One Big, Happy Gator Family

Joan Levin ’63, English and Chemistry
Ronnie Levin, Pre-dental

Ronnie and I met in chemistry class — he was a pre-dent student, and I was majoring in chemistry at the time. One day during our sophomore year, I received a letter from the College of Medicine. They were doing some kind of research for the Space Program, and they asked me to volunteer to have an EEG. I had no idea why I had received this request and called Ronnie to tell him about it. He also had received the same letter. So, we made our appointments together. When we arrived, we asked the technician why the two of us were asked to volunteer for EEGs. We were told that the year before, a survey was given to our freshman chemistry class. They contacted the members of that particular class because it was one of the largest lecture classes on campus, and they wanted a significant sample for their research. It turned out that Ronnie and I had the exact same answers on the questionnaire, and they were interested to know if our brain waves also would be comparable. After the test, we were told that the results were so similar that we could have been the same person! That’s when I figured out that we were meant to be.

My fondest academic memory is passing quant class [quantitative chemical analysis], and my fondest social memories are the parties and the bands that performed at the TEP house, Ronnie’s fraternity. My most frightening memories happened during my internship at Coral Gables High School — exactly during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I graduated in May, 1963. Our wedding was June of 1963 at the Diplomat Country Club in Hollywood, Fla. Ronnie left UF after his junior year and went to the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and graduated in 1966.

We have three married children, two of whom attended the University of Florida, Dina Levin Fetner ’91, who also attended dental school at UF, and Risa Levin Herman ’88. All three of our children married Gators. We have five grandchildren at the University of Florida — Noah Levin ’18, Jenna Levin ’20, Jake Fetner ’20, Matthew Herman ’20, and Rachel Herman, who is in her second year of veterinary school. We are one big happy Gator family!

From Freshman Friendship to Triple Treasures

Monet Payne ’03, Communication Sciences and Disorders
David Payne ’03, Sociology

“We met at the University of Florida during the Summer B semester in 1999 in the AIM program for minority students. Unfortunately, we lost touch after we each delved into our respective undergraduate programs, but we both went on to graduate from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences four years later.

“About seven years after graduating — more than a decade after we first met — serendipity fell upon us. We reconnected through social media and embarked on a romance, marrying in August 2011. Five years later, we welcomed triplets — one boy and two girls. Blessed with these three wonders, we launched our blog at 3PaynesInaPod.com where we offer a his-her perspective about our journey into parenting triplets. We live in Brevard County, Florida, where Monet works in schools as a speech and language pathologist, and David as a finance manager at the Space Coast Credit Union headquarters.

“We credit our success in love and life to our education at the University of Florida. We share our love of Florida with our triplets, as we look forward to their first day of classes at UF. We are truly a family who bleeds orange and blue, and we’re proud to share our story with the Gator Nation.”