The perfect match: The Macks

After 50 years of marriage, Warren Mack ’66 and Linda Pfaff Mack ’69 may be one of the first, and one of the longest married couples matched by computer.

It happened at an all-college dance in 1966 on the Orange Carpet.

“It was the Vietnam era and we thought we’d do something radical—match people by computer,” Linda recalled of the dance sponsored by her freshman class.

Cornell students filled out short questionnaires in advance and were provided a match when they arrived at the Orange Carpet the night of the dance.

“I remember two questions I answered. One was my political persuasion, and I said I was socialist. The other asked how many times I read the newspaper, and of course, I said five. It was aspirational,” says Linda, who was to enjoy a long career at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune as an architectural columnist.

Likewise, Warren—who had been in England and spent time in the British Museum studying in the very chair where Karl Marx wrote “Das Kapital’’—answered that he was socialist.

“I assume we were the only two socialists and that’s why we were matched,” Linda says.

Warren says he knew as soon as he saw Linda that she was the one. Linda wasn’t so sure.

“He was wearing a short-sleeve plaid shirt. I thought, not the snazziest dresser but I’ll give it a whirl,” she recalls. “Then he said he didn’t dance; that it made him motion sick. How’s that for a come on?”

However, they found they had a lot to talk about, and capped the event with dinner in downtown Cedar Rapids.

“I think I went back and jumped on my bed,” Linda says.

Warren graduated a few weeks later and then drove Linda home to Connecticut. They continued to date during Warren’s first year of law school at the University of Chicago, and by her junior year, Linda transferred to the Chicago campus. They married the summer of 1968.

The Macks are not socialists, but did have legitimate leanings at the time.

Linda says her father, a Methodist minister, was a socialist and had taken her to Russia the previous summer.

Warren, who practices law in Minneapolis and serves on the Cornell College Board of Trustees, said he thought of himself as an English socialist after studying in London. “And that’s all I needed in life because that’s how I captured Linda,” he says.