Skip to Main Content

A UD Love Story

Alumni Reunite 25 Years After Rome Semester, Will Marry This Fall


Karen Norris and Michael RouseDate published: July 2, 2019

While many UD couples joke about their “ring-by-spring,” Karen Norris, BA ’88, and Michael Rouse, BS ’87, have a less conventional UD love story. 

Norris and Rouse first met at New York’s JFK Airport in January 1985 while making the connection on the group flight from Dallas to Rome. They traveled together throughout the Rome semester, journeying through Europe, and visiting places like Capri and Heidelberg. In addition to late-night studies of Aristotle, Norris and Rouse have fond memories of playing Trivial Pursuit with a group of friends in the dorm lounge. While they were good friends during the rest of their time at UD, they lost touch after graduation.

It was only about 10 years ago, nearly 25 years after their Rome semester, that they crossed paths again when Norris Googled her name. “I found out that Karen Norris is a 1940s movie star ... and my name popped up on Michael’s website,” said Norris. This sent her searching through her own albums of memories from UD and the Rome semester, looking for this fellow alumnus and spring 1985 Romer in her own photographs. She reached out to Rouse via email, and much to her surprise, he sent her a reply, and they began an email correspondence that continued until Rouse came to Fort Worth on a work trip. “When I first saw her, she was still the pretty girl from across the classroom in Rome,” said Michael. They struck up their old friendship again and soon began dating. 

Karen and MichaelInspired by Professor of Physics Richard Olenick’s classes, Rouse, a former physics major, proposed on a beach in Oregon during the diamond ring effect of the 2017 total solar eclipse: “I proposed at exactly 10:17:51 a.m. PDT (plus or minus a couple of seconds) on August 21, 2017, at 44°45’03” N latitude and 124°03’52” longitude (within a quarter second of arc). I am the most attentive fiance ever! Thank you, solar eclipse!” 

They will be getting married at Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans on Oct. 24, 2019, and at their reception they will serve — what else? — Due Santi wine. Since Norris works in Dallas as the director of curriculum and instruction at Momentous Institute, the couple will start their new life together in Irving, although Rouse jokes that he is really just moving back to be closer to the Cap Bar. 

While Norris and Rouse might not have begun dating while at UD, they still credit UD — and their Rome semester in particular — for their love story. “My time at UD gave me friends for life, and my semester in Rome gave me my wife,” said Rouse.

News

Senior Story 2020: For Bio Major, UD's Value Transcends Science

When it came time for Ana Henriquez, BA '20 and Class of 2020 valedictorian, to pick a college, she knew she wanted a small, Catholic, liberal arts university that offered both biology and Latin. That sounds like UD in a nutshell, and she thought so too. In the spring of her senior year of high school at The Atonement Academy in San Antonio, as she approached UD's campus for her last visit, she knew she would spend the next four years there and shouted to her mom, "Look, that's my tower! That's my home!"

+ Read More

Senior Story 2020: Legacy Physics Major Soars Toward Aerospace

Given his strong UD legacy, Bill Bennett, BS '20, was practically destined to attend the University of Dallas. Stories about UD's Rome Program and rugby were essential aspects of Bennett's childhood given that both of his parents, as well as many extended relatives, are UD alumni. But while UD was in his blood, he ultimately chose UD because he wanted both a liberal arts education and a degree in physics, and he knew UD was the best place to combine the two.

+ Read More

Senior Story 2020: Business Major Pursues Cybersecurity

It is not uncommon for the University of Dallas (UD) and the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) to get confused, and Adella Klinte, BA '20, was unfortunately subject to that confusion. When she applied to UD, Klinte thought she was applying to UTD. Crazy though it may seem, Klinte thinks it was God's plan all along.

+ Read More