UGA has brought so many couples together over the years, but the love story of Lynne (DVM ’03) and Rob (BS ’99) Randolph differs from the usual tale. They met after graduating: during flag football practice on The Ellipse near the White House, to be exact. It’s a little unconventional, but UGA still played its part in uniting the couple through the Washington, D.C., alumni chapter.
Before meeting, Lynne and Rob came to the university for very different reasons. Lynne’s family has a long history with UGA. Her grandfather, Dr. John Munnell, was a professor emeritus in the College of Veterinary Medicine, which inspired Lynne to follow in his footsteps and attend UGA’s veterinary graduate program. Her stepdad, John F. Munnell Jr. (AB ’77), her uncle, Clayton Munnell (BSED ’91), and her many aunts, Ginny Munnell Morris (AB ’80, JD ’06), Emily Ann Munnell (ABJ ’82), Amy Munnell (AB ’84) and Mandy Munnell (BFA ’85), all graduated from UGA. Emily even works for UGA’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations. Lynne always knew that she would become a Bulldog because of these relatives.
Rob, on the other hand, grew up in Montana, where the winters are cold and harsh. Tired of temperatures that pushed into the negatives, he decided to transfer to a school in a warmer climate and that offered a late acceptance deadline. While UGA wasn’t a place he felt destined to attend, Rob still became fully immersed in Bulldog culture. He roomed with a few men’s tennis players and partied hard when they won the 1999 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship in Athens.
While the two never met in Athens, they like to believe that they took a class together. Lynne took an undergraduate class in biochemistry and may have sat in the same 300-person lecture hall as Rob. They also frequented the same spots downtown. It’s not for certain, but they think it’s fun to believe it was.
Lynne and Rob officially met as DC Dawgs in August of 2004. They each joined the chapter to reconnect with fellow Bulldogs and became active members: watching football games as a group (Dawgs Never Bark Alone, after all) and playing flag football, which brought the pair together. While they didn’t begin dating until later, Lynne recalled what would become their first outing–when Rob “bamboozled” her.
Lynne loved live music—another reason she appreciated Athens—and discovered that a band she followed, OLD 97’s, was playing in D.C. at the 930 Club. She asked alumni in the chapter if anyone wanted to go with her, and Rob responded, “I love going to live music.” She found out later why he spoke so carefully: he listens to NPR and doesn’t actually like music all that much.
Rob maintains that he did not bamboozle her, and he went along solely to spend time with her. “He didn’t know any of the songs,” Lynne laughed, “but he still had fun, and it all worked out.”
While they never bonded over music, Lynne and Rob did bond while attending different chapter events. They got married on May 25, 2008, and now have two children, Adalynne and Jack, who is named after Lynne’s grandfather. They’re in elementary school, but Lynne and Rob hope they’ll attend UGA when they’re older.
The Randolphs make regular trips to Athens with Adalynne and Jack and try to attend at least one football game a year. They walk around campus and local parks and ensure they dine at their favorite Athens eateries, including The Taco Stand, Little Italy and The Grit.
“If we cannot go to those three places, it has not been a successful trip to Athens,” Lynne said. “Another must-do is that we have to go to Manhattan Cafe. That’s one place Rob and I had in common while we were in school. We love to take the kids there. The owner has kids, too, and he loves when we come.”
Despite living over 500 miles from UGA, Lynne and Robert are still Bulldogs at heart. They love that they can still engage with the university through the D.C. Dawgs Alumni Chapter. They regularly buy UGA gear for themselves and their children and recently received their order of championship merch in the mail. The UGA Alumni Association has been great for this couple, and they’re forever grateful that it brought them together in the first place.