A UAB Love Story: Engaged history majors set to graduate together Dec. 10

Meeting in freshman year at UAB, engaged history majors Sydney Richardson and Caleb Randall are now set to graduate and walk together Dec. 10.
Inside 1 Sydney Richardson and Caleb Randall 221128 003 4339Caleb Randall and Sydney Richardson
Photography: Andrea Mabry

Many fantasize about meeting their soulmate in college. It is not far-fetched to say that Caleb Randall and Sydney Richardson got to live that dream. Meeting in their freshman year, the couple matriculated through undergrad together, becoming best friends, helping each other with their studies and adjusting to various challenges, fell in love, and ultimately got engaged.

The two are set to graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with their Bachelor of Arts degrees in history from the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of History on Saturday, Dec. 10.

“I saw her on the other side of the room the first day of class freshman year in English,” said Randall, the 22-year-old Alabaster, Alabama, native. “I remember thinking how beautiful she was and made it a goal of mine to meet her.”

After working up the gumption over the following weeks, Randall finally decided to approach Richardson, telling what he refers to as a bad joke.

The 22-year-old Northport, Alabama, native, Richardson said, “Beginning of freshman year, I was already locked in on focusing on my studies, so I was slightly confused when he just randomly approached me.”

After staying in contact for some time, Randall decided to ask her out on a date, to which Richardson says she had to turn down.

“He asked me to go on a date on Halloween, which is my favorite holiday,” Richardson said. “I had plans already, so I had to temporarily say no, not to the date but to that specific date.”

The two later rescheduled, went on a successful date and have been together ever since.

Both Richardson and Randall entered undergrad with different areas of study, biology and kinesiology respectively. Coincidentally, the couple both had an interest in history, and both began to independently reconsider their majors. After Richardson made the switch to the Department of History with Randall not long after, the couple both felt that their choice to switch majors was befitting of their interests and an ironic cornerstone of their relationship.

While tackling course curriculum together, Randall and Richardson have aided each other throughout their collegiate journey, whether by studying together or just being an encouraging figure in each other’s lives.

Stream 2 Sydney Richardson and Caleb Randall 221128 009 4388Photography: Andrea Mabry“After my first bad grade in a course that dropped my grade point average, I was so derailed by that one grade and so worried about what was next,” Randall said. “Sydney played such a big role in my support system and helped navigate that difficult time.”

“I tend to stress a lot,” Richardson said. “Every first day of the semester I cry, and he’s always been here to remind me that everything is going to be all right. He always reminds me that I am more than capable of taking on any challenge.”

Both Randall and Richardson are active in their communities and hold memberships with the National Society of Leadership and Success. Richardson is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, ranking in the top 15 percent of the class. She is also set to graduate with honors. Randall is very active in his church, where he mentors young boys and teens as a part of a community outreach program.

Randall proposed on Halloween of 2020, Richardson’s favorite holiday.

“I had a whole speech planned and everything,” Randall said. “But she said yes as soon as she saw me on my knee with the sign behind me.”

The pair is grateful to UAB for not only bringing them together but allowing them to experience both personal and professional growth.

“What I can say is I really do appreciate UAB for allowing me to have this opportunity in college, to not only meet the love of my life but receive a quality education,” Randall said. “I really appreciate all the professors who have helped me along the way.”

“I agree. I love our professors, especially Jonathan Wiesen, Ph.D., Natasha Zaretsky, Ph.D., and Walter Ward, Ph.D.,” Richardson said. “They have been so supportive with our education and our relationship. I’m going to miss being at UAB.”

Jonathan Wiesen, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of History, spoke highly of the pair, saying it was a pleasure to have them in his History of Modern Germany course in the fall of 2021.

Learn how to start your Blazer journey here.

“I have fond memories of their arriving early for every class and sitting next to each other in the front,” Wiesen said. “They were a sweet and lovely couple who brought a positive energy to the class; but more importantly, they were intellectually engaged, deeply committed to the course and just ideal students.”

After graduation, Richardson plans to pursue a master’s degree in library and information studies, while Randall aspires to teach history and coach football. However, the pair says they are most looking forward to building a stable and happy future together.

The couple says they plan to celebrate graduation together with their families and are looking forward to planning their wedding soon after. Although they do not have a concrete date, they plan to wed in the fall of 2023.