grad school, but so far it has been amazing. Coming home after long days of class to a loving husband has made the transition from undergrad to graduate school very smooth.”
Findlay College/University of Findlay couples, past and present, who, like Cody and Kaylee, met while students and went on to get married are known as our “Findlay Faithfuls.” If you fall into this heartwarming category, we invite you to attend a renewal of vows at the Griffith Memorial Arch during Homecoming and Family Weekend on September 28th! For more info, and to register, click here.