an image of candy hearts with Cornell-specific slogans

Big (Red) Love: A Celebration of Cornellian Couples

Stories You May Like

Reporter Jenn Abelson ’00 Exposes Dangers of No-Knock Warrants

Quelle Surprise! The Hidden Benefits of My French Lit Major

The Mortarboard: Canvas for Self-Expression

To mark Valentine’s Day, we share a host of ‘happily ever after’ stories of alumni who found their soulmate in a fellow Cornellian

By Beth Saulnier & Alexandra Bond ’12

A bridal couple in front of the Cornell clocktower

As James Lamb ’03 recalls it, his first sight of Jennifer Fang ’03 quite literally took his breath away. Lamb and his roommate had just walked into a freshman orientation event in Helen Newman—ballroom dancing—when he glimpsed her.

“She was the most beautiful person I had ever seen,” Lamb says. “This was the first time in my life that I can remember being truly speechless.”

He eventually summoned the nerve to talk to her, acutely aware of their differences: she was Asian, he was Black, and—as he puts it, half jokingly—his only role model for interracial dating was a certain then-hot movie star.

(But, as he told himself: “You’re not Wesley Snipes.”)

Later that day, they hung out at Collegetown Bagels with some classmates, and the group migrated to a basement music spot.

“We entered the club, danced,” he recalls. “We’ve been dancing ever since.” Sixteen years after they met, they exchanged wedding vows at Willard Straight’s Ivy Terrace—becoming two of the innumerable Big Red grads over the decades who have met their mates on the Hill.

Enjoy this video tribute to Cornellian lovebirds—to the tune of the Chimes playing the "Jennie McGraw Rag."

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Cornellians asked alumni couples to share their love stories. The response was overwhelming—more than space allows us to include—with romantic tales spanning generations.

Some of the pairs met during their very first days on the Hill, while others connected years or even decades after graduation. Here’s a sampling:

(Stories have been edited and condensed.)

Barbara Cole Feiden ’48 & Barry Feiden ’49

B&W photo of a couple

From Barbara: “Both of us were veterans, Barry of the U.S. Army Infantry and I of the Canadian Women's Army Corps. We were always in a hurry to make up for lost time, but we managed brief chats which stretched to studying on the Slope, then to walking on the beautiful campus.

It eventually led to 67 years of a happy marriage and three wonderful children. Barry died five years ago, but I cherish his memory and the memories of Cornell.”


Tom Rakowski ’72 & Carol Carnes Rakowski ’75

an older couple with their grandkids

From Carol: “I had been on campus just a few days—happy to be in a place that valued academics and the arts, free from the football mentality in my native Texas. I walked into Willard Straight to find the entrance partially blocked by a table, where Tom and his pal were selling Key Club calendars.

We chatted, and later I got a call for a date. It was the second or third date that I found out he played football (the ’71 Ivy championship team). So much for me wanting to get away from football!”


Carlos Maymi ’90 & Steven Rapkin, MS ’90

two men on a bench in shirts and ties

From Carlos & Steven: “We didn’t meet on campus, but not far away—sunbathing at the Ithaca reservoir. We started talking and struck a spark, discovering that we had much in common, and decided to get together for dinner that evening.

After a year of weekend visits, we eventually moved into our own apartment in Hoboken, NJ, where we still reside after 26 years. When work permits, we enjoy travel—from distant locales like Botswana and Komodo Island to cultural centers like Paris and Madrid to camping in U.S. national parks. A particular focus has been travel to wine-producing regions, which we experienced as students visiting the wineries of Cayuga Lake.”


Kenneth Kupchak ’64, JD ’71 & Patty Geer Kupchak ’67

a faded photo of a couple outdoors drinking from cups

From Kenneth: “When Cornell shut the dorms over Thanksgiving, another freshman on her corridor invited Patty—who was from Hawaii—to her home in Pittsburgh for the holiday. That corridor-mate was my sister, Bonnie Kupchak Winckler ’67!

The day after we got engaged, I received my orders to Vietnam. Without telling anyone, we arranged for a New York Supreme Court justice to marry us; five months later, on leave, I arrived in Hawaii for the ‘wedding.’

Neither set of parents ever knew about the ‘real’ wedding. We recently celebrated our 55th anniversary.”


Arthur Kirk Field ’60, MS ’61 & Marcia Case Field ’61

B&W photo of a couple in the tropics

From Arthur: “A friend and I went to Risley to meet the girls arriving by bus from freshman orientation—and I met the girl I’ve spent my life with. I got her phone number and gave her a call a couple of weeks later, and she agreed to meet for coffee. We got pinned the next year, engaged the following year, and married the third year.”


Raymond Ortiz ’04, MPA ’06 & Danya Contreras ’13

A couple outdoors with a bear statue

From Raymond & Danya: “At the first annual Premio Lo Nuestro event at the Statler, hosted by La Asociación Latina in 2013, we were briefly introduced by mutual acquaintances. While we were both active alumni volunteers and in adjacent social circles for many years, we didn't reconnect until almost five years later.

After taking some time to get to know each other, our love story truly began; we have enjoyed traveling, completing advanced degrees, and welcoming new family members (nieces, nephews, and pets)."


Betty Schultz Goldberg ’61 & Josh Goldberg ’63, MS ’65

A photo of a couple from the 50s

From Betty: “My roommate invited her cousin, Josh, for dinner every Sunday. On a limited budget, he ate very little during the week and made up for it on Sundays. In those days of gracious living, our server brought seconds in a big bowl to be passed around. Josh always ate the whole bowl himself, shoveling in each mouthful.

I told him he ate like a steam shovel. He said, ‘Thank you.’ I was appalled and refused to sit at the same table with him. Skip ahead to the present. Josh and I have been married for nearly 60 years. Did his table manners improve? Hell, yes.”


Kathleen Miller ’82 & Brian Pickerall ’82

A bridal couple near a dock

From Brian: “Late Saturday night at our 25th Reunion, the band had shut down when a beautiful woman came up to our group and introduced herself, and walked with us as we made our way back to North Campus.

When we got to the corner of Thurston and Wait, she headed for the Alpha Phi house while the rest of the group headed for Dickson. Thankfully, a friend asked, ‘Who’s walking her to Alpha Phi?’ I did, and we were married four years later.”


Michelle Moyal, DVM ’07 & Morgan Dickens ’08

A B&W photo of a bridal couple


From Michelle:
“I met my wife playing intramural basketball, and we reconnected years later on Facebook; a few years after that, I drummed up the courage to email her. Five years later, we were married at the Johnson Museum, under the lights of Cosmos by Leo Villarreal. Sometimes, I marvel at our being together; on such a large campus, the odds that we would have met were so small."



David Morrow III, DVM ’60, PhD ’67 & Linda Macdonough Morrow, MS ’66

A man and a woman in graduation garb in B&W

From Linda: “While I waited for lunch in the MVR cafeteria, a cute guy with a crew cut smiled at me. I thought he was someone from one of my classes, but when he got closer, I was embarrassed to realize I had no idea who he was.

But it turned out we’d met briefly at a grad student mixer; he was excellent at remembering names, and I’d been paying more attention to someone else.

We continued our conversation over lunch, and I knew I wouldn’t forget him again. We married in August, less than a year later.”


Adam Breitman ’08 & Allyson Davis Breitman ’08

A couple embracing

From Adam: “We technically met at nursery school—then in high school when a friend introduced us because we were both going to Cornell. In college, we took salsa dancing classes together, and she took me to a few sorority formals; we shared hockey season tickets.

In 2008 we ended up living in NYC, about 100 feet from each other—again by chance. Maybe fate? I formally asked her out, and she eventually said yes. Fast forward through a wedding, two Reunions, six Cornell hockey games at Madison Square Garden, and almost eight years of marriage, and we now live in Westchester with our two kids.”


Eric Key ’77, PhD ’83 & Cynthia Grossel Silber ’80

a couple depicted in the 70s and recently at their wedding

From Cynthia: “He was my first love, but my father vehemently disapproved; my family was Jewish and his was not. I ended our relationship—and, as Dorothy Parker said, ‘broke my heart to clattering bits.’

We each went on to marry other people and raise families, and didn’t speak for over 30 years. In 2009, separated from my husband, I contacted people from my past. Eric was separated as well—and again, I was swept off my feet.

Stories You May Like

Reporter Jenn Abelson ’00 Exposes Dangers of No-Knock Warrants

Quelle Surprise! The Hidden Benefits of My French Lit Major

In 2018, we were married. Let no one tell you that older people don’t feel the freshness of love with the same magic and intensity as the young. If anything, it is more precious later in life.”


Karen Kaufman Polansky ’67 & Steven Polansky ’67

A couple with Cornell Reunion buttons around their necks

From Karen: “We met outside Madison Square Garden before a Cornell hockey game. He was with his roommate and I was with mine; both were in ILR and knew each other, so Steve and I were introduced.

He asked me out, but I didn't have time. He asked again when we returned to campus, but I had a chemistry exam to study for. Being pre-med and a zoology major, he offered to help me study. I passed chemistry; we also had chemistry! We were pinned five weeks later, married the week after graduation, and will celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary in June.”


Michael Strok ’68 & Dale Chodosh Strok ’69

a bridal couple in the 60s

From Michael: “It started with my last-minute decision to join an 11-week camping trip through 13 countries in Europe in summer 1966. By the second week, Dale and I had become friendly.

The clincher to what has turned out to be a 56-year love affair was when I persuaded her to abandon the trip and hitchhike to Athens with me.

Sleeping on a rooftop under a full moon, with a view of the Acropolis—and on a deserted island beach in the Aegean Sea—how could we not fall in love?”


Paul Hayre ’91 & Jeannette Perez-Rossello ’91

A couple in formal wear

From Paul: “At Banfi’s for a dinner to celebrate inductees into a senior honor society, I was mesmerized. I made certain I was sitting next to her for dinner; we found each other's company delightful. Fast forward a few months: I had a Valentine's Day semi-formal to attend, yet no date. Out of nowhere, I saw her again. I asked if she had weekend plans; she had tickets for the Cornell/Harvard hockey game on Friday. With little to lose, I laid it out: I was going to invite her to a Valentine's semi-formal that night. Without missing a beat, she replied, ‘I'll go with you!’ We now live in Boston and have three fabulous kiddos.”


Matthew Nagowski ’05 & Catherine March, MEng ’14

a couple in Cornell hockey fan garb

From Catherine: “We met through the Cornell Club of Greater Buffalo's book club—arguing over interpretations of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven. It would take another year of occasional run-ins before we started dating. We married in autumn 2020 and continue to volunteer with the club that started it all.”


Joel Negrin ’68 & Linda Schwartz Negrin ’69

A 60s-era photo of a bridal couple

From Linda: “The situation: I had been dating Joel since the first football game in September.

The dilemma: Finding an appropriate Valentine’s Day gift for someone about whom I cared deeply, but not wanting to appear pathetic.

The solution: I presented Joel with a beautifully wrapped box containing 100 pieces of sticky, pink Dubble Bubble gum, complete with comics.

The result: We’ve been stuck together for 56 years.”


David Jackson ’04 & Tiffany Hunter Jackson ’05

a couple in formal wear at a table

From David & Tiffany: “In fall 2001, a friendship started that spanned our Cornell careers and lasted for decades beyond, as we supported each other through the highs and lows of life. Our friendship flourished into love nearly 20 years later via an Instagram message revealing that we were both living in New York.

Our courtship was a romantic whirlwind: we were engaged in January 2021, married two months later, and had our first child in early 2022.”


Rob Rosenberg ’88 & Pat Cook ’89

a family of four dressed in red in front of a statue

From Rob: “After graduation, I went to work for a boutique advertising agency in New York. I gave the Career Center my contact info to mentor seniors, and I got three; one was Pat. During winter break, I helped with their résumés and job strategies. When the agency was hiring an entry-level person, I gave HR Pat’s résumé, which I considered the strongest, and they hired her. We became friends and ultimately fell in love. We’ll celebrate our 30th anniversary in June. We also produced two Cornellians: son Reed ’20 and daughter Grayson ’23.”


Rebecca Gendelman ’14 & Jesse Orshan ’15, BS ’14

A couple wearing red shirts

From Jesse: "We met as undergrads living on West Campus. We became fast friends based on our mutual love of Jimi Hendrix and much more. After graduating, we came back and I proposed in the clock tower. We also had our wedding in Ithaca and try to come back once a year.”


Jeffrey McPeek ’82, BS ’83 & Julie Doig McPeek ’83

a couple dancing in the 1970s

From Julie: “We were high school sweethearts, but ended our romance when Jeff started at Colorado State. I entered Cornell as a freshman the fall that Jeff transferred as a sophomore. We ran into each other a few times on campus, but were dating other people and remained friends.

In February 1980, a friend told me Jeff was going to ask me to his fraternity’s Valentine’s date night. I told her I was not ready to get back into the relationship—and she told me, ‘Just go; it’s not like you have to marry the guy!’ Famous last words; that’s just what I did!”


Gregory Meyer ’06, MILR ’08 & Marijke Schouten ’10

a couple with a bulldog

From Marijke: “We fell in love Valentine's Day 2008: he picked me up from Cascadilla Hall for our first date, and my heart melted while throwing snowballs after Taste of Thai on the Commons. We bonded over both coming to campus from Portland, Oregon, studying at ILR, and being regulars at Cornell Cinema.

Since graduating, we've traveled to 15 countries, married with all our favorite Cornellians present, and adopted a rescue bulldog who sports a Big Red jersey on game days. We're a ‘legacy love story,’ because my husband's parents were married their sophomore year!”


Risa Mish ’85, JD ’88 & John Lauricella, MFA ’87, PhD ’93

A bridal couple

From Risa: “I rushed to the Anabel Taylor Coffeehouse to grab lunch before heading to my law classes. It was crowded, and the staff was harried. My bagel was more toasted—some would say charred—than I wanted, but I had no time for a re-do.

I paid, turned around to run to class, and in my haste bumped into the very handsome man behind me.

His immortal first words to me—this man of literature, who was on his way to earning a PhD in English? ‘Looks like they burnt your bagel.’"


Dennis Norfleet ’65 & Doren Poland Norfleet ’65

A 60s-era couple dressed in formal wear

From Doren: “We met at a freshman mixer. He dated my corridor-mate, and he and I became good friends. Junior year, he asked me out for a ‘study date.' We discovered that our friendship had truly become a loving relationship. We were pinned that semester, engaged our senior year, and married in August following graduation.

Our entire life we got back to Ithaca as much as possible, since it brought back so many wonderful memories of our courtship. Cornell was a major part of our lives, until Dennis’s death in 2019. It was fitting that the final act at his memorial service was the playing of the ‘Evening Song.’”


David Mazaika ’85 & Kristina Salerno Mazaika ’92

a bridal couple

From Kristina: “We met at a young alumni event I co-hosted in San Diego. When I saw him enter in his suit and tie, my heart skipped a beat.

Since I needed to be a thoughtful hostess, I fought through my nervousness and approached him. But when I saw him drive off in a minivan, I wrote him off as married with kids.

He tracked me down soon after and left a message. I learned that the minivan belonged to his parents, and that he borrowed it to do renovation projects. He asked me out, and we’ve been together ever since."

Top image: Illustration by Cornell University, from a photo by iStock. All other images provided.

Published February 10, 2022


Do you have your own Cornellian love story to share?

Comments

  1. Karen Jewett-Bennett, Class of 1979

    While my husband is not a Cornellian he was, like me, a townie. He remembers our first meeting, in 1970, in the tunnel between Barton and Teagle Hall after public swim in Teagle Pool. We went steady for a few weeks in 1971, and went on one date in 1976 when I was a sophomore at Cornell. Even though I traveled to Ithaca frequently while I was working for Cornell’s Western Regional Office we never even ran into each other during that time. We finally reconnected at my 35th Ithaca High Reunion in 2010, I moved back to Ithaca in 2011 and we married at Anabel Taylor Chapel in 2012.

    • Rachel Peris Ash

      Love it, Karen!

      • Elisabeth Sherman Slate, Class of 1993

        After meeting in a German class sophomore year, we didn’t really see each other again till senior year. On the first day of class in January, I walked into another German class chastising myself for even thinking he’d be there. He was! And we’ve been together ever since. We went trying on Libe Slope for our first Valentine’s Day. ❤️

  2. Margo Sue (and Jim) Bittner

    Hope you do this again! I’d love to share our story. We were married before we graduated at Anabel Taylor. Most of the outdoor pictures have the bell tower in the background.

    • Kelly Davis

      We got married at AT too! It was a wonderful place for a wedding.

  3. Julie Vargo, Class of 1982

    So many love stories start on the Hill. Chris and I dated during our time at Cornell. Neither can remember exactly how we met or why we broke up. We each married other people right after college. Those marriages ran their course. Chris and I reconnected at our 30th Cornell Reunion, became friends again, then became a couple. This time, we remember how we re-met. We don’t plan to break up again. Lol. Looking forward to our 40th reunion this June!

  4. Karen Lazar

    I met Greg Travis ‘89 eng when I was a freshman and we had our first date at the Victory Club! We are now approaching our 30 year anniversary with our son Grant Travis, class of 2024, currently studying econ at Cornell. Our oldest daughter, Brooke Travis, a Cornell alum from the class of 2020, is now a bio PhD student at Harvard. Our youngest, Caroline is still in middle school! Where might she go? Go Big Red! We ❤️ you Cornell.

  5. Angela Cheng-Cimini, Class of 1992

    My husband and I met in our freshman year in the fall of 1988 and married in 1994. My son and his fiancé also met in their freshman year on the Hill and plan to be married next summer! Happy Big Red Valentine’s Day for generations to come!

  6. Barbara Redden Leamer, Class of 1957

    My husband Richard Leamer ‘56 and I, Barbara Redden ‘57 met my sophomore year in an English lit class. He started saving a seat for me and walked me back to Sage where I was living. He gave me his fraternity pin on Easter morning at Taughannock Falls. We were engaged the next September at Stewart Park and married in the chapel of Anabel Taylor Hall the day before graduation in June 1957. This June we will celebrate 65 years.

  7. Isabel Leal, Class of 1995

    Henry Green ‘95 MEng ‘96 and Isabel Leal ‘95 MEng ‘97. We met as sophomores in 1993 through a mutual friend, but only started dating senior year. We married in 1998 with many Cornellians as guests. We now live in Guatemala and have 2 daughters and quite a few dogs.

  8. Jennifer Leeds, Class of 1991

    My hubby, Rob Hess, and I met freshman year in biology class, and started dating our Junior year, while in Genetics class. The first meal he cooked for me was on Valentine’s Day 1990. We were married after grad school and named our firstborn “Tjaden”. He graduated CU ‘20 and is now living with his partner whom he met during his junior year as well!

  9. Tom Benton, Class of 1982

    My wife, Mary Caporale Benton, and I met at a Phi Kappa Tau party in our junior year. We’re both class of ’82, and she lived next door on The Knoll at Delta Phi Epsilon. We still recall how I used to drive my beat-up car the 100 yards or so over to the front door of her sorority to take her back to my fraternity for dates. What made certain our eventual destiny to get married was taking the Hotel school winetasting course our senior year. As fate would have it, students were seated alphabetically by last name, and fortunately for me, there were no names between Benton and Caporale. Thank you, Cornell, for providing wine and a regular Friday date for me and the woman I married about a year later!

  10. Elizabeth (Liz) Sufit, Class of 1982

    My husband, Howard A Scott (PhD 1982) and I (BA 1982) met on a Cornell Outing Club backpacking trip fall of 1978 – it was my first time backpacking and he was one of the leaders of the trip. He introduced me to a folk-dancing group the next month, and after a few more dates, we danced, skied, and hiked our way through Cornell, and through life! We married in 1983; he worked for Sandia Labs after Cornell, while I went to vet school at Virginia Tech, then together we moved to California. Our Cornell years are still very clear in our memories. (And we know a few other CU families!)

  11. DIANA LORENZ WEGGLER, Class of 1978

    My husband, Bob Weggler ’78, and I, missed our chance to contribute our Cornell love story. We met in March 1976 at the first ever practice of the first ever women’s rugby team at Cornell: he as a volunteer student coach and me as a player. Both being varsity athletes (he football, me, ice hockey) in addition to rugby, we traveled in the same social circles, so remained acquaintances. In January 1978 he invited me to a sign language class downtown at the Community Center. Forty-four years and four kids later, I couldn’t have scriptedit any better.–“Sunshine” Lorenz Weggler

    • DIANA LORENZ WEGGLER, Class of 1978

      Oh, and I forgot to mention, while we didn’t get married at Cornell, we did renew our vows there in 1998, when we went back to Ithaca for our 20th Class reunion. The ceremony took place in Sage Chapel, with celebrant Reverend Brewster and several CU classmates in attendance.

  12. Janelle Aslam, Class of 2008

    My husband was the first fellow EMBA student I met on my first day at Sage Hall. He graduated the program in 2007, I in 2008, and we were married at Sage Chapel in 2009.

  13. Tina Atwell, Class of 1998

    My husband Andy Atwell MS ’00, PhD’02 and I were both in graduate programs. I had graduated from CALS and was getting a MILR, he was pursuing a PhD in Engineering. He says we met in May at the church we both attended, I do not remember meeting until August! We dated through grad school, broke up when I graduated, and connected when I was back at Cornell recruiting. We were married at Sage Chapel and had our reception at the A.D. White House in July 2003! We have had one daughter graduate from Cornell and hope for many more generations to grace the hill!

  14. Hanna Reichel, Class of 2017

    My grandparents, Mimi ‘55 and Len ‘56, met in Biology lecture in Stimson Hall. It turned out they grew up just minutes from each other in the Schenectady area. Their first date was a coffee at Williard Straight Hall and they were married a few days after graduating. They both dedicated their lives to science – my grandmother was a lifelong high school biology teacher and my grandfather was a cancer researcher whose career took them and their three children all over the world. Their busy lives kept them away from Ithaca for many years, but they did travel from Montana (where they retired to) for my graduation in 2017. I had fallen in love with Cornell at first sight, my senior year of high school, and didn’t know until then just how much it meant to them – to us.

  15. CAROL K COYLE-SHEA, Class of 1960

    Love these stories. Will contribute mine if you do this again.
    Carol (Klaus ’60) Coyle-Shea

  16. Kathleen Cosentino, Class of 1979

    (Gerry) William Thur, Class of 1970 and Kathy Cosentino, Class of 1979. We never crossed paths during our Cornell years, but found each other many years later in 1997 through a personal ad (before internet dating!) in Berkeley CA. It was love at first sight, and our Cornell histories only deepened our connection to each other. We visited Cornell on three occasions, attending two Cornell reunions and exploring Ithaca and the Finger Lakes. We so enjoyed sharing the memories of our individual Cornell and Ithaca experiences with each other. We were fortunate to have many wonderful years together in the San Francisco Bay Area until William’s death in 2017.

    • Karen, Class of 1990

      After Cornell, my husband and I went to Cal Berkeley and lived in that area for 9 years.

  17. John & Pat Clark, Class of 1980

    We met as juniors at CALS, we dated as Seniors, then both went to Grad School ’85 DVM for Pat nad ’86 MBA for me. She was a horse girl and I majored in animal science dairy.

  18. Julia Macdonald-Ward, Class of 2003

    I graduated in 2003, my last two years In school I worked at Statler and loved working and bartending all the Cornellian weddings. Cornell love is the best. This story and even the comments have been beautiful to read. Thank you!

  19. Karen Jacowitz, Class of 1990

    I hope it’s not too late to add our story. My husband, Matt Craig ’90, and I met freshman year and became part of the same group of friends. We grew to be best friends and then started dating. We got married by Houston Pond in the Cornell Botanic Gardens one week after graduation. Now we have twin daughters who are both Cornell Class of 2024 (and a son who is not a Cornellian, but I don’t want to leave him out).

  20. Jennifer Rabin Marchant, Class of 1994

    My mother met my father on her first day of her freshman year at SUNY Buffalo in 1965. Little did I know that when I met Michael Marchant ‘94 on our first day at Cornell in 1990 that the same thing would happen! We were randomly assigned to the same OC group and lived and in Donlon together. While we were close friends throughout undergrad, we had time to “sew our oats” a bit and didn’t start dating until our senior year. Michael proposed at the top of Libe Slope in 1998 and we celebrated with Hot Truck! We loved showing our children that spot when we visited Cornell a few years ago! As my daughter graduates high school in June it will be interesting to see who she meets her first day of her freshman year of college!

  21. James Donley Miller, Class of 1981

    I met my future wife in the fall of 1979 when I entered the Business School. She is not an alum, but was a Cornell employee, working at Media Services in old Roberts Hall on the Ag Quad. We were fixed up by friends, but it has lasted. We were married 0n 9-27-1980 in the Methodist Church on North Aurora Street and are looking ahead to our 42nd anniversary!

  22. Tonya Engst, Class of 1989

    My husband, Adam Engst, and I met on our very first day as first-year students in 1985, at a “freshman” dance on West Campus. I recall wearing a blue mini skirt and a top with yellow polka dots and shoulder pads—this was on-trend in the 1980s. We were friends at first, discovering a shared love of running, among other things. We became a couple at the start of our second semester. We graduated in 1989, co-founded an Internet publication so early that it had to be converted to the web once the web was a thing (it’s still going at tidbits.com) in 1990, and got married in 1991. We and have been together ever since. Our son, Tristan, graduated from Cornell in 2021.

  23. Joyce Wilcox Graff, Class of 1966

    New on campus, I was applying for a campus job at the library. In the waiting room I chatted with this really cute guy, Frank Graff ’65 from Long Island in I&LR. I got the job at Uris; he got a job at the math library. Later we connected over current events and quickly became a couple. We eloped in the spring. Frank lost his vision the following year, but we continued on at Cornell. He finished a B.A. in American History, I completed my Master’s in Romance Studies (French language, literature, linguistics) at Cornell and he went on to complete his Ph.D. in American Diplomatic History at the University of Michigan. We had a baby to celebrate the Ph.D. in 1971, and moved to Boston in 1978 where Frank taught at Boston College. Frank died in 1977 after a long struggle with a difficult disease, von Hippel-Lindau, which also affects our son. I founded the VHL Alliance in 1993, led it for 25 years, and in 2021 a new drug, Welireg (Merck) was approved for VHL, the first medical non-surgical treatment for VHL. I like to think of that as part of Frank’s legacy, his gift to the world.

  24. Liz Berney, Class of 1975

    How about a column for Cornell marriages that didn’t go the distance, but still produced wonderful progeny?

    My ex (Engineering BS ’75) and I (ILR BS) met at a Purim party at Cornell, and married shortly after graduating from Cornell. Although the marriage ended in divorce after a few years, it did result in some great kids and adorable grandkids!

    Maybe a formerly married Cornelians column could help some of us can find another Cornelian for a lasting Chapter Two!

Leave a Comment

Once your comment is approved, your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other stories You may like