Darenique Henry (Davis) and Jamekius Davis
“Jamekius and I met our freshman year in college. He was a member of the Sonic Boom of the South’s drumline, and I was a JSU cheerleader. We don’t have the typical love story; it wasn’t love at first sight. We barely even liked each other. However, as we grew more familiar with each other, our flirtatious ways started to emerge, and before we knew it, we were on our first date.
The funny thing is we vowed not to fall in love with each other. Since I am from New Orleans and he is from Jackson, we just figured we would go our separate ways after graduation. However, God definitely laughed at our plans. I graduated from JSU with my first degree in May 2013, but I was apprehensive about leaving Jackson because of him. Then just a few short weeks later, his mother passed away. Immediately, without thinking twice about it, I turned the car around and headed back to Jackson. From that point forward, a bond was created that no man on earth could tear apart. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
Let’s fast forward a little. I like to say we unknowingly got engaged. I graduated with my master’s in April 2016, and he graduated with his bachelor’s the next day. That Monday after celebrating, we went out for breakfast and then to the mall. While we were in the mall, we stopped at Kay’s Jewelers, and he proposed right there. The thing I appreciated most was that it was spontaneous and unplanned – just like us! Who would have thought Jackson State University would be where I’d find my soulmate?”
Jessica Maynie (Sayles) and Rashad Sayles
“Our love story began in the fall of 2013 on the campus of Jackson State University. After being introduced by mutual friend Jasmine Jackson, Jessica and I quickly became inseparable. We would spend numerous hours on the phone, hang out after classes and meet for lunch in the cafeteria almost every day.
Little did Jessica know, I knew the minute I met her that I would make her my wife one day.
A year after we met, Jessica was talking to me on the phone, and her mother said to her, ‘Are you SURE Rashad isn’t the one you should be with?’ And it was at that moment Jessica finally realized that I was the one for her. Shortly after, we began courting.
During my 22nd birthday party, we decided it was time to become a legitimate couple, and we began dating “officially.” We dated for two years – enjoying many laughs, trips out of town and college events together as boyfriend and girlfriend. However, it wasn’t until December 31, 2016, that both of our lives would change forever.
Jessica assumed we were just taking a trip to celebrate the New Year, but I had a different plan. On New Year’s Eve, we climbed the well-known Stone Mountain in Atlanta, Georgia with some good friends. When we reached the top, I professed my love to her. I said: ‘Just as this mountain proved itself to be difficult to climb, so will the obstacles we will face in this lifetime. But I know, without a shadow of a doubt, you are the only woman I want to tackle it with.’
And then I got down on one knee – before God, our friends, and Facebook Live – to ask her to marry me.”
Reyanna Stowes (Davis) and Justin Davis
“On October 19, 2013, God brought us together at Jackson State’s Homecoming celebration. We would make eye contact with each other on campus prior, but the shyness stopped on this day. In actuality, I made the first move. We began talking and realized how much chemistry we had.
That Friday, the 23rd, we went on our first date. We found that we had so much in common, from music to SpongeBob. It’s like we were meant to be. A simple dinner and a movie turned out to be one of the greatest days of both of our lives.
On December 25, 2015, Justin surprised me and flew to California to spend Christmas night with me and my family. Little did I know that he had something in store for the next day. Justin got my old cheer team together, and they tricked me into thinking they wanted me to help them with a dance routine for an upcoming event. The cheerleaders start dancing; then, all of a sudden, they flipped signs that said ‘Will you marry me?’. On December 26, 2015, I said YES to being a Davis. On August 25, 2018, Justin and Reyanna tied the knot.
Amber Cotton (Rouse) and DiAngelo Rouse
“DiAngelo and I met on the campus of JSU as members of the Sonic Boom of The South Marching Band in the fall of 2009. As band members, we easily spent hundreds of hours together, however, only within the context of the group and never as anything more than associates. The following semester, we grew close and developed a genuine friendship. About halfway through the spring semester of 2010, DiAngelo reached out to me via Facebook to recruit me to sing the chorus of a song for a music project he was working on. The goal of the project was to ‘capture the day-to-day experience of being a member of the Sonic Boom’ …or so he claimed. Seeing an opportunity, I agreed. It seemed like the perfect chance to spend time together since DiAngelo was completely oblivious that I had a crush on him!
During the fall of 2010, after almost a year of being friends, I finally gathered the nerve to tell him I was interested. Immediately after that text, he called me for the first time and the rest was history. We were literally inseparable after that moment! After I graduated, I moved back to Chicago to pursue my PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology and we continued to date long
distance until 2015.
During Homecoming of that year, DiAngelo orchestrated the perfect proposal for two former band members which included not only the full marching band, but also a serenade from DiAngelo’s fraternity brothers: The Pi Nu Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America. The Sonic Boom closes out Homecoming Week by inviting Alumni band members to march with the current band students in a mini parade around campus from the practice field to the Music Building. Nothing seemed unusual or out of place when we arrived to practice that year. I caught up with friends and took selfies like I would any other time. The next thing I know, I’m being escorted onto the practice field by my younger brother Simon and the Drum Majors; played to by the Boom; serenaded by the Sinfonians; and presented with a beautiful ring. I was completely surprised and at a loss for words.
Right after the proposal, he moved to Chicago, and we recently got married on September 2, 2017. Of all the things I gained during my time at JSU, I’m so thankful that God allowed me to meet and marry my best friend!