Popping the Question—in Stone [Watch]

More than 14,000 tiles pave the Alumni Center courtyard. Most are engraved with names and graduation dates. But for Tim Go, BS ’89, and Janice Shen Go, BBA ’88, two tiles have special significance.

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As Told to Rose Cahalan

Tim: I was flipping through The Alcalde when an ad caught my eye. There were these Alumni Center tiles for sale for $100 [at that time]. It just came to me: that’s how to propose to Janice. It would be a private moment, but then the tile would always be there. It was on a whim, really.

Janice: Tim and I met at UT, in a Bible study for Asian-American students. We’d talked about marriage, but I thought it would happen later, after I finished grad school.

Tim:  I was really nervous. I kept thinking, ‘If I chicken out, I just won’t tell anyone and she’ll never see the tile.’’

Janice: On New Year’s Day 1991, he said, ‘Let’s go watch the game at a bar.’

Tim: The Longhorns were playing in the Cotton Bowl, and we were huge fans—still are. Little did she know, we were going to watch the game at a bar in Austin. I pulled out the plane tickets and said, ‘Surprise!’

Janice: It was a wonderful day. After the game, we went downtown for dinner. Tim suggested the Pecan Street Cafe.

Tim: The cafe had a big “CLOSED” sign on the door, so Janice said we should go somewhere else.

Janice:  But some friends who worked there had opened the restaurant just for us, and we had this wonderful candelit dinner.

Tim: Another friend played the violin while we ate.

Janice: It was really romantic. And I thought that was it. I did not suspect a thing.

Tim: I said, ‘We have some time left before our flight—why don’t we go hang out at the Alumni Center.’

Janice: We get there and there’s a full moon shining. It’s beautiful. But Tim won’t stop looking at the tiles. I say, ‘Those must cost thousands of dollars. Who would spend so much money on something like that?’

Tim: Oh, it was nerve-wracking. Even though I’d been given coordinates for where the tile would be, I couldn’t find it! I looked for probably 15 minutes, and I was seriously ready to give up and forget the whole idea. Then I found it.

Janice: He didn’t seem nervous. He said, ‘Hey, check this one out.’ And I was pretty bored with the tiles by that point, but I went over and saw it. When I looked up, he was down on one knee with the ring.

Tim: She said yes.

Janice: We got married on Dec. 28, 1991. We have two kids, Caroline and Jonathan. Jonathan’s middle name is Austin, because the city and the University are so important to our family.

Tim: We’re pleased that Jonathan will be applying to UT this fall.

Featured photo courtesy Janice and Tim Go; photo right courtesy Clark Lara Photography

 

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