Finding Friendship at Casper College

By: Stories collected by Casper College staff

Feb 14, 2020 | Campus and Community

group of friends

The relationships we build and maintain in college are significant aspects of our college experience. Our families, friends and romantic partners can be our biggest support systems through the highs and lows of higher education.

Another Valentine’s Day is upon us and this year we collected stories about finding best friends at Casper College.

“I met Rachel (Gray) Staley at Bailey Hall in 2003. We aren’t related even though we had the same last name.  Our joke, that even our parents share, is that we’re sisters. I’m so thankful that I met her and have remained friends over the years. We were talking this week and realized we’ve known each other half our lives.” — Jessica Gray

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

Jessica Gray and Rachel (Gray) Staley

“I met my four best friends here at Casper College: Ryann, Madalyn, Kendra and Jessica. We met at Casper College activities, classes, and eventually even became roommates. I love these women more than anything in the entire world. Love you best friends!” — Camille Barnes

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

Madalyn Montgomery, Jessica Smith and Camille Barnes

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

Camille Barnes, Ryann George-Bevers and Kendra Hinckley

“I met my best friend in 2014 at Casper College, we got married in 2016 and now have two beautiful kids!” — Rebecca Papineau

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

Rebecca and Jason Papineau

“We all lived in Bailey Hall, and became friends during fall semester 2007. We went on many adventures together: hiking, fishing, partying, and just having too much fun. We took turns visiting each other’s hometowns over the next two years. After CC, some of us went to separate universities, but we always stayed friends. Now we help each other celebrate weddings, babies, and everything in between. We just planned a camping trip for August this year! Thanks CC for putting us together!” — Lynn Akerson Foote

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

Christy Gorzalka Hutchinson, Allie Bass Sowerwine, Lynn Akerson Foote, and Katie Stager wearing 3-D glasses while watching a movie a their college dorm room.

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

Reva McKee, Allie Bass Sowerwine, Lynn Akerson Foote, and Christy Gorzalka Hutchinson

“We were the best of friends living in the Macintyre dorms.” — Rachel Dugan

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

2010-2012 Casper College alumni Heather Dietz, Sarah Bennet, Nichole Brewer and and Rachel Dugan

“Jon Urman and I met at Casper College in the fall of 2009. We were both heavily involved in the music department and he was the RA of my dorm McIntire Hall. We became best friends for two years, found ourselves head over heels for each other, and now we have been married for six years and have two beautiful children. Casper College and the memories we share hold a very special place in our hearts. Happy Valentine’s Day, Casper College!”

Danielle and Jon Urman as Casper College students.

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

Jon and Danielle Urman and their two children.

“Darby and I were actually roommates for the longest time — two years. I had just lived in a situation that wasn’t for me and wasn’t very healthy for me. [When her roommate moved out in the middle of the year], she spent the first two weeks of the spring semester of that year convincing me to move in with her. She has been with me through so much; breakups, mood swings, and even the passing of my dad. She has since moved to Laramie but is still my best friend and a big part of my life. I’m going to Laramie in May to see her and to be a part of her big day as she marries her high school sweetheart.” — Eron Nicole Lampman

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley
Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

“Tayler and I met when we both started taking dance classes at Casper College in high school. We bonded because of our love for dance and the band Imagine Dragons. That was in 2015 and we’ve been inseparable ever since, no matter how far away life took us. Tayler is graduating from UW with her bachelor’s degree this year and I can’t wait to see what amazing things she accomplishes.” — Alyssa Hope Kirby

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

Tayler and Alyssa

“I met one of my best friends Amanda Moore (Hacklin) back in 2009 in the dorms at Casper College. I had noticed she was new at the school starting in the spring semester of 2009. I had noticed her in the cafeteria and on campus by herself most days. Finally a weekend rolled around where I had plans with friends so I busted into her room and told her to get ready we were going out. We ended up having a blast that night and many nights after. I am so grateful for the friendship we have shared over the last 11 years. We may have over 1,000 miles between us but we know we are only a phone call or road trip away from each other.” — Ashley Dionne Pe

Ashley and Amanda in college
Ashley and Amanda
ashley pe 5
Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

“I met Halcyon Huckfeldt in the Fall of 2000, in the Casper College Department of Theatre and Dance when we were both 18-year-old freshmen working on the production of ‘Children of Eden.’ She quickly became one of my best friends for the next two years, at which point she moved to Utah. We remained in touch for the next 15 years or so, and in 2016, we decided to take the next step. Our son Cadence will be turning two in March, and I am grateful every day for the life and love that we share, and the beautiful little family we have created. Thank you, Casper College, for helping me meet the love of my life. And thank you Hallie and Cadence for filling my life with joy and love every day.” —  Cameron L. Maris

Jessica Gray and Rachel Gray Staley

“I met my best friend in Casper College’s theatre program seven years ago… he is now my husband!!!” —  Ashley OConnell

The OConnells

Sarah Boomgarden recounts meeting several of her closest friends:

“Kaley Clement: Although we graduated high school together it wasn’t until college where we were roommates that became best friends. Kaley had one of the most friendly personalities on campus! Here we are (then) are at one of the basketball games and (now) this summer when we were both pregnant. So thankful to share life with her all these years later!”

Sarah and Kaley
Sarah and Kaley, pregnant

“Lynnette (Whipple) McCune: She lived on the third floor, I lived on the first floor of the dorms. We ate meals, hung out in the lobby, joined a Bible study and had so many fun times in college. Lynnette was a bridesmaid in my wedding and we are still best friends. Pictured then at our 2007 CC graduation and now this summer (2019) with a group of friends we all hung out with and met while at Casper College.”

Ashley and Amanda in college
Ashley and Amanda

“Lembo Simwaka, from Botswana: We met in the dorms and began our friendship from there. Our favorite thing to do is enjoy Coldstone ice cream whenever she comes back to visit. Here’s a picture of us (then) with her roommate Teresa (also a very good friend) and (now) this past summer when she came back for a visit. No matter the miles…or time zones, we still have a beautiful friendship!”

ashley pe 5
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