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Charting a Course Towards Love

A Viking love story

This Viking love story began 53 years ago. In the winter of 1969, Eddie Rhodes ’72 arrived back on campus after winter session to continue his educational journey at Salem State. He stopped off at the cafeteria in the Ellison Campus Center to catch up with the friends he hadn’t seen since summer session, bouncing from table to table offering gleeful greetings and friendly handshakes. 

Towards the back of the room, Eddie recognized another summer session peer and strode over to his table to reconnect. He noticed his friend was sitting with an unknown woman, so Eddie—being the good-natured, friendly fellow he is—introduced himself and asked who the lovely girl was sitting beside him. The girl was Ginnie Rae ’72, an English major at Salem State.

Eddie was an education major with minors in English and history, so he conveniently shared English courses with Ginnie that semester and for the semesters that followed.

As time went on their friendship grew and they started seeing each other more frequently. “We would leave campus and go for lunch or take walks at Forest River Park,” said Eddie. “That’s where she taught me to look at the sky and see familiar objects or patterns, like animals, in the cloud formations. We had a lot of adventures together.”

Ginnie had a love for the outdoors with a particular fondness for taking walks or strolling the beach. While on a date during their junior year, Eddie took Ginnie to the beach—in December.

“It was the coldest night of the year with a wind chill factor, in my opinion, of 50 below zero,” Eddie recalled. Ginnie was perplexed by this date because Eddie hated the beach, and it was freezing outside. She suggested they get back in the car to warm up. Knowing something was amiss, Ginnie peppered him with questions.

Eddie stammered at first but eventually mustered up the courage to propose. She looked at him for a long moment and said she’d think about it. But Eddie knew he was in it for the long haul.

They continued dating for several months, the same as they had done before. Winter swiftly turned into spring and semester finals became top of mind for both Eddie and Ginnie.

One evening, they were studying for finals when Eddie’s father asked him to help at the family business. Ginnie insisted Eddie needed to study, upon which he responded, “If you’re not going to marry me, why do you care?” 

Ginnie said, “Ask me again.” Eddie did, and she said, “Yes!”

“It was the happiest day in my life,” recalls Eddie. They were married in July 1972, right after graduation.

This year, Eddie and Ginnie Rhodes ’72 are celebrating their 50th reunion from Salem State University. Eddie is a member of the 50th reunion planning committee and is looking forward to welcoming Vikings back as part of Alumni Weekend programming, June 9-12, 2022.

Join Eddie and Ginnie this June in celebration of Viking pride…and love.

Learn more at

Alumni Relations
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