In the romantic-comedy movie version, the love story between Megan Forlines M.M.S. ’12 and Devon Bostock ’11, M.M.S. ’12 would unspool something like this: Young members of rival families meet and, like their family members before them, instantly dislike each other. They date more “suitable” choices, bumping into one another only to trade insults. Then, one day, circumstances force them together. The ice starts to crack. She notices he’s not that bad after all. He discovers how funny she is. A wedding unites their warring families. Their love is sealed with a kiss.
Of course, the real-life version didn’t follow a neat script. Forlines and Bostock met in April 2011 at Fuqua’s admitted-students day luncheon. She had come to Duke in pursuit of an M.M.S., after earning an undergraduate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology. He was continuing his Duke education by earning the same degree. In the group of twenty gathered that day, she was the only woman. I’m not in fashion school anymore, she thought.
They sat directly across from each other; she thought he was cute. He had thoughts, too: “It was love at first sight,” Bostock says. He even remembers what she was wearing (“a white blazer”). But there wasn’t much conversation. “We might have talked for two seconds,” she says. “I might have said hello,” he says. Bostock is the shy one, they agree. “She’s extremely smart and fierce,” he says now. “I love her and am in awe of her at times.”
When classes began in July, they continued their silence. In fact, they didn’t really talk for the first term. Bostock didn’t think she liked him. But Forlines was interested. “I would try to sit next to him in classes,” she says. “I would ask him if he wanted gum, or I would ask to borrow a pencil.” She told her sister, Molly, who was in her junior year at Duke, about the quiet guy. “She’d say, ‘Oh my gosh, guess what? He talked to me today,’ ” Molly says.
They finally had their first date during their second semester at Fuqua. “I remember thinking he was a good yin to her yang,” says Molly. “He was a sturdy guy, way more than anyone she’d been with before. He was confident. When he spoke to you, you knew exactly who he was.”
Oddly, what neither Forlines nor Bostock noticed for a while was the weight of their familial names on campus. It was Molly who raised the issue with Forlines. “She told me his name, and I said, ‘You mean Bostock, like the library?’ ” Bostock remembers being on campus when Forlines House, the Alumni Affairs office, was named. Yet, he didn’t learn about the connection until six months after they first met. “I didn’t realize or really care,” he says. Duke, he says, is “a very special place for us, and to be able to share that is special. But it could have been something else. This just happened to be ours.”
Still, at their rehearsal dinner, Bostock’s father, Jay ’74, presented a PowerPoint charting the ways their legacies have crisscrossed at Duke. In all, twenty-nine individuals in both families have attended Duke, earning twenty-seven undergraduate and seven graduate degrees over 118 years and through four generations.
The wedding was November 11, 2017, the anniversary of their first date, six years earlier. They married at a country club near Forlines’ childhood home. Ever the fashionista, Forlines’ “something blue” was a pair of Duke blue Jimmy Choo pumps.
“It felt intimate, like an old shoe,” said attendee and associate vice president for alumni affairs Sterly L. Wilder ’83, who worked with Forlines at the DAA and knew Bostock as an undergraduate. “Everyone felt a part of it. It was warm and inviting, an incredibly happy celebration.”
And of course, there was a kiss.