Chance Encounter of the Best Kind

Originally from a small town in Texas with a graduating class of 86 people, Fred Farmer didn’t know a soul when he entered his BYU freshman class of a daunting 10,000 people. But during freshman orientation, a girl in Fred’s Y group took notice of him. She was, he learned, from Magna, Utah.

“This began a series of coincidences,” Fred says. “Or one might say divine providence."

“First off, I was overwhelmed going to the west end of the Smith Fieldhouse for registration. I spent several hours trying to work out a class schedule, but every combination I tried resulted in failure for one reason or another…. I decided to rework my schedule around a required English class.” As fate (or divine providence) would have it, the girl from his Y group was in the same English class.

The coincidences didn’t stop there. “Out of all the BYU wards, she and I were in the same ward—so our two dorms did a lot of social things together.” Fred even discovered he had connections to the girl’s hometown. “We later learned that my grandfather worked in Magna, Utah…and that is where my father was born.”

Several months after school started, “I finally got up enough nerve to ask the girl from Magna on a date—to a BYU football game,” Fred recalls. Four years later, in 1968, Fred and the girl from Magna, Sylvia Haws, were married. They both went on to graduate from BYU, enter the workforce and start a family. Almost 50 years later, Fred and Sylvia are still happily married. They enjoy going on cruises and spending time with their 10 grandchildren that live in the Salt Lake Valley. Both have served in many callings with in the LDS Church along with service in their neighborhoods and communities.

“We are living proof of the tagline, ‘Chances are, the relationships that changed your life started at BYU,'” Fred says. “We are connected for good.”

Full Name: 
Fred C. and Sylvia Haws Farmer
Grad Year: 
BES '72, BS '68
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