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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Alumnus proposes during Homecoming festivities

“We’re not here for a long time. We’re here for a good time,” said Kathy Gordon, alumna of ’72
Bob+Baxendale+and+Kathy+Gordon
Bob Baxendale and Kathy Gordon

On the morning of Sept. 30, Baldwin Wallace alumni, Bob Baxendale and Kathy Gordon, announced their commitment to one another during homecoming festivities.    

Baxendale, from the class of 1971, proposed to Gordon, from the class of 1972, after having reconnected during last year’s mega reunion.   

Due to COVID-19, the classes of 1970, 1971 and 1972 reunion was combined to make a mega reunion in 2022. Because of this, Baxendale and Gordon had the chance to reconnect after all their time apart. Since then, Gordon and Baxendale had begun conversing with each other and felt a connection between them both.  

“It was just a chemistry thing,” Baxendale said. “It just seemed to work for both of us and that we were attracted to each other, and I had interest in knowing more about each other.” 

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Since they started dating, the couple have done many road trips back and forth from Strongsville and Cincinnati, given that Baxendale resides in Strongsville while Gordon resides in Cincinnati. When Baxendale and Gordon were not able to be physically together, they would Facetime with each other.  

“We’ve essentially done 14 months of dating in 14 days because of the amount of time we have spent on Facebook or Facetime and learning about each other in our lives,” Gordon said.   

Both Baxendale and Gordon have had prior marriages before they dated. Throughout their love journey, Baxendale and Gordon said they have learned about patience and compassion. After Baxendale’s wife of 46 years passed away in 2021, he said he found comfort in finding someone like Gordon to be “compatible with and to have a great time with for the many years to come.”  

After the proposal, many of Baxendale’s and Gordon’s family and friends were surprised. Although Gordon knew that at some point this proposal would happen, she was still “taken aback” when it happened during homecoming weekend.   

In fact, Baxendale said that proposing to Gordon was not initially planned to happen during homecoming. After spending time looking for a ring and finally purchasing one, Baxendale planned on giving it to Gordon at a prior event they both were going to attend. Since the ring had not arrived on time, plans changed, and Baxendale said he knew he was going to propose on BW grounds.   

President Bob Helmer helped create a romantic ambience for the couple. During his speech at homecoming, Helmer gave the microphone to Baxendale and the rest is history. The proposal was celebrated with flowers and champagne to celebrate the special moment of that day.   

Going into the future, Baxendale and Gordon said that they strive to stay connected to the community by attending fundraisers within and beyond the campus community.   

Baxendale said he loves to spend his time engaging in BW activities and events, traveling and working to help the Special Olympics program which allows people with disabilities to participate in the sports they love. Gordon, on the other hand, has joined an organization to fundraise for and assist in women’s education community.  

Growing older in this stage of life, Gordon said that having someone you enjoy being with or someone you can connect with easily is “something to be held onto.”  

“We’re not here for a long time. We’re here for a good time,” Gordon said. “Try it because you know, time on this planet is short. It may seem when you are in your 20s like you’ve got an enormous amount of time, but at this stage in life, you know that your time is finite,” Gordon said. 

The journey begins at the 50th class reunion in 2022. 

If COVID-19 had not happened, the spark between Bob and Kathy may have never been lit.

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