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Metcalf Meet-Cute: A Wolfpack Love Story

An inter-dorm flirtation brought together State Mates Diane and Elwood Becton.

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Story by Rachel Young | Video by Evan Kidd

FOR DIANE HILL BECTON AND HER husband Elwood, a dorm room romance blossomed into a 50-year marriage filled with love, laughter and the Wolfpack.

“I was living in Metcalf Dormitory and Elwood was in Bowen,” said Diane, a sociology graduate from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “There were very few Black students on campus at that time, so you pretty much knew everyone who had come in that year…there was always a meet and greet for the new freshmen who would be coming in.”

The two knew each other as incoming freshmen and were involved in the same social circle, but it would take a few years before they started dating as juniors.

“She was a pretty girl on campus…she seemed to be good on the dance floor, she was active in the organizations here on campus and a smart girl,” said Elwood, who graduated with a degree in computer science from the then-College of Physical Science and Mathematics.

“He had his eyes on me, in other words,” added Diane, laughing.

As for Diane’s first impressions of Elwood?

“I thought he was a nerd. He thought a lot about his studies…but he was always such a kindhearted and loveable young man,” she said.

Diane and Elwood at a Wolfpack Club event.

Their first date was over the summer at a fraternity house party. While a student at NC State, Elwood was one of the original seven Eta Omicron Chapter founders of the first historically African American fraternity at NC State, Alpha Phi Alpha.

“One night during the summer, the Alphas were throwing a party, so we were there and we danced a couple of times,” said Elwood. Diane joked that she put her moves on him and Elwood agreed, “We had some fast dances and then some slow dances. That girl can go, though. For the last 50 years, I’ve been trying to keep up with her on the dance floor.”

Their time in college was filled with NC State athletics — David Thompson was a buddy — and hanging out at the student center with their tight-knit group of friends. They were married shortly after graduation in 1973.

We went to our first homecoming football game in 1969 and we haven’t ever missed a homecoming game. We have over 50 years of NC State homecoming games…we love NC State, we always felt a part of it.

Post-graduation, the Bectons continued to be very involved in campus life. After earning a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, Elwood returned to NC State to serve as Student Legal Advisor and Legal Counsel to the Division of Student Affairs from 1979 to 1983.

Diane and Elwood are co-founders of the Black Alumni Society (originally called the Black Alumni Group), which was officially organized in 1979. Elwood served as the group’s first president.

“We realized that as our numbers grew, we had to put a whole lot more effort into wanting the now-alumni population of Black students to feel what we were feeling. And I’m telling you from experience, you don’t feel it until you are here doing it and being a part of it. That’s why you have to have long reach and arms to reach out into communities and say, ‘Hey, come back, help here, help with this program,” added Diane.

Diane and Elwood on their wedding day in 1973.
Diane and Elwood celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 2023.

The two State Mates celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Dec. 22, 2023. They have remained loyal supporters of the university, serving terms on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Campaign for Excellence, the Chancellor’s African American Community Advisory Council and the Black Alumni Society. They also support the Wolfpack Club and often serve as guest speakers to student groups and as coordinators of university-community outreach programs. They are also part of the Golden Grads Forever Club and received the Meritorious Service Award at the 2023 Evening of Stars during Red and White Week for their years of dedicated service to the university.

And they’ve never missed a homecoming game. Diane shared, “We went to our first homecoming football game in 1969 and we haven’t ever missed a homecoming game. We have over 50 years of NC State homecoming games…we love NC State, we always felt a part of it.”

Dee Anthony ’19 and Nick Nolte ’20

Dee Anthony and Nick Nolte originally met during Dee’s sophomore year, and it was not love at first sight.

“After graduation, we found each other on Tinder once again, where we connected to joke about how bad our original time together was,” laughed Dee, a 2019 graduate from the Poole College of Management.

Although their first time together didn’t work out, Nick and Dee bonded over their love for friends, dogs and the Wolfpack.

“We lived in Charlotte after graduation, but we found ourselves visiting Raleigh to watch Wolfpack football often. We’d also use the time in Raleigh to see all the changes on campus. We realized while living in Charlotte that Raleigh was really our ‘home’ due to our time at NC State. We moved back to the area, which afforded us the ability to show our two handsome dogs around campus and spend even more time here,” said Dee.

Dee and Nick on campus for their engagement photo shoot.

The two stay connected to the university through athletics and volunteering on campus. Nick, a 2020 graduate of the College of Engineering, is involved with the Civil Engineering Senior Design class and returns each semester to speak to the graduating class about their career opportunities in the public sector.

Nick proposed on the Court of North Carolina last September with a ring and Dee’s Chick-fil-A order.

Karen Pegram Fishel ’91 & Philip Cornelius Fishel III (Neil) ’91

It wasn’t a particularly memorable meeting for Neil and Karen Fishel — at least on Neil’s side.

“The first weekend of my freshman year, my suitemates in Carroll invited me to go with them to the fraternity house to meet people. I met Neil that night,” said Karen. “I came back to my dorm room and told my roommate that I had met the man I would marry. Much to my disappointment, I learned the next day that Neil didn’t even remember me.”

Thankfully, Neil took notice, and the two 1991 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences graduates are celebrating 32 years together. Their first official date was at the cattle barn at the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem. Once they were dating, they loved to “go to Two Guys, Brothers Pizza, the bowling alley, hang out at the Alpha Gamma Rho house, spend a Sunday afternoon at the flea market at the NC State Fairgrounds and fishing at Lake Wheeler. We both worked with cattle so we spent a lot of time at then ‘Unit 1’, the beef cattle research unit,” according to Karen.

Karen and Neil Fishel pose for a Greek life formal.

Years after graduation, the two State Mates have stayed involved with their alma mater. Karen is on the CALS Friends and Alumni Board, as well as the NC State Employer Advisory Committee.

“NC State people have a bond that’s hard to understand unless you are affiliated with the university,” said Karen. “Having met at NC State, we not only have a deep love for the university as our alma mater, but it’s where we began our relationship…There’s just something special about the campus that every time I step onto the Brickyard, it takes me back to the days we spent in Polk Hall, or simply walking across campus and admiring its majesty. It also helps that when our team wins, we are happy together and when we lose, we are miserable together. We are united in our emotions over our favorite sports team.”