Boxer Love Story: Max Price '11, MAT '12 and Brandi (Palmer) Price '12

A lot of people talk about fate when they talk about love. You hear all kinds of love stories, full of coincidences that don't actually seem so random. Max and Brandi’s story is a lot like that.

Brandi and Max married on November 22, 2014 in Sisters, Oregon. They met on the third floor of Pacific University's Clark Hall in August 2008. Brandi was a freshman; Max was a sophomore. Max lived right next to the stairwell; she lived directly across from the boy's bathroom.

Brandi grew up in the country near Salem, Oregon, and she, like Max did, frequented the MacLeay Country Store, a tiny spot in the middle of nowhere in which little kids like them often visited to buy penny candies. She lived a few miles from Max, and just down the road from some of his closest friends, and she even attended the exact same pre-school as the best man in their wedding.

At age 11, she moved to Central Oregon, where Max’s family happened to own a cabin. Over the course of their childhoods, they probably crossed paths a few dozen times, and they likely never gave one another a second look.

Her uncle attended the same high school (North Salem) that Max attended (and now teach in). Brandi and Max both had Pacific as their first choice school, plus their backup schools were the exact same (Oregon State, Western Oregon). In fact, Max chose Pacific in part because of the opportunity to play baseball, and because the girl he was dating at the time happened to be at Pacific (she broke up with him about a week before his first day at Pacific - originally he was devastated, but it just became another "coincidence" that led him to Brandi). Brandi and Max truly believe that they were meant to find each other, and that's what makes Pacific University so special to them.

How unlucky do you have to be to live in Walter Hall your freshman year and then be tossed into the third floor of Clark Hall your sophomore year?! That doesn't happen to very many people, and with some beautiful dorm buildings at Pacific, Max really felt slighted. Little did he know, though, that it was all part of a bigger plan that finally led him to Brandi. (And for the record, Max wouldn't trade his sophomore year in Clark Hall for anything; it was one of the best years of his life, and he will be extremely sad when it finally gets torn down someday.)

Over the next few years at Pacific, Max and Brandi hung out often. They became close friends, and would go on dates to Red Robin and a movie in Hillsboro. At the time, though, they didn't really consider them to be dates. They saw it - or at least Max saw it - as a couple of friends going to grab a bite to eat and see a film. Brandi was - and still is - way out of Max’s league, so going on a real date with her was never really an option he considered. If you heard her tell the story, though, she'd say that she kept giving Max hints that she wanted to date him. Max never really caught on.

By the time Max was a senior, he realized that Brandi was his best friend, and you always hear that you need to marry your best friend. Max’s bright idea was to tell her, before they ever started dating, that he was going to marry her. Apparently it worked. They started dating a couple of months later. Max entered Pacific's MAT program, so he was able to stick around for Brandi's senior year. Somehow, in another "coincidence", they both ended up teaching at the same tiny private school in Bend, Oregon in 2012. Max and Brandi got engaged on a random Monday during the summer of 2013, and were married in Sisters, Oregon on Nov. 22, 2014 with plenty of Pacific graduates in attendance.

Recently, Max and Brandi discovered another odd fact. On the day Max was born, Paula Abdul had the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100. Almost exactly nine months later, Brandi was born. The artist of the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 that day? You guessed it: Paula Abdul.

One of Max’s favorite monologues from a movie is performed by Graham Hess, played by Mel Gibson, in the movie Signs: "People break down into two groups, When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just a happy turn of chance." Max is taking it wildly out of context, but he believes it gets to the core of their love story. Whether it's from a higher power, or just pure luck, he is certainly a fortunate man.

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Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015