Hugh Sullivan and Alida Duff Sullivan, both '06
We were both BFA studio art majors with concentrations in photography and graphic design.
Hugh is from Chicago, and Alida is from Fillmore, Ill.
When, where, and how did you first meet at Millikin?
Alida: We were both students in Annette Russo’s Design Orientation class freshman year, but really didn't become friends until second semester of sophomore year, when we had three classes together.
Hugh: We first met as freshmen in an art class, but we didn’t really talk much. She was busy actually doing her work, while I goofed off and tried to make my classmates laugh. We talked a little bit when we helped a visiting artist build a trebuchet in the parking lot, but other than that it wasn’t until sophomore year that we became friends.
What do you remember about the first time meeting each other?
Alida: The first time I really noticed Hugh, I thought ‘who is this guy with the crazy hair making everyone laugh and creating scary artwork?’
Hugh: I don’t remember as much as Alida. She remembers not being too happy about the couple times I got away with slacking on big art projects. But the first thing I noticed when we actually had a conversation was her laugh. I liked it, and liked that I made her laugh.
What did you do on your first date?
Alida: For our first date, I joined Hugh in co-hosting his Beatles-themed radio show on WJMU. While the songs played, we studied for our photo art history midterm, which was the next day. We found that we both had a knack for creating funny pneumonic devices for remembering artists, and we instantly hit it off. Afterward, we couldn't be separated and continued to study, eat cookie dough and watch movies together.
Hugh: Our first date was pretty nerdy. I was having a really hard time in Art History, so Alida agreed to co-host my Beatles radio show at WJMU and help me study. We ended up hanging out all night, starting off watching “Snatch” at my dorm. When I walked her back to her place, we decided we didn’t want to stop hanging out and ate cookie dough out of a tube while we watched “The Princess Bride.”
Where was your favorite place to hang-out together at Millikin?
Alida: One of our favorite places has to be Pilling Chapel. Hugh is a talented pianist, so throughout our years at Millikin, we spent many hours around the grand piano.
Hugh: I think we spent the most time in Pilling Chapel. The piano in there is amazing. We would go there all the time to play music and sing together. One of my favorite wedding photos is of us at that piano.
What is your most memorable Millikin experience as a couple?
Alida: While the first three years of our relationship were built around great experiences at MU, my favorite Millikin memory is our wedding day, July 5, 2008. We were married on the Miller Quad and had the reception in Lower RTUC. When it came time to choose a place for our wedding, we both knew Millikin was the perfect location.
Hugh: While we were students, our trip to the Southwest was pretty amazing. After graduation, our wedding on the Mueller Quad would be the most memorable experience at Millikin.
Where has your relationship taken you since Millikin?
Alida: Hugh and I have been together for nine years, married for five years and are the proud parents of three cats and a box turtle.
Hugh: Since that first time helping me study for Art History, Alida has always been a constant source of encouragement. We live in Decatur doing what we trained for at Millikin, and we push each other to be creative and have fun.
What advice would you give young couples in love at Millikin?
Alida: Some of our favorite dates involved seeing performances at Kirkland, attending art receptions and watching the fireworks at Homecoming, so take advantage of all the great opportunities that campus has to offer.
Hugh: Don’t skip class to hang out with each other. Not that I ever did that…
Want to share your story of how you found love at Millikin? Email Jaclyn Weisenborn '09, associate director of alumni engagement, with your expressed interest. One couple will be featured each month in MY Times.