Boxer Love Story: Wayne Tate '60 and Jean (Brodersen) Tate '52

Wayne and Jean both came to Pacific in the fall of 1948.

Wayne was a junior transfer from Pepperdine and Jean was a recent high school graduate. Early on Jean became interested in theater, trying out for the fall play (Noah) and getting a part. Wayne was a photographer who took pictures of the plays for publicity purposes.

The theater majors were a bit crazy so they often behaved in an “unorthodox manner.” Jean said she imagines Wayne was not particularly interested in any of them. At the beginning of the summer of 1949, The Oregonian hired Wayne to take pictures of Pacific’s summer stock program. Part of the story was the fact that the theater students performed in Newport, Ore. for the second half of the summer session. So, they all boarded a bus, including Wayne, and headed for the coast to take pictures.

They stopped at a restaurant and Jean ended up sitting in a booth with Wayne and a couple other people. Wayne didn’t order breakfast or coffee. Jean asked him why; he replied that he didn’t have any money so she told him she’d buy.

After Wayne graduated in 1950 he immigrated to Mexico to attend Mexico City College. He decided he preferred the U.S. so returned after Christmas and was offered a job teaching English and Spanish at Forest Grove High School. Jean did her student teaching at Forest Grove High School during her spring term so they crossed paths every so often.

Wayne’s closest friends at Pacific were Jean and George Horner who ran the bookstore. Wayne told Jean that he had to ask someone to go with him to chaperone a school dance and for a double date with Mark and Mary Jean Waltz. Jean Horner suggested that Wayne ask Jean.

The Friday before the Barbershop Ballad Contest, one of the dancers had to leave town because of a death in her family. Hap Hingston, who was directing the show, asked Jean to fill in for her since she was about the same size and could probably fit in the costumes. When Jean went to the auditorium to try them on, some teachers were rehearsing a little program. Wayne was there and said he needed to talk to Jean.

When Jean went up to his room later, Wayne sat at his desk and started to ask her out, realized he really should stand up and did so. However, Jean was confused by the two different functions but knew she could call Mary Jean to get the “straight skinny.” They went to both functions, but didn’t see each other again for several months.

Wayne came to visit Jean one day after she had left for Portland. Her parents really liked him so they invited him in, fed him and talked to him for four hours until Jean returned. At that point, they started dating and were soon engaged (three weeks later to be exact).

Wayne passed away in 2016.

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Monday, Feb. 3, 2014