WSU alums found love at Catholic student center

Husband planned events to stage run-ins with his crush, now wife



Rebecca and John Hurley met in Pullman in 2004. They recently returned to campus to show their children their old stomping grounds and visit with friends.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Evergreen reporter

There is an old adage in Pullman that goes along the lines of, “You come to WSU for a degree, and you end up finding a spouse too. For two WSU alums, that is exactly what happened.

WSU alums Rebecca and John Hurley met at the St. Thomas More Catholic Student Center during the spring semester of 2004.  

John was finishing up his junior year and said he was heavily involved at St. Thomas More’s at the time. Along with other students, he would show up for weekly dinners on Tuesdays, where he noticed Rebecca with her boyfriend at the time. 

“I thought her boyfriend must be her brother because she was way out of his league,” he said.

When Rebecca and her boyfriend at that time did not work out, John decided to shoot his shot.

He was the social activities chairman at the student center. He said he used that role to find ways to grow closer with Rebecca.

“I started to create events just to invite her to them,” John said.

John said he hoped their first date would be just the two of them, but things did not go exactly as planned. 

It all started when he created a co-ed softball team to invite Rebecca to because he heard she liked to play. After one of the first practices, he asked if anyone wanted to go to Denny’s. Rebecca went with him, but so did another girl on the team. 

“I think that counts as the first date, even though our friend Amanda jumped in and joined us and became a third wheel,” he said. “The next [date] was watching movies at my apartment.”

While they finished their studies at WSU, they lived in an apartment off Stadium Way affectionately nicknamed “The Loft,” John said. In true college fashion, John and Rebecca lived with three other couples to save on rent. 

John and Rebecca said they made a lot of friends and memories at that apartment. In fact, one of the couples they lived with ended up becoming their son’s godparents. 

“We would have parties and would sit on the roof and drink margaritas,” he said. “One of my roommates was a bartender, so he would make all the drinks for us.”

Rebecca said the two were able to attend the 2004 Apple Cup game where WSU beat UW and everyone stormed the field. 

John said he would walk Rebecca to class almost every day the first spring they dated. Their classes were on opposite sides of campus because they were in completely different majors, so he would have to hurry to make it to his classes on time.

John graduated from WSU in 2005, and Rebecca graduated in 2008. Rebecca said they dated long-distance for the three years between their graduation dates, and they got married a few weeks after she graduated. 

They now have a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old and live in Bremerton, just outside of Seattle. The two brought their children to Pullman when they were young, so they do not remember it. Recently, the family made another trip back to Pullman, this time with friends. 

“We came with my sons’ godparents, who we were living with at the loft, and they brought their 3-year-old twins,” John said.