As part of a week-long series alongside Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring stories about UF couples, past and present, called “Findlay Faithfuls.” Did you meet the love of your life on campus? We want to hear about it! Share your story via Facebook or Twitter using #IHeartUFindlay #FindlayFaithfuls.
There is so much in a name.
There are easy ones like Smith. Johnson. Jones. Fell.
And then there’s Maglicic (pronounced MAG-LISS-ICK). Not, as it turns out, an easy one to pin down for the young University of Findlay woman who, in the early ‘90s, saw it on a student-athlete’s hat in the cafeteria. “I noticed this guy who always had a baseball hat on with his name on it,” Heather (Pirschel) Maglicic ‘94 said. “I could not for the life of me figure out how to pronounce it, so that was the first question I asked him when we actually met.” It was a name she had no idea at the time she’d soon be living with for the rest of her life.
Heather and Matt Maglicic ’92 were then living their young college lives largely unaware of each other. At the start, Heather was simply mesmerized by the name on the hat. Soon, however, she realized a growing interest in the head that it sat atop. “A really cute football player,” she recollected.
“My roommate knew her roommate,” Matt explained. “There was a lot of the ‘who is that?’ being asked, and eventually an introduction was made. There was definitely something there right from the start.”
UF and its students were the same in several ways in the early 90s. Old Main was the focal point of campus; basketball games were being played at Croy Gymnasium. And, like most are today, students were broke. “I don’t believe our first official date was until after a few weeks or even months after we met,” Matt recalled. “I tried to hold off officially asking her out because I had no money.” Instead, they got by with simply seeing each other at parties and in the cafeteria, or hanging out in their dorm rooms or to study in the library. Finally, as luck would have it, Matt was blessed with enough wealth to take Heather out.
One thing different back then in the area around UF’s campus was the presence of a restaurant directly across Main Street from the Griffith Memorial Arch, a place with a name that older alumni will instantly recognize. “Soup R Sub!” Heather said. “That’s where our first date was!” So, while Matt hadn’t suddenly become the richest college student in history (the meal, Heather confessed, was a tuna sub and a pitcher of beer), he was gaining wealth in other, more important ways: he was beginning a relationship with a young woman who would eventually become his soul mate. “The date was super easy and enjoyable,” Heather said. “We clicked right away.”
And so, with his bank account drained of the windfall of cash that allowed for him to finally take his dream girl out to eat, the two dated humbly going forward, attending casual parties and having study dates at Shafer Library, among other outings. Heather faithfully attended football games, and even created a sign to put in her Deming Hall dorm window that read: #26 on the field, #1 in my heart! “Life on campus was great,” Matt said. “There was just a lot of great people we both got to know. It was definitely small but we had a lot of fun.”
When Matt graduated from UF after the two had been together for two years, he moved back to his hometown area of Columbus. Heather, unfortunately, still had half of her academic endeavors to take care of; thus began a long distance relationship. Whatever burden that turned out to be for the bond, however, must have been a small one. Not only did the couple withstand the distance between them, the space evidently made their relationship even stronger. “Matt proposed to me right before I graduated,” Heather said. “He drove to Findlay to surprise me.” The proposal took place at Donnell Pond, behind the stadium where they had been together for so many games and tailgates prior. They married less than a year later, in February of 1995, and life took off quickly from there.
The couple had four children a few years after marriage. First came Sam, now twenty-two; then Annie, twenty-one; Henry, fifteen, and Gus, twelve. They had some trials years back–Matt opened a small business in 2008, right at the start of the recession–but they pulled up their memories of the lean years, of tuna subs and pitchers of beer, and muddled through. Now, with two kids in college and both of their careers back on track, they’re breathing a bit easier. Matt is a sales manager for Peoples Services and Heather is in physician relations at OhioHealth. “Life is now as we imagined it when we got engaged,” Matt said. “Fulfilling, busy, happy, and surrounded by great family and friends. It has left us both looking forward to what’s next in life.”
“When I fell in love with Matt, I was nineteen,” Heather explained. “It is one thing to tell someone you want to grow old with them, but it is a whole other thing to weather all the storms of life together and then actually do it. I think I can speak for us both when I say we feel like even after all the good things our life together has handed us, the best is still yet to come.”
And part of that “best” is celebrating twenty-four years of marriage this month. That’s a long way from a tuna sub.