MONTGOMERY – “As soon as I saw him, I had a feeling about him that I never had before,” Collier Tynes said of her recent engagement to Alabama State Sen. Clay Scofield. “Little did I know he had the same feeling about me.”
The Auburn alumni met in January 2014, but did not start dating until April according to Tynes.
“Our first date was on a Friday, and Clay took me to Ocean in Birmingham,” Tynes said. “I was so nervous when he picked me up, but he immediately made me feel at ease. We laughed a whole lot, and I could not stop smiling!”
Tynes is from Birmingham, Ala., and is a 2013 alumna, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations. Sen. Scofield is from Arab, Ala., and a 2003 alumnus. Scofield earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business and economics. Sen. Scofield owns and works on his chicken farm called Scofield Farms in Guntersville, Ala. Scofield is also a third-generation farmer.
“Before meeting Clay, I was not familiar with the agricultural industry at all,” Tynes said. “I was amazed the first time I saw the farm and how technical and advanced farming is. Seeing Clay’s farm gave me an appreciation of what farmers do to feed the world. They are the backbone of our state.”
Tynes works for Dianne Bentley, the First Lady of Alabama, which is how she met her future husband. She created a parks’ initiative for the First Lady, and worked with Sen. Scofield who chaired the Senate Tourism Committee.
“We visited Guntersville and toured a few state parks together, which helped begin our relationship,” Tynes said.
“Ever since I was a little girl, it was my dream job to work for the First Lady,” Tynes said. “Every day I get to direct the First Lady’s platform and help her serve the people of Alabama. I also manage the Governor’s Mansion’s events, tours and day-to-day operations.”(Photo used with permission. Photographer: Cass Isbell Purdum.)
The First Lady focuses on domestic violence prevention, adoption through foster care, literacy and Alabama tourism according to Tynes.
“The First Lady is doing significant work preventing domestic violence in Alabama,” Tynes said. “This past year, I toured every domestic violence shelter in the state with her. We are also looking at what she can do legislatively to give Alabama victims the life-saving services they need.”
According to Tynes, she plans to stay on board with the First Lady after she marries the Senator.
“Clay is amazing and so supportive of my career,” Tynes said. “He knows how important this job is to me since it’s been my lifelong dream. I am continuously grateful for his encouragement. I love that about him.”
“I was completely caught off guard by Clay’s proposal,” Tynes said. “A lot of people asked, ‘how did you not know?’ The reason I didn’t know is because he recently was named Chairman of Confirmations, which I am really proud and excited for him. Leading up to the day, Clay kept saying ‘I’m receiving my Chairmanship on this date, and I want you to be there because we will take pictures.’ But that morning, he kept acting anxious and looked back a lot. Clay told me that I couldn’t sit in the chamber break room as planned. Instead, I had to sit in the secretary’s office and watch the big screen in there and he told me that someone would come get me when it was time to take pictures. Eventually, someone led me to the chamber, and when I walked in everyone was staring at me. I saw Clay at the microphone. Clay waved to me to come forward, and immediately my heart was beating 1,000 miles per hour. I was shaking and was so overwhelmed with happiness.” (Photo used with permission. Photographer: Cass Isbell Purdum.)
The night of the engagement, Tynes’ and Scofield’s closest family and friends celebrated with them at Pranzo in downtown Birmingham. Attendees included many people from their time at Auburn.
“I’m ecstatic about the wedding, but most importantly our marriage,” Tynes said. “I’m currently in the beginning stages of planning, such as making the guest list and figuring out how to ask my bridesmaids. Our families have been incredibly supportive and helpful. I just can’t wait to begin my life with Clay.”
The two are set to wed on Oct. 17, 2015, at Canterbury United Methodist in Birmingham.
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