Since 1889, Slippery Rock University has been a place for students to learn, find themselves and develop relationships that would last a lifetime. This rings true for Ed and Dorie Schleiden, an SRU alumni couple who fell in love right here at The Rock.
While they were students, the two lived in Cooper Street Apartments — right down the hall from one another. They knew of each other but had never really interacted until one morning Dorie wanted to make pancakes.
“I went over to borrow milk for pancakes and instead, he gave me eggnog with Southern Comfort in it,” Dorie laughed. “So, I definitely remembered him after that.”
Ed and Dorie “finally” got together when their friends went out together on a picnic. Thirty-five years later, the Schleidens are happy with three sons and three granddaughters. Their sons grew up very active: hiking, kayaking and “everything Ed likes.”
“We raised three boys and then they gave us three granddaughters, and our granddaughters are so cool,” Ed said.
After they graduated from SRU, Ed and Dorie ran a landscaping company together in Zelienople. They had a sailboat on the lake and would drive 40 minutes up to Slippery Rock every weekend to go sailing. One day, they decided to give in and move up to Slippery Rock to be near the lake and their boat — although once they moved here, they got too busy to keep the boat.
Like many fresh-faced freshmen, the couple frequented Boozel Dining Hall for brunch, and while there, Ed struck up a conversation with one of the employees. As he had been getting older, his landscaping job had taken quite a physical toll on him, so when the employee praised the position at Boozel, Ed was sold. Dorie was employed at a bank, but when Ed kept coming home and talking about how much he liked his new job, she wanted in on it, too.
“The rest is history,” Ed said. “It’s a pretty good gig for an old guy.”
They walked to work and got to see students every day, which are two of their favorite parts of SRU, Dorie added.
Dorie, who recently retired from the position, worked in Bailey Library at the coffee shop that is now T&B Naturally while Ed worked up the hill at Rocky’s. He’s currently the designated delivery person. Dorie said it was nice to work so close because, at their age, it was nice to be able to check in with each other every so often.
“Our hours were similar, so we got to spend time together,” Ed said. “And now [that Dorie’s retired], I go home and we have evenings together, which is pretty neat, and weekends, spring break, summers, fall break, Christmas break … it’s real nice.”
The two like to attend numerous campus events like the Performing Arts series, speakers and comedians, and other activities. Ed remarked that, often, they are the oldest people in the room at these events, but it’s okay because the students’ energies can be “contagious.”
“The students are really hard-working,” Dorie said. “They’re taking quite a course load and they’re getting out there with such specific goals; you can’t help but be excited about their futures.”
While not at work, Ed and Dorie used to spend a lot of time hiking and sailing, like their sons, but now that they’re older, Dorie said they spend more time “cooking and looking.” Ed added that they also laugh a lot, which is his favorite aspect of their 35-year-long marriage. In the same strain, Dorie appreciates having been with the same person for such a long time.
“I can get up every morning, and I’ll know I’m gonna have a good conversation [with him],” she said.