By Peter Scamardo
Allie Blosser, Assistant Professor of Education, and Joe Blosser, Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy, owe both their careers and their marriage to Phi Beta Kappa.
As seniors at Texas Christian University in 2002, two days prior to graduation, Allie and Joe were being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa by their campus chapter, something Allie said was akin to winning an Olympic gold medal.
It was at their induction ceremony that the two met for the first time, and where Allie asked Joe out, in front of his parents and grandmother.
“I had heard about Joe because we had lots of mutual friends,” Allie said. “I heard that he was really smart, a little competitive, and spoke a lot in his classes. Those qualities intrigued me. And I was impressed that he was the ΦBK Scholar (the top student in the class).”
However, Allie also admitted to having a margarita with her sister prior to the ceremony, something she said made her braver than usual.
Joe accepted, and they went on dates that summer, but the two did not stay together as Joe was headed off to Vanderbilt for his Master of Divinity program and Allie was off to Michigan State for her master’s program.
They reconnected two years later, but again it did not last. In a twist of fate, a Facebook friend request from Allie to Joe reconnected them for a third time in 2008. It was this third time that the two’s connection started to become the strongest. First through writing and later through visiting, theirs became a relationship built to last.
“Joe is the only guy I dated who would read my favorite books just so he could discuss them with me,” Allie said. “We also have a shared commitment to justice and our community. My mom will tell you she knew he was the one for me when she overheard us arguing about the merit of semicolons.”
The stars aligned for Joe and Allie as Allie was accepted into Loyola-Chicago's Ph.D. program at the same time Joe was offered a visiting assistant professor position at DePaul University; this was while he was finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.
It was in Chicago that the two started their lives as the Blossers. Joe proposed over margaritas, referring back to their very first meeting. Needless to say, Allie said yes.
Their long-term goal became to find jobs at the same university. That led them to High Point. Allie did adjunct work after Joe was offered an assistant professor position in 2011, and later, she worked her way into an assistant professor position there after finishing her Ph.D.
“As a school High Point University is young,” Joe said. “But under Nido Qubein’s leadership, he has taken us from a sleepy liberal arts school of about 1,000 students to a thriving university with nine schools and over 5,000 students in just twelve years. We aim to continue to grow and to ensure we emphasize, invest, and speak to the value of our university as a liberal arts institution.”
The Blossers know better than most how influential Phi Beta Kappa membership can be to students. It not only opened doors for them academically and career-wise, but it also planted the seed that turned into their marriage. For that reason alone, the two do not dwell too much on what may have happened had they not met at their induction ceremony. As Joe said, so much of his current life hinges on Phi Beta Kappa—far more than his 21-year-old mind could have imagined.
Peter Scamardo is a senior at the University of Houston majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing. He is also interning at the Houston Chronicle this fall. The University of Houston is home to the Mu of Texas chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.