Cara (Befus) Brown '05 and Clay Brown '05

There were no sparks of attraction the day they were casually introduced in front of McCormick dormitory in September of 2001.

Cara and Clay were carpooling with a mutual friend to their first year seminar play in downtown Portland. Both still only 18, they never knew their future soul mate was sitting beside them on that ride to Portland.

The initial attraction didn’t exist because Cara was still holding on to her high school sweetheart and Clay was keeping his options open.

As the year progressed they started to spend more and more time together in Mac. Whether it was studying Biology, watching a movie, or just chatting with each other on AOL Instant Messenger, they began to enjoy each other’s friendship and were truly able to be themselves.

Finally, the last day of freshman year, before Clay went home for the summer, Cara worked up the courage to tell Clay how much she liked him. This was no easy feat!

She had broken it off with her boyfriend and banking on a favorable response. Clay was dumbfounded by this confession and didn’t know how to react. He pretended not to be interested, and told her that a long distance relationship was not something he was looking for and that he didn’t want to ruin their great friendship. They never spoke once over the summer, Clay in Alaska, Cara in Oregon.

At the start of their sophomore year they both returned to Forest Grove. Clay called Cara to see if she wanted to go with some friends to the Tillamook county fair. When Clay first saw her his heart almost skipped a beat. He was amazed at how beautiful this tan and blonde Oregon girl was.

Clay realized he had been a fool and was instantly attracted to Cara and hoping the summer hadn’t changed her feelings.  It was time to tell Cara the truth -- he really did like her. 

After a trip to the beach with Cara’s family over labor day weekend, the two decided to call it official- they were finally a couple.

This summer will be their five year wedding anniversary and mark ten years since they started their courtship at Pacific. The couple has lived in Dillingham, Alaska since August 2008 where they work at a critical access hospital. Cara works as a registered nurse and Clay has his Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  They feel so blessed to have found each other at Pacific University where they have many great memories of their early years together.

Posted by Stephanie Haugen ( on Mar 8, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Edited by Martha Calus-Mclain ( on Feb 14, 2012 at 9:44 AM

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