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From Indiana to Oxford: a Love Story

Bultman 3

New to Oxford is a series of feature stories on newly-made Oxonians. Today Stephanie Bultman shares her story of how love brought her from Indiana to Mississippi because of a chance meeting in Florida.

Stephanie grew up in a small town in Indiana that had Southern values. In a way she knew she would end up living in the South but her love for her family and friends kept her in Indiana.

“All my life I have been obsessed with things Southern,” said Stephanie. “I loved the traditions, the wide front porches, the ‘yes ma’am, no sir,’ the pearls, the seersucker and that sweet Southern drawl.”

She graduated from University of Indianapolis. After starting a sales career in Indianpolis she was happy but vacationed in the South as often as she could.

“It was my happy place,” she said.

Her dream started to come true two summers ago during a family trip to Panama City in Florida. She said that trip forever changed her life. Stephanie and her sisters watched a “sweet Southern boy” dance and bust his behind at a bar. His name is Woody Sorenson, an Oxford man. They began talking and she couldn’t get enough of his drawl. She also thought she wouldn’t see him again.

But he called her everyday. A month after their chance encounter the Oxonian invited her to be his date to an Ole Miss football game.

“When he told me I needed to bring a red sun dress, boots, and pearls I almost laughed,” she said. “We don’t dress that way for Big 10 football games!”

She packed her Sunday’s best and drove for nine hours to see the legendary Grove for herself. At long last she achieved her dream that Saturday, surrounded by all the Southern things she adored her whole life. It clicked: “I felt like I was home.”

Stephanie Bultman with her love Woody Sorenson
Stephanie Bultman with her love Woody Sorenson

Ole Miss defeated Southeast Missouri 31-13. She stayed a whole week in Oxford. When she returned to Indiana her world wasn’t the same again.

“I had an aching in my heart,” she said. “I not only missed that sweet Southern boy but I missed Mississippi.”

The lovebirds talked and visited as often as they could. Then during Super Bowl weekend last year he asked Stephanie if she could look for a job in Mississippi.

“I had never been happier in my life,” Stephanie said. She packed up her life, said tearful goodbyes to her loved ones and drove to Oxford in middle of the infamous Arkansas ice storm. Her nine hour trip turned into a 20 hour ordeal.

“Not once did I think it was a bad sign,” she said. “Not once did I doubt my decision. God works in mysterious ways and provided a road trip that strengthened my relationship with my sweet Southern boy.”

The 10 couples tent as found on Walk of Championship
The 10 couples tent as found on Walk of Championship

Stephanie has been a Mississippi resident for nearly a year. She may be from the North but she has never felt out of place. She shops on the Square often and is an avid Grover. She and Woody became part of a 10 couples’ tent located right on the Walk of Champions. Those who remember the large Colonel Rebel door or seeing the Butler statue on College Game Day should know that was their tent!

Stephanie is currently searching for a teaching position in Oxford. Her heart belongs to this city. The Grove, Ole Miss football and the Square and the sunsets, and the incredible cuisine and her future husband – all of it makes Oxford her home.

“What brought me here and keeps me here is something I hope everyone can experience at least once in their lives,” Stephanie said.


Callie Daniels is a staff reporter for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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