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Two Red Hawks Sitting In a Tree

by Kyra Maffia

When Alyson Thelin Davison and Jim Davison went to Montclair State University’s freshman orientation in the summer of 1998, neither of them ever expected they’d meet their future spouse in the form of an icebreaker.

Jim Davison graduated from Montclair State with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a minor in cognitive science in 2003. He also received his master’s degree in applied computational linguistics in 2008 and is now the director of enrollment management data and technology at Montclair State.

Alyson Davison graduated from Montclair State with a bachelor’s degree in communications studies and a minor in musical theater in 2002 and received her master’s degree in speech communication with a concentration in organizational communication in 2004. In 2016, Alyson received her doctorate from Rutgers New Brunswick. She is now the executive assistant to the dean for the College of the Arts.

Amid busy schedules during their freshman year, Alyson and Jim Davison didn’t get to see each other often, but that didn’t stop Cupid from ensuring they spent quality time together. The academic adviser for the honors program would lure them both into her office during common hour to make sure that they talked.

“But you’re partly to blame, too,” Jim Davison said, gesturing to Alyson Davison. “Our empty [schedule] times matched up and so I was talking to her as she was going into her classroom and she very flirtatiously took the glasses off of my face and put them on her own face and she was like, ‘I’m Jim Davison!’”

A few semesters later, as another product of secret scheming, they were finally able to take a class together.

“There was this atrocious science class that we were supposed to take,” Jim Davison said.

Alyson admitted that although the class did fit into her schedule, she actually took it so that they could finally have a class together.

“I almost didn’t take that class because I didn’t want to. I had a totally different schedule than you,” Alyson Davison said, looking at Jim Davison. “And then I changed it.”

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Alyson Thelin Davison and Jim Davison in The Montclarion office, March 2002.
Photo courtesy of Alyson Thelin Davison

Around the same time, Jim Davison decided to begin writing for The Montclarion, where he moved through the ranks from opinion editor to production editor, eventually becoming editor-in-chief in his senior year.

Later, Alyson Davison joined and she became the very first webmaster the organization ever had. While at The Montclarion, Alyson and Jim Davison covered many years of campus and world events, from breaking the events of 9/11, to having to carry second-generation iMacs across campus when a squirrel ate through a transformer and blew out the power.

The couple both agreed that although they didn’t see the relationship coming at first, they are now very grateful to have found one another.

“It was really just a great community and to have each other as we were also part of that community was really a great experience,” Jim Davison said.

Alyson Davison reflected on the two’s relationship.

“[There were] a lot of social things and a lot of fun things that we just got to do together,” Alyson Davison said. “Even though I don’t think that at the time I didn’t quite see 20 years into the future and say, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re going to be working here, we’re going to be together [and] we’re going to be married.’ It wasn’t quite laid out, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”

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