Barry McNamara  |  Published October 26, 2021

I Do, Again

Jim ’06 and Anna Beasley Dibble ’05 renew their wedding vows on campus at Homecoming.

THE HAPPY COUPLE(S): Pictured from left are Dick Johnston, Ellis Dibble, Anna Beasley Dibble &#39... THE HAPPY COUPLE(S): Pictured from left are Dick Johnston, Ellis Dibble, Anna Beasley Dibble '05, Jim Dibble '06, Crosby Dibble and Betsy Johnston.MONMOUTH, Ill. – Not far from where they first met, Jim ’06 and Anna Beasley Dibble ’05 said “I do” all over again.

At the beginning of Monmouth College’s Homecoming weekend, Oct. 22-24, the St. Louis couple renewed their wedding vows, 10 years after they were married. They also renewed their vows five years ago, continuing a tradition started by Jim’s parents.

The brief ceremony, held in the College’s outdoor classroom space between Wallace Hall and Wells Theater, was officiated by one of the couple’s favorite professors during their time as students, Dick Johnston.

It was in the classroom of another professor, Jon Grahe, where Anna and Jim first noticed each other.

“We were in I/O Psychology (Industrial/Organizational) together that fall,” said Jim. “She’s a year older than me. Somehow we didn’t meet until her senior year.”

While seated in class, the two students discovered they shared a common bond, as both had lived in what is today known as the International House.

“Jim and his buddies had lived there, but they were asked not to return,” said Anna, who took up residence there along with some of her friends the semester after Jim moved out.

From the seeds of that conversation about an on-campus residence, a partnership in an I/O class project sprouted.

“We were friends first,” said Jim. “We started dating in the spring semester.”

Returning to campus

Anna graduated a year before Jim and began working in Chicago, but she came back to Monmouth “every other weekend” to visit. The couple continued dating, getting engaged in 2010 and tying the knot on Oct. 8, 2011.

“It feels like we’ve never left a day,” said Anna at the ceremony, echoing a refrain heard throughout Homecoming weekend. “It brings us back to the beginning. It would be hard to come back and not feel all that nostalgia. We found ourselves and found each other at Monmouth. It will always be a huge part of our lives and our love story.”

'OUR LOVE STORY': With their daughter, Ellis, and Dick Johnston looking on, Anna and Jim ... 'OUR LOVE STORY': With their daughter, Ellis, and Dick Johnston looking on, Anna and Jim Dibble seal their renewed wedding vows with a kiss.Although the couple was thrilled to be back on campus for their special event, they do hope to incorporate more ambitious travel itineraries around future installments of their quinquennial event.

“My parents had it as a destination event every 10 years,” said Jim, who grew up near St. Louis in Freeburg, Illinois, and whose parents were married 35 years. “They and some of their friends would go to Memphis or Nashville to celebrate,” once renewing their vows in front of an Elvis impersonator.

Jim’s mother died in 2015. Anna’s parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year.

Five years ago, the Dibbles also stayed fairly close to home, as their oldest child, son Crosby, was just six weeks old. This year, a planned trip to Toronto fell through due to international travel restrictions.

Investment advice

In addition to the Dibbles’ children, Crosby and 3-year-old daughter Ellis, the ceremony was witnessed by Johnston’s wife, Betsy, whom Johnston said he often brings up in his classes.

“There’s a financial problem that can be solved to an infinite number of spaces, and the way I tell my class to remember that is that my love for my wife is infinite,” said Johnston, a business and finance professor. “I also tell them that the best investment you can make is to be good to your spouse.”

Today, Anna is vice president of human resources at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. Jim is a financial consultant for – quite fittingly – Fidelity Investments.

“We found ourselves and found each other at Monmouth. It will always be a huge part of our lives and our love story.” Anna Beasley Dibble

Johnston, who has been married for 41 years, was more than happy to officiate the ceremony.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to me to see a couple that is at the same stage that Betsy and I were at 30-some years ago,” he told the Dibbles.

As the ceremony neared its end, Johnston proclaimed, “You may now, once again, kiss the bride.”

“For Professor Johnston to do this for us was pretty special,” said Anna who, along with Jim and their kids, then headed to the Johnstons’ home for a dinner of baked ziti. “It’s the people that make Monmouth College what it is.”

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