Janice Rude fell head over heels for Prentiss Willson when they were just teenagers attending the same college. They may have been young, but they knew their love was real, and soon enough Willson popped the question to Janice and asked her to become his wife.

However, their happiness was soon cut short when the girl’s father got involved. He didn’t like the idea of his daughter getting married so young and demanded they end their engagement.

As the years passed, the childhood sweethearts tried their best to move on. But 50 years on from their broken engagement, fate decided to bring them back together in the best way possible…


1. Just A College Girl

Their love story began in the 1960s when Janice Rude became a sophomore at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Alongside her studies she wanted to earn some money to make sure she could still have fun on the weekends and save up for adulthood. She landed a part time job in the campus dining room, but she had no idea that her new waitressing role would lead to her meeting the love of her life.

2. Meeting Willson

At the time, Prentiss Willson was part of one of the largest fraternity’s ever – Kappa Sigma. When Janice joined the college, Willson was a Kappa Sigma brother but was about to go on to become the president of his chapter. It was clear that Willson took his part in the social group seriously, even agreeing with his chapter’s decision to quit the national fraternity altogether after they refused to let black classmate, Gene Grisby, become a member. He was a man of very moral standards and this was something Janice liked. 

3. Love At First Sight

From the first day they set eyes on each other in the campus canteen, they both knew they had found something special. They may not have known much about each other yet, but once they got over their nerves and began to talk they realised they both felt the same connection. They soon admitted to each other that it was love at first sight on both parts.