proposal

Dennard Scoggins proposes to Wanda Parrish at the Georgia Southern football home opener with plans to marry at Sweetheart Circle.

Dennard Scoggins came to Georgia Southern University in the fall of 1960 and one of his first classes was English 101.

“I knew I had to find me somebody to help me through English 101,” he said.

Then Wanda Parrish walked in. 

Scoggins went and sat behind her and said it took him a few minutes to work up the nerve to tap her on the shoulder and introduce himself.

Now, 59 years later, 78 year-old Scoggins proposed to 76 year-old Wanda Parrish at the home opener for the 2019 GS football season.

“Georgia Southern had meant so much to us,” Scoggins said. “Met here, fell in love here early…Georgia Southern brought us back together because of our love for football mainly.”

The university brought the couple together and so it was only fitting for Scoggins to propose to Parrish at Paulson Stadium.

While in college, they dated for roughly two years. Parrish said that their stories vary, but they ultimately decided to go their separate ways.

They both moved on and pursued happy marriages to other people but would see eachother often at Georgia Southern events and say hello, according to Parrish.

In 2016, their spouses had passed and Scoggins even came to Parrish’s husband’s funeral.

They reconnected later that fall and spent a lot of their time at Georgia Southern football games.

Their relationship began to grow that fall. 

“We fell in love all over again,” Parrish said.

“Absolutely,” Scoggins quickly replied.

Parrish told a story about Scoggins getting in a wreck that Thanksgiving. Scoggins fell asleep at the wheel but was lucky to have Parrish alongside him in the hospital for 26 days, according to the couple.

“We spent Christmas in the rehab center,” Parrish said. “He would say something about, ‘I really thank you for staying with me’ and I said where else would I be? I want to be with you.”

They later moved in together and the rest is history.

Was she surprised to when Scoggins go on one knee?

“No,” Parrish said with a smile, as they had discussed marriage for a while.

The two will get married at Sweetheart Circle on Oct. 18 before the private 1906 Society event at Sweetheart Circle. Only graduates of GS are allowed to get married at Sweetheart.

“We wanted Georgia Southern to be a part of our marriage,” Scoggins said. “After we proposed and I got up, we started walking over to the sidelines where the student section was and the band started playing the fight song. We just kind of danced around a little bit going in that direction and the student section went crazy.”

That spontaneous connection created a special moment for the couple and gave them a sense of youthfulness.

“We like marriage and we hope this is going to be a happy marriage,” Parrish said.

Scoggins knows how fortunate he is to have been loved by his first wife and by Parrish. 

“I’m the luckiest man in the world,” Scoggins said with a smile.

Sarah Smith, The George-Anne News Editor, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu

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