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From Lab Partners to Life Partners: How One Couple’s 25-year Marriage Began With a Chance Meeting in Physics Class

Eric Bess ‘96 and Missy Wymer ’94
Eric Bess ‘96 and Missy Wymer ’94 met in physics class in 1993, almost 30 years later, the chemistry is still strong.

“I pick her.” That’s the first conversation Eric Bess ‘96 had with Missy Wymer ’94 when he picked her as his lab partner in College Physics II, taught by Dr. Carlson at WVU Tech in Montgomery in fall of 1993. Normally shy, Eric immediately felt comfortable around Missy. Their first date was attending a church Christmas play together that year. The couple got engaged in Myrtle Beach in 1997 and married in 1998.

Eric Bess and Missy Wymer

Both Tech alums, Missy graduated with a degree in Printing Technology, and Eric earned his associate’s in Civil Engineering Technology and bachelor’s in Engineering Technology. They live in Charleston and have two children, Jonathon (20) and Andrew (15). Missy works for Healthsmart Benefit Solutions. Eric is the office manager of Mott MacDonald, a global consulting engineering firm. And, for the record, they passed Dr. Carlson’s College Physics class.

Jonathon (20) and Andrew (15)

Eric and Missy's sons Andrew (15) and Jonathan (20)

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we asked the couple for some relationship advice – and Tech memories!

Best Tech memory

Eric: Meeting my wife. And the interactions I was able to have with my professors in Montgomery. There was a camaraderie, and you could really just go to them and sit down and talk about life.

Most memorable date

After we started dating, we went on our first trip together to Smoke Hole Caverns during the Olympics. We watched the Olympics from a hot tub. Great trip and memory.

Favorite vacation together

We are both Disney freaks, so we go to Disney World a lot.  Another great vacation was our first Caribbean cruise and seeing the Grand Caymans and Cozumel.  We have an upcoming trip this summer touring the UK for 10 days.

Any marriage advice?

Trust each other, never go to bed angry, know how to take a joke and remember you start out as friends before you get married, and you should stay friends throughout.

Eric Bess ‘96 and Missy Wymer ’94
Orndorf Hall in Montgomery, WV - where it all started for Eric and Missy

If you’re a grad, student or employee who met their significant other at Tech (or know someone who is), we would love to hear your story! Tag us in the comments or email . We love sharing these Golden Bear memories!