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|GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS FEATURE|
|Couple Helps Students Learn about Lasting Love|
Devon Huggins and Derek Caperton are in love and want everyone to know it – at least all other Gonzaga University students who want to learn how to make love grow over time rather than wither away and die on the vine.
The couple graduated from Bonners Ferry High School in Idaho a year apart and no sparks flew until they became Zags. Derek proposed on Valentine’s Day 2008. Devon, a sophomore, aims to catch up academically to Derek, a junior, so they can graduate together in May 2010 and marry in June.
Love itself motivates them to help other students negotiate love’s roller-coaster. With a Christ-centered approach, they have started a twice-monthly program called “The Love Knot” in which they hear from speakers and share. They started the program in February after working with University Ministry and the Student Wellness Resource Center.
“Derek and I both just felt called to do something with relationships because we felt very much blessed,” Devon said. “We think what we have in a relationship is pretty special.”
Derek said their nondenominational, nonjudgmental approach tries not to scare people with stereotypes of ugly outcomes but seeks to build on love’s many positives. So far, turnouts have been modest but growing and they have received loads of positive feedback.
“We try to add to the good instead of taking away the bad to make it better,” Derek said. They are trying to incorporate the program into residence halls and hope it will be sustained after they graduate. Their sixth program, set for Thursday (April 16), is titled, “Sacrifice and Compromise” in which “meeting in the middle” and “how much to give” will be discussed.