Troy sweethearts: Getting a degree in love

by Katelyn Smith

As people everywhere celebrated Valentine’s Day earlier this week, love runs through the halls of Troy University every day of the year. Rob and Morgan Drinkard and Doug and Anna Gooden are just two of several couples across campus who have found love while attending and working at Troy. 

The Drinkards will be happily married for 12 years this October.  Meanwhile, the Goodens have been devoted to each other for 16 years.  

Rob Drinkard is the Director of Advertising for the Office of Marketing, and Morgan Drinkard is a lecturer of public relations and advertising in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication. While they did not begin a relationship right away, there were a lot of connections pulling them together. Being involved in campus organizations, sharing classes, and being Greek life sweethearts ignited the flame for the Drinkards. They even shared a class with Dr. Shari Hoppin, an associate professor of journalism and communication studies, with whom Morgan Drinkard is now a co-worker. 

Once married, the Drinkards started their family in Troy.

“We enjoy raising our children in the city of Troy.”  Morgan Drinkard said. “It is a special place to us, and our children love being a part of both community and university activities. 

“Our children are often a part of recreation sports teams or in classes with the children of our colleagues from the university.”

While they work in the same field but in different capacities, with Rob practicing the principles Morgan teaches,  they don’t get to see each other often in the workplace. Despite their separation of work, their passion for the field shines through in everything they do. When they’re not working for the university, the Drinkards collaborate on events like TroyFest Arts & Crafts Festival.  

Meanwhile, Doug Gooden works as the Broadcast Engineer for Troy University, and Anna Gooden works with the Marketing Office as the Communications Technician. The connection between Anna and Doug Gooden was founded on a passion for broadcast television. Sharing common interests and friends only nourished their relationship. In fact, their first date was in 2004 at what was known as the J-School Prom in 2004. Living in Troy and working for the University allows them to enjoy a close-knit family. They have family dinners, and Doug Gooden coaches his daughter’s soccer and volleyball teams. 

The Goodens work in Wallace Hall together. This gives them the opportunity to see each other during the workday. Doug will occasionally stop by Anna’s office, checking on her and sometimes bearing gifts like Starbucks drinks. They also get to enjoy lunch together. 

“This is something special to us,” Anna Gooden said. “With the kids all in school, it gives us the time to talk without being interrupted.”

Aside from lunches, Doug also gives Anna sentimental gifts for the holidays. On one Mother’s Day, he presented Anna with a bouquet of handmade paper flowers. It is a gift that Anna still treasures. 

“It’s like my favorite ever gift that he’s ever given me because he spent the time to figure out how to fold them and then do it,” Anna said.

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