A Drexel Love Story
“I’ll let Barbara tell it; it’s her favorite story,” said Carl Fugmann ’54, when asked how he and his wife first met.
With a laugh, Barbara ’56 began to explain that she transferred to Drexel during her sophomore year. She said that as a result of the transfer, her schedule was a little ‘off’ and she found herself in a senior advertising class.
“Every day I would bring a crossword puzzle with me and I would sit there and do my puzzle,” she said.
“Instead of paying attention to class,” Carl joked.
Getting back to the story, Barbara explained that one day she felt a tap on her shoulder before class started, and there was Carl, a senior at the time, handing her a crossword puzzle.
According to Carl, he had noticed Barbara every day in class and was looking for a way to break the ice.
“I needed to find a way to talk to her and I thought I’d be helpful and bring her a crossword puzzle,” he said.
It was a thoughtful move, but for Carl, it was just the beginning. He continued to pursue Barbara, learning her schedule and driving by her as she walked home from class.
One day he pulled up alongside her and offered to give her a ride home.
“I remember I wasn’t too aware of Carl at the time,” said Barbara. “I had a lot of friends that I hung out with at the University of Pennsylvania and I didn’t know that Carl was such a big man on campus at Drexel because I wasn’t paying much attention.”
But just as Carl had hoped, she began paying attention.
“I just remember we had a lot of laughs together,” said Barbara. Soon she even began going to Carl’s lacrosse games to watch him play.
Then one night she got a phone call from Carl asking if she wanted to go out with him for some coffee.
“I told him I had a big test that I was studying for and I couldn’t go,” she said.
Not ready to give up, Carl offered to come over and help Barbara prepare for her test.
“He came over and we studied together. He asked me questions and I remember thinking that he was so smart – and I liked that,” said Barbara.
Later that night, they had their first official date over coffee, and as Carl put it, ‘the rest is history.’
Carl graduated in 1954 and took a job as a lifeguard in Stone Harbor for the summer so that he could be closer to Barbara.
When the summer was over, Barbara returned to Drexel and Carl began to serve his obligatory 2 years in the US Army.
During their time apart, they exchanged love letters and often visited one another. Then, one night during one such visit, Carl asked Barbara if she would consider marrying him. She said yes and they went to Baltimore to buy an engagement ring.
They wasted no time and were married in July of 1956, the month after Barbara graduated.
Fifty-three years later, and still very much in love, they are still making one another laugh.
“Having a good sense of humor is important to a successful marriage,” said Carl.
“And remembering that every relationship has peaks and valleys but the peaks make it all worth it,” added Barbara.
The Fugmanns now have three children, four grandchildren, and have homes in Kentucky and Florida. They enjoy reading, walking, playing tennis, visiting museums, going to church and being with their friends.