Worldly couple overcomes distance, separation

BY TOM CAMPBELL
Simeon and Mamou Ehui (pronounced
EH-whey) have a marriage that distance
cannot destroy. Which is a good thing.
They are separated by victor mamou eight time zones and
8,000 miles. Simeon, MS ’83, PhD ’87, is
leader of the livestock policy analysis
program for the International Livestock
Research Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
His wife of 17 years (or 12 years, by some
reckoning…but more on that later), Mamou,
MS ’85, PhD ’89, is an agricultural economist
with specific interests in marketing, economic
development and policy research. She works
for the United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa,
although she is currently on a 12-month
exchange with the World Bank in
Washington, D.C.
That kind of separation would put a strain
on any relationship. But Mamou jokes that
they probably couldn’t get a divorce, even if
they wanted.
Simeon and Mamou, both 43, were
recently reunited on campus to accept their
Distinguished Agricultural Alumni Awards,
the first couple to be so honored by the
Purdue School of Agriculture.
They began dating as undergraduate
students at the National University of Cote
d’Ivoire (the French name for Ivory Coast) in
Abidjan in 1978. The Ivory Coast is a country
of 16 million people speaking 60 different
languages located on the western edge of
Africa.
“I knew from the beginning that we were
meant for each other,” Mamou says.
She followed him to Purdue, where they
both pursued their postgraduate degrees. They
shared the common dream of returning to the
Ivory Coast to teach and research agricultural
economics.
In the eyes of Judge David J. Crouse and
two witnesses, Simeon and Mamou were
married March 5, 1984, in the Tippecanoe
County Courthouse, just across the Wabash
River from Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.
But in their celebration (a quiet dinner of
Chinese food provided by the two witnesses),
the Ehuis neglected to inform the Ivory Coast
Embassy in Washington, D.C., of their
nuptials. So what Judge Crouse had done, the
Ivory Coast government didn’t exactly put
asunder, it simply did not officially recognize
According to the Office of the Registrar,
103 students representing 30 African nations
are enrolled at Purdue University. By
comparison, Purdue’s largest contingents of
foreign students hail from India (808), BY TOM CAMPBELL
Simeon and Mamou Ehui (pronounced
EH-whey) have a marriage that distance
cannot destroy. Which is a good thing.
They are separated by eight time zones and
8,000 miles. Simeon, MS ’83, PhD ’87, is
leader of the livestock policy analysis
program for the International Livestock
Research Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
His wife of 17 years (or 12 years, by some
reckoning…but more on that later), Mamou,
MS ’85, PhD ’89, is an agricultural economist
with specific interests in marketing, economic
development and policy research. She works
for the United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa,
although she is currently on a 12-month
exchange with the World Bank in
Washington, D.C.
That kind of separation would put a strain
on any relationship. But Mamou jokes that
they probably couldn’t get a divorce, even if
they wanted.
Simeon and Mamou, both 43, were
recently reunited on campus to accept their
Distinguished Agricultural Alumni Awards,
the first couple to be so honored by the
Purdue School of Agriculture.
They began dating as undergraduate
students at the National University of Cote
d’Ivoire (the French name for Ivory Coast) in
Abidjan in 1978. The Ivory Coast is a country
of 16 million people speaking 60 different
languages located on the western edge of
Africa.
“I knew from the beginning that we were
meant for each other,” Mamou says.
She followed him to Purdue, where they
both pursued their postgraduate degrees. They
shared the common dream of returning to the
Ivory Coast to teach and research agricultural
economics.
In the eyes of Judge David J. Crouse and
two witnesses, Simeon and Mamou were
married March 5, 1984, in the Tippecanoe
County Courthouse, just across the Wabash
River from Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.
But in their celebration (a quiet dinner of
Chinese food provided by the two witnesses),
the Ehuis neglected to inform the Ivory Coast
Embassy in Washington, D.C., of their
nuptials. So what Judge Crouse had done, the
Ivory Coast government didn’t exactly put
asunder, it simply did not officially recognize
According to the Office of the Registrar,
103 students representing 30 African nations
are enrolled at Purdue University. By
comparison, Purdue’s largest contingents of
foreign students hail from India (808),

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