Ashley and Riley first met in 2007 at the end of freshman year of high school. Sophomore year, they enjoyed gym class and lunch period together which blossomed into a beautiful and sarcastic friendship. Ashley was quickly welcomed into the Fergus Family (some would say too quickly as the first full week she stayed at the Fergus household the dynamic of a family of six versus the three Ashley was used to came as quite a shock…aka Ashley hid in Riley’s room most of the week.) After that week and 3 years of high school the long-distance friendship began and has remained strong ever since. Riley and Ashley visited each other at their colleges almost every year and despite Riley’s lack in enthusiasm for football, and with the help of Ashley’s friends, she did in fact become a Gator fan (she even has a picture with Ryan Lochte to prove it). Riley graduated from James Madison University and shortly after the two caravan-ed up to Boston, MA for the move that had been planned over seven years. Ashley ditched Riley/Boston after about four months, while Riley stayed and has been working there since. After receiving her master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis, Riley continued with school and is currently working towards completing her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis while working as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst at New England Center for Children.
Drink to get Riley on the Dance Floor: Jager Bomb
Ashley first met Claire during round three of Panhellenic recruitment at the University of Florida. After that conversation during round three, Ashley knew she wanted to be in THAT sorority Claire was in and needed to be her “little sister.” Luckily, feelings were mutual, and Ashley ran into Claire’s arms on the Chi Omega lawn on August 24, 2010. It quickly became a very real “big sister- little sister” relationship and has remained that way ever since. If you weren’t introduced to Claire by Ashley as, “This is my big, Claire,” or by Claire, “This is my little, Ashley,” there is a chance you were never truly introduced. Claire completed her master’s in Information Systems during a fifth year at the University of Florida so, Ashley never had to go a year of college without Claire by her side (aka always having a buddy to go to midtown with). Following college Claire moved to Houston, TX where she resides with her husband & Texas-native, Regan and goldendoodle, Brother Buckley. She's working as an IT Business Process Analyst with Schlumberger. Ashley caught Claire’s bouquet at her wedding in May 2018 and Billy proposed just 5 days later.
Drink to get Claire on the Dance Floor: Skinny Mezcal Margarita
When Brianne first joined Chi Omega, half way through Ashley's junior year, Ashley's friend circle felt complete. As soon as they met it was an instant connection which turned "family" when Brianne joined Ashley's (and Claire's) Chi Omega family leaving no room for Brianne to escape! Ready to jump on a plane (although sometimes running that pretty risky), go on a road trip, pick Ashley up from midtown (ha ha), go for ice cream, make a music video, go to New York/DC/Europe, wake up at 3 am to sit in line for concert tickets, anything at all, Brianne was SET to go at all times. Living out of a suitcase has never been an unfamiliar scenario for Brianne. Her fun, free, easy-going personality and compassionate heart makes her the best friend no matter how many hoops have to be jumped through to make something happen! Brianne lived with Ashley, Darah & Erika their senior year, but the real success was Brianne turning 21 which was as happy of a day for Ashley as it was Brianne. ;) Brianne currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her boyfriend, John (whom she actually met while backpacking through Europe with Ashley & Darah- a story worth hearing!), working as a programmatic manager for GroupM.
Drink to get Brianne on the Dance Floor: anything but Bottomless Mimosas
Caitlin is Ashley’s “baby” cousin. Ashley looked forward to each week of the summer she got to go up to Boston to visit Caitlin and would cry each time it was time to leave. It was an instant connection which was good for all those family vacations to Hilton Head, Disney World (for people not from Florida going to Disney World was a BIG deal) and of course the cruises. If you were looking for one, you’d likely find the other (or you’d find Uncle Craig and Ashley trying to teach Caitlin how to speak without the Bostonian accent, years of work with no results to show for it.) Although 6 years apart, both Ashley and Caitlin, started dancing around the age of two, were on the dance/cheer team at their high schools, attended the University of Florida, and joined Chi Omega. Caitlin will graduate with her nursing degree from the University of Florida in May of 2020.
Drink to get Caitlin on the Dance Floor: Zipper Head and White Claw
Casey is Ashley’s “not so little” littlest cousin. Casey is the most beautiful, yet fierce, hockey player on the ice. Not interested in dance like her older sister, Caitlin or cousin, Ashley, Casey turned out to be the most athletic person in the whole family. Watching Casey grow up was one of Ashley’s favorite things. From trying to help teach Casey how to walk, to making music videos that took wayyyyy too much time and strategy, to watching Casey play hockey, to Casey driving (still crazy) Ashley around town, the age difference never changes how much fun they have. Casey will finish high school in 2020 and while trying to convince her to attend the University of Florida, the hockey program is (shockingly) not up to par, so college plans are still to be determined.
Drink to get Casey on the Dance Floor: Half a Mike’s Hard Lemonade
Speaking of August 24, 2010, Ashley and Darah were “forced” into a friendship on that first day at Chi Omega. Although, guaranteed they still would have “found each other,” special shout out to Claire (Matron of Honor) and Natalie for speeding up the process. Instant friends after becoming Chi Omega sisters, Darah and Ashley became roommates during the summer before sophomore year then, after that went well, housemates for junior and senior year of college. Darah taught Ashley everything she needed to know about Gator football (at least to get by) and was up for any adventure whether it meant visiting Destin, Tallahassee, or EUROPE. Having done mostly everything together during all four years of college, when Darah moved to Philadelphia to attend medical school at Temple University, they visited each other VERY often between D.C. and Philly with some other travels together aside from that. Darah has since moved to Dayton, OH with her hubby-to-be, Joe, to complete their residencies.
Drink to get Darah on the Dance Floor: Irish Car Bomb
Erika and Ashley first met freshman year of college through Chi Omega. After about a year of Ashley thinking Erika was way to intimidating to talk to, that wall was broken down and as a result they quickly became lifelong friends. Erika joined in on Darah and Ashley’s plans to find a house for junior and senior year, making them the original three in the seven-person home. Summer after junior year, Ashley and Erika studied abroad together in Florence, Italy! Erika typically got guilt-tripped into anything Ashley wanted to do which resulted in a lot of fun and random adventures together since. Erika went on to earn her law degree from the Florida State University (still an avid Gator fan though) and then moved to Omaha, NE. After quickly realizing Omaha seasons are not the same as what the Florida-native was used to, she moved to Jacksonville where she currently works as a Claims Counsel, AVP at Fidelity National Title Group.
Drink to get Erika on the Dance Floor: a bottle of wine
Katelyn is Ashley’s long time “Catholic School Soulmate.” Having most of the same upbringing they’re determined they would’ve been best friends since the beginning had state lines not separated them. The two finally met on that same first day at Chi Omega. Only getting closer over the years, Ashley was welcomed by Katelyn’s family to spend weekends at their home in Orlando, joined in on road trips to visit Katelyn’s twin sister at Florida State, went to multiple college football games together even post-undergrad, and Katelyn solo-visited Ashley (& Billy) in Hawaii for two weeks of hikes and island hopping! If you found the two out together, you would likely see Ashley dragging Katelyn by the wrist to go home as Katelyn has never been in a rush to leave any type of party. Going out with Katelyn typically means a 3am-5am bed time (proceed with caution as this is still very much so an accurate statement). Despite the long nights, their “Facebook Marriage” has been going strong since 2012. Katelyn graduated from the University of Florida, received her master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from Ole Miss and is currently working for the Metro Nashville Public Schools as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
Drink to get Katelyn on the Dance Floor: 1 shot of crappy tequila, no chaser & a Maui Brewing Imperial Coconut
Kelly is Ashley’s first baby cousin. A total of 18 days separating them. Family vacations consisted of two vans, one with Ashley and one with Kelly. If you were in the van with Kelly you would likely get peace, quiet and maybe even some shut eye while she slept through three fourths of the vacations. If you were in the van with Ashley, it was effectively the exact opposite. When not in separate vans, the two would be found either having milk chugging races or making up jokes that no one else could understand. When Kelly finally started to stay awake, around high school, the two started having a little more fun together. Kelly would visit Ashley in Gainesville (R.I.P. to the blue dress), Boston, D.C. and even made a trip out to Hawaii! Kelly is currently working as a Buyer for Hive Home, Gift & Garden in West Palm Beach, FL where she lives with her fiance/Seminole (still working to forgive Kelly's switch in loyalty from the Gators), TJ, and two English bulldogs, Ruby and Butterball.
Drink to get Kelly on the Dance Floor: 1 sip of a Smirnoff ICE
Lee Ann is the better looking and often wiser of the Ruffier sibling duo. As Billy's only sister, she was raised to be tough enough to hang with the older kids making them two peas in a pod. Ashley only met Lee Ann after she started dating Billy, but appreciates finally having a sister, let alone one as great as LA! Lee Ann has since been hired as Ashley's official "junk science" aficionado and helps keep everyone in line with the latest trends and styles. After becoming the first person in the family of Gators to complete all four years at UF, Lee Ann briefly moved back to Orlando but recently became a Tampa resident working as a Content Marketer with BrandMinded.
Drink to get Lee Ann on the Dance Floor: Tito's Soda Lime
Will and Billy have known each other since middle school, but both knew they were born to be Florida Gators. They lived together the majority of their UF experience. Living with Billy subjected Will to become very patient, after contending with the sophomore year FL/GA debacle, the FL/LSU mishap, and the abduction at the Hard Rock Casino. They used to play golf together every Friday, making Will keenly aware of where the new Super Walmart’s are being built. Will and Billy are both aspiring Florida Gator football recruiting insiders and take pride in making sure Will’s friend Evan is in the loop on the latest news. Will received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and continued at the University of Florida Law School. Will has been known for having a hard time leaving the bar, and after a small hiccup is a lawyer for Morgan and Morgan in Orlando, FL.
Drink to get Will on the Dance Floor: White Claw
Billy and Tyler have known each other since elementary school. The two have been close ever since, even overcoming Tyler’s attendance of Bobby Bowden football camp (people don’t forget). In high school, you would likely find them either playing the NCAA football video game or on the lake bass fishing. Tyler initially attended Trinity University in Texas to play football but transferred to UF after his freshman year. Billy and Tyler lived together sophomore through senior year of college and spent most of their time arguing who looks more like George Clooney. Aside from the Clooney debate, Billy and Tyler would bond over searching for Brett Favre posters and Florida Football. Tyler is also known for his exceptional country music dance moves. Tyler graduated from the University of Florida with his undergrad and masters, and recently moved to Amsterdam with his wife-to-be, Diane, to continue working for Uber.
Drink to get Tyler on the Dance Floor: Shiner Bock and country music
Billy and Danny have known each other since middle school and have been friends since. Billy frequently had to guard Danny when playing basketball and was perpetually annoyed how Danny was always barely an inch taller and, as Todd McShay would say, “deceptively quick.” Billy and Danny both attended the University of Florida, where they did not live together due to Danny’s commitment to studying and not living in the ghetto. Danny also attended UF for medical school, and currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife, Kelli, completing his residency.
Drink to get Danny on the Dance Floor: Whatever Will and Evan are drinking
Billy and Drew have been friends since elementary school. They were in the same Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops completing many “big trips” from the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina to the mountains of Philmont in New Mexico. Billy and Drew both enjoyed spending time outdoors and have spent many hours together hunting and fishing. They'd frequently attend Braves spring training games and occasionally Billy would convince Drew to go to a Gator game. Drew attended Auburn University and now is a Financial Planner for Meryll Lynch in Atlanta.
Drink to get Drew on the Dance Floor: Sweetwater or anything domestic
Evan attended Florida State University.
Drink to get Evan on the Dance Floor: Jose Peppers Margaritas
Graham was the first friend Billy made in Cape Girardeau, MO. Back then, Graham was a tall and lanky bar rat. Now, Graham is a tall and not lanky bar rat. After meeting Graham, a small-town hero in Cape Girardeau, Billy felt like he knew half the town. Billy and Graham would frequent downtown Cape Girardeau, even overcoming events like the Pony eating Graham’s phone. Graham’s family owns a barbecue restaurant, Wibs, in a neighboring town. It took about a month before Billy finally read the sign and realized the actual restaurant name was “Wibs,” and Graham in fact did not struggle trying to say the word “ribs.” Billy, Graham, and Zach became a part of the Cape Bowling League where they were the youngest team by 15 years and going from last place to first in the first two seasons. Graham now owns and manages the Wibs restaurant in Jackson, MO.
Drink to get Graham on the Dance Floor: Shots
Billy's and Kingman’s families have known each other for three generations making them friends from an early age. Growing up, they played little league baseball and would take golf lessons together. They both enjoyed spending time in the woods and would frequently visit the Keating’s land in Eustis, FL to shoot clays, bass fish, and poorly scout for turkeys. After defying the odds surviving being nearly thrown off the back of a pontoon boat, Kingman was Billy's first phone call when he landed in Gainesville to complete his MBA. Kingman also managed to be in college for nearly a decade after attending Ole Miss for undergrad, he graduated with a law degree from the University of Florida in May 2019, making him a modern day Van Wilder.
Drink to get Kingman on the Dance Floor: Whatever the girls are having
Billy met Michael while living in Cape Girardeau, MO. The two had a lot in common, bonding over golf, bass fishing, and losing money at the Cape Casino. Michael was generous enough to let Billy come to his hometown of Poplar Bluff, MO each Easter, where they would blow all their money at the bar Triple B’s when not catching bass. Michael and Billy were a known commodity in Cape Girardeau for frequenting Firehouse Subs and Cracker Barrel, as well as abusing the generous Cape Girardeau Mexican restaurant drink specials. They also enjoyed attending St. Louis Blues games and the Sikeston Rodeo. Michael graduated from South East Missouri State and now lives in Dallas, TX as a Financial Analyst for GM.
Drink to get Michael on the Dance Floor: Gin & Tonic
Billy and Philip have known each other since middle school at which moment Billy was amazed to find someone skinnier than him. Billy and Philip were always a step ahead of the law and in high school successfully fought Lake Highland’s oppressive jeans policy with the institution of “Jorts Friday.” Philip was also known among the friend group for his physical prowess on the golf course, hitting 150-yard bomb drives, even after tearing his ACL playing soccer. Philip went to Ole Miss for undergrad and quickly realized attending a college that's still set in the 19th century wasn’t the best fit for a computer science degree. Philip now lives in Boulder, CO as a software developer and occasionally relies on Billy’s technological abilities.
Drink to get Philip on the Dance Floor: A beer from a brewery nobody has ever heard of.
Billy met Zach living in Cape Girardeau, MO through their mutual friend Graham. Zach and Billy had a set weekend routine; Mexican dinner followed by playing darts and shooting pool at their favorite dive bar, Longshots. Unfortunately, Longshots was shut down for pitiful sanitation and likely being a front for a biker gang. They would also spend time trying to hit golf balls at “The Boss” at the local driving range and shoot guns at Apple Creek. Zach also has an affinity for the outdoors and Busch Light, so it is obvious why him and Billy get along so well. Zach graduated from Southeast Missouri State University, and currently is applying to be a Missouri State Trooper.
Drink to get Zach on the Dance Floor: Busch Light or Bud Light Lime