When were you two at Illinois – ILIR/LER? 
Amy and I both started at the Institute the Fall of 1990, and received our MA’s in May, 1992.

How did you meet and start dating? 
We had several classes together our first semester, and became friends during many group outings at Murphy’s. We started dating midway through our second semester, and got engaged during the Fall 1991 semester.

If you were dating while in Champaign-Urbana, what was your favorite date night location? 
We’re happy to report that our three favorite places in Champaign are still standing – Papa Dell’s (back when they were still on Green Street), Murphy’s Pub, and Jarling’s Custard Cup

When/where were you married? 
We were married on October 9, 1993, in St Charles, IL, which is Amy’s hometown. After we left U of I and during our engagement, we lived apart due to our first jobs out of school. Amy worked in Minneapolis, MN, for FMC, and I accepted a job with GTE, in Pleasanton, CA. Once we were married, we initially settled together outside of Dallas, TX, where I continued to work for GTE and Amy took a job with William M Mercer. We are proof that long distance relationships can work out with a little planning and effort!

What you’re up to today?
Currently, we live in Loveland, CO, so we can be close to our three kids (Jordan-27; Savannah-25; Evan-22), all of whom attended Colorado State University, and live within an hour of us. Amy left the corporate world shortly after Jordan was born to be a stay at home mom, but she eventually returned to the world of work as a yoga instructor and a high school tennis coach as our kids got older. Currently, she still teaches yoga, volunteers at a local hospital, and is a board member on two different homeowners’ associations. I worked for GTE/Verizon Communications in various HR roles for 27 years before I retired in 2019. In retirement, I have taken up writing as a quasi-second career. I published my first book, My Father’s Son, a dark, psychological thriller, in March 2022, and I anticipate publishing my second book, A Fall from Grace, a family comedy/drama, by the end of 2024. In our spare time, Amy and I enjoy traveling and taking in all the natural beauty and outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer.

Ritchie family

When was the last time you visited campus together? 
We celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary on campus on October 9, 2021. We went to the football game, grabbed some pizza at Papa Dell’s, a beer at Murphy’s, and of course swung by the LER building before we left 🙂

Craig and Amy Ritchie in front of the LER building

Are there any other favorite memories or fun stories you’d like to share from your time together on campus? 
The closest I’ve ever come to getting arrested occurred at a 1991 Halloween party that Erik Sloan (fellow classmate) and I hosted at our apartment. Apparently our neighbors didn’t appreciate the loud music and louder students in the hallway, so they called the police. I obviously did not provide satisfactory answers to the cops’ questions, since they handcuffed me within a few minutes of their arrival. Fortunately, Amy stepped in and convinced them that I was not a real menace, so they let me off with sour looks and a stern warning. Our classmates all agreed that it was the best party of the semester!