Kathy (Stone) and Bob Phillips

Kathy (Stone) and Bob Phillips were both living in TJ Hall’s North Tower when they met in August 1986 while attending a trigonometry review session before the start of their freshman year. At breakfast on Tuesday morning, Bob and several of the other guys from his floor decided to sit with Kathy and her roommate. Over biscuits and gravy, the sparks flew between the two of them. They began studying together and by the end of the semester, were essentially inseparable, and there were mixtapes involved.

Kathy (Stone) and Bob Phillips
Kathy (Stone) and Bob Phillips

“We took an Honors course together in the Art and History of the Renaissance, jointly taught by Drs. Jim Bogan and Jack Ridley,” she says. “This class taught us so much, broadening our science and engineering-focused brains, and we were so fortunate to have experienced it together.” 

In 1990, Kathy earned a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering and Bob earned a bachelor’s degree in life sciences. The couple was married two weeks later at St. Patrick Church in Rolla by Fr. Charlie Pardee, the priest at the UMR Newman Center at the time. 

“Our wedding reception was in the Student Center on campus and our music was provided by the KMNR disc jockeys,” she adds.

Today Bob works as a family physician and serves as the founding executive director of the Center for Professionalism and Value in Health Care of the American Board of Family Medicine. Kathy works as a 12th grade geosystems teacher with the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia.

Their relationship advice?

“Choose a partner that enables you to be the best version of yourself,” she says.

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