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How we met: alumni couples share fond memories

By Steve Seepersaud


Ask a couple how they met, and you're almost guaranteed to hear a good story. With Valentine's Day this month, we put a call out on social media asking our alumni couples (we have about 5,000) to share stories with us.  

Some couples met during freshman year, dated for four years and, shortly afterward, traded graduation gowns for a tuxedo or white dress. For others, the path to love was less direct; they didn't know (or barely knew) each other while on campus, and came together after venturing out into the real world. 

We share a few of these stories here in Alumni Connect, and you can find others on the University's blog and the Alumni Association Facebook page (be sure to give us a "like" if you haven't already).


Nina and Jesse Tranvaag

"Nina and I met at the 2009 transfer orientation and instantly became great friends!" said Jesse Tranvaag '12. "We were both going to graduate in 2012 and decided we couldn't be apart, and finally began dating. Four years later, we got engaged and are looking at tying the knot in fall 2018!" 



"David Klein '81 and I met in the middle of my freshman year, his junior year," said Judy Hirschler Klein '82. "I accelerated to graduate a year early; he stayed an extra year for his MBA. Two months after graduation, we were married. Nearly 35 years and four children later, we still work together and play together, laugh together and cry together. We are unbreakable."


Jessica and Michael Kuhlman"Michael Kuhlman '97 and I met my junior year through common friends but didn't really get to know each other until we both lived in Washington, D.C., after college," said Jessica Arnold Kuhlman '99. "Here is our 2006 wedding with our fellow Binghamton alumni and now with our future Binghamton alumni!"


Levine family

"Joshua Levine '02 was friends with other people in my dorm before I met him," said Ashley Spielzinger Levine '04. "He just always seemed to be around. Last year was our 10-year wedding anniversary and now we have two crazy kids."






Hoffman family"We both started at Binghamton in 1999, and my husband Michael Hoffman '02 graduated early," said Danielle L. Hoffman '03. "Our circle of friends crossed. I had been in his Hillside apartment and he had been in mine but we never met. We met in November 2005, at a mutual friend's birthday party in New York City, got married in 2009 and had our son in 2014."



David and Emily Snyder"David Snyder '05 and I attended Binghamton University together and started dating several years later," said Emily Resnick Snyder '05, MA '06. "My in-laws, Steven '77 and Sue '78 Snyder have been together since their undergraduate days at Binghamton!"


Shameeka and Rebecca Mattis-PinardAs students, Shameeka Mattis ’03 and Rebecca Pinard ’05 were involved in the Students of Color Support Center and had mutual friends. In 2007, they crossed paths at a Gay Pride parade in New York City and realized they had something else in common. About a year later, they started dating and eventually married. Now they are Shameeka and Rebecca Mattis-Pinard. They co-lead the LGBTQ Alumni Network and helped plan a reunion last fall. “Shameeka was my crush in college,” Rebecca said. “It’s mind-boggling that I got to attend Homecoming with her as my wife. You never know what life is going to bring.”


Bernadette and Daniel Moshkovich"Daniel Moshkovich '05 and I met through mutual friends in the fall of 2003 (my sophomore year and his junior year)," said Bernadette Moshkovich '06. "We didn't see each other for a few years after, and we met again in the summer of 2007 at another Binghamton alumni wedding. We started dating and got married in 2014."


Lotito wedding

"I met my husband Brett Lotito '06 during freshman year at a party on Grand Boulevard," said Jen Lotito '06. "We graduated in 2006 and got married in 2010. This picture has three other couples that also met at Binghamton and got married: Jen Pegollo '05, Raymond Pegollo '05, Diana Cooke '05, Andrew Cooke '05, Heather Young-Kid '06 and Mike Kid '05. We're all still very close!"


Naomi and Paul Lipschik

"My husband Paul Lipschik '09, MS '10, and I may have bumped into each other at Glenn G. Bartle Library, the Lecture Hall or on State Street, but we never actually crossed paths during our time in college," said Naomi Herman Lipschik '11. "We met through mutual friends soon after I graduated and we got married last September, with many fellow Binghamton graduates among our wedding party and guests!"


Su-Ann and Pat Rattoballi"Pat Rattoballi '12 and I met in Digman Hall of Dickinson Community in fall 2008," said Su-Ann Wong '11, MSEd '13. "We lived across the hall from each other. We started dating the following year. We even were RAs on the same staff! We're getting married June 2!"


Samantha and Kevin Rettinger"Kevin Lopes '13, MS '14 and I are high school sweethearts," said Samantha Rettinger Lopes '13, MS '15. "After attending the same high school for almost three years and never meeting, we first met at a St. Anthony's High School theater production in March of my senior year of high school. Sharing many mutual friends, we quickly became close and, as they say, the rest is history. Kevin started school at Binghamton in the fall of 2009 and I transferred to the University shortly afterward. On Oct. 25, 2014, Kevin proposed on a trip to the University's Nature Preserve, our first time there for the both of us. He knew he wanted to propose on campus because Binghamton was such an important part of both of our lives and it was where our relationship grew into what it is today. After a short hike through a very muddy preserve, he got down on one knee in the middle of the bridge and asked me to be his wife. We married in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on June 16, 2016, in front of so many of our dearest friends and, most importantly, fellow Bearcats."


Carolyn Bernardo contributed to this report.

B-CONNECTED with other graduates! B-connected is a secure virtual community only for Binghamton University alumni. Update your personal profile, search for alumni, and submit and read Class Notes. 


SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE WITH US! The Alumni Relations Office is asked to recommend alumni who are expert speakers. If you are well-versed in subjects including national security, politics, technology, career networking, environmental studies or etiquette, contact Melinda Holicky, associate director for alumni volunteer engagement. Include your name, class year and a brief biography. Supporting material could include a CV or link to your website.


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Last Updated: 6/27/19