Three brides for three brothers

Allison Peters Stanford ’93 and Steve Stanford ’90;
Emily Peters Mus B.A.’96, M.A.T.’97 and Blair Mus ’96;
Marion Peters Denard ‘01 and Patrick Denard ’01

by Stacey Wilson '96

Nowhere in the annals of UPS history has it happened, and it isn’t likely to happen again: Three sisters from Idaho Falls attend the same university, join the same sorority, and marry three dudes from the same fraternity. Sure, UPS is a haven for love connections, but this brings new meaning to “keeping it in the family.”

So let’s start at the beginning: In 1989, Allison Peters left Idaho for the somewhat-more-populated pastures of Tacoma where, as a freshman business major, she pledged Alpha Phi sorority. On a stroll through the now defunct underground food service “tunnels,” Allison encountered an unfamiliar visage.

“My first impression of Steve was one of intrigue,” she says, noting Steve’s obvious eschewing of the longstanding Phi-Delt-as-jock stereotype. “What’s a guy like that doing down here?” The two started dating and, looking back, Steve still seems a bit surprised. “Allison put up with a lot dating me, given my look. My hair was practically as long as hers,” he says. “I’m sure her sorority sisters were mystified by our pairing. I know her parents were.”

Two years after Allison and Steve’s meet-and-greet in the tunnels, a second Peters sister, Emily, joined the Logger roster and pledged A Phi in 1993. (In sorority speak, she was a “legacy” and therefore a shoe-in). Emily’s Phi Delt love connection took a few years to assert itself. She first met Edmonds, Wash., native and business major Blair Mus in, appropriately, their Gender Issues freshman writing class. He remembers Emily as “a cute girl from Idaho who was very opinionated.” But Emily and Blair were mostly just neighbors during college, and didn’t start dating until their senior year. “You learn a lot about a fraternity living a stone’s throw away. He definitely didn’t fit the Phi Delt mold, if there was such a thing.” (I think we’re starting to see a pattern here.) “That’s why I adored him.”

The most independent of the Peters girls, Marion didn’t see herself taking the path traveled by her sisters, namely the short walk from Alpha Phi to neighboring Phi Delta Theta. But fate was not to be denied.

There’s some debate as to when Patrick Denard first spoke to Marion. He says it was at an Alpha Phi/Phi Delt function. She says it was after the two returned from studying abroad and started hanging out at Roseilli’s bar. Whenever it was, the premed student from The Dalles, Ore., struck her as “quiet and romantic,” while Patrick says he was grateful, well, that she was interested at all. “I had the impression that Alpha Phi’s weren’t easily impressed,” he says.

Now, four advanced degrees, three kids, and too-many-hairstyles-to-count later, the former Peters sisters and Phi Delt hubbies are happy, healthy, and busy balancing the demands of work and family.

Marion and Patrick Denard were married in Hawaii in 2004 and recently moved from New Hampshire to Portland for his orthopedic surgery residency at Oregon Health and Science University. She received her master’s in writing at Dartmouth College and hopes to land a job in the nonprofit world working in women’s issues. No kids yet, but they do have a pug named Nipo.

After relocations to Portland, Arizona, and Germany, Blair and Emily Mus have finally settled in Bothell, Wash., where he is flexing his M.B.A. muscle as a real estate agent, and Emily, a M.A.T.-trained elementary school teacher, is a full-time mom to two-year-old Maggie. Emily says it’s a joy to have everyone back “in the same corner of the world,” and Blair would like to remind everyone that a good realtor is a Mus. (Ba da bum.)

Married now for 11 years, Steve and Allison Stanford live in Spokane, Wash., where they run their distribution and marketing consulting company, Stanford Solutions, and are raising daughter Alexandra, 7, and son Elliot, 5. “We’re just trying to emulate the success our parents had in raising us,” says Steve. “Basically continuing the legacy.”