40 Couples That Are Making Us Swoon This Valentine’s Day - Part 2

Posted by Carolyn Heefner on January 29, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day and welcome to part two of our fourth annual Binghamton couples blog! Thank you to the alumni and students who submitted their stories and photos to us via email, Facebook and Instagram.

36 years and counting

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The photo is from Lake Empire back in '83. We've been together 36 years, married 32 years in May. John graduated in the first class at Watson, in '84, and I graduated in '86. Our son graduated in '09, and our youngest is a sophomore now.

- John D'Agostino '84 & Carolyn D'Agostino '86

Couldn't take my eyes off her

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We met the first week of school in 1993. I was a sophomore and Kim was a freshman. Fate placed us on the same floor at Seneca Hall in College-in-the-Woods. I first saw her at the floor meeting that the RA was leading. When we went around the room introducing ourselves, I couldn't take my eyes off of her. I went out of my way to run into her in the dorm, and finally built up the courage to ask her to go out for dinner. When she moved to Bingham Hall to be with her best friend (that she met at freshman orientation), I moved to Endicott Hall to be near her. Almost 30 years later, we have two kids and a great life, and we love Binghamton as much as we did that first week in '93.

- Andy Cohen '96 & Kim Pitofsky Cohen '97

"After all, he was the Editor-in-Chief..."

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We met in Endicott Hall. It was my first week, freshman year. Lee was a returning sophomore and the editor-in-chief of the Lake Lieberman Gazette. Linda was immediately impressed with his leadership qualities -- after all, he was the Editor-in-Chief. Lee was taken with Linda's pro-rec football skills. The rest is history. They married in '82, and have two children (Jake and Shauna) and maintain many wonderful friendships with their Binghamton friends. Both remain active in alumni activities and look forward to returning to campus this spring, when Lee will be one of the graduation speakers.

- Linda Riefberg '81 & Lee Perlman '80 

Love before and after Bing

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Joseph and I started dating in 2012 when we were 16, before going to Binghamton. Then we went away to Bing together and graduated in 2018. Now we live on West Palm Beach, Florida with our two dogs. I’m a doctoral student and he’s deciding on graduate school. It all started seven years ago. Enjoy Binghamton while you’re there because adulting is harder! 

- Maxx Mercogliano '18 & Joseph Saulle '18

A chance meeting at orientation

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I met my husband Mario at freshman orientation in July 2008! We were friends from day one, then started dating at the end of freshman year, and we're still together now. We both stayed for a fifth year at Binghamton after changing majors and now we are married two and a half years with a 6-month-old! Happy Valentine's Day, Bearcats!

- Mallory Costa '13 & Mario Costa '13

You never know who you'll meet

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We met at a party in December 2008. We became great friends throughout college and we were both being part of Phi Alpha Delta. Following graduation, we started dating in April 2012. Our wedding day was March 2017 and we just welcomed our first son, born on December 31, 2019.

- Jessica Corrado '11 &  Michael Corrado '10

Best friends til the end

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I met my husband Scott in Lehman Hall in 1988. What makes our story unique is that his roommate, John Topolovec, married my roommate, Lauren Haberer-Topolovec. Lauren and John have three children, two of which are currently attending Binghamton, and we have two children. Our families are close to this day and we are both celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this fall. Thank you, Binghamton!

- Janine Compitello Friedman '91 & Scott Friedman '92

"It was love at first ProE extrusion"

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My husband and I met at Binghamton! It all began in LNG102, where at the time he was my TA for Computer-Aided Design. It was love at first ProE extrusion. Yep, you guessed it -- engineering majors. Nearly 10 years later, we are celebrating over one year of marriage, a new home and our first baby on the way. We are both engineers for Amazon and couldn’t be more grateful for our years at Binghamton!

- Jamielee Loughlin Beltrami '12 & James Loughlin '11, MS '12

Happily ever after

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We met on the first day of classes in Music Theory class in the Music Department. Kieran was a sophomore and I was a freshman. We were both very shy, and after two years of classes together we had only spoken once. He asked me "Do you work in the Radio Station [WHRW]?" I said, "Yeah" and he said "Cool." Groundbreaking - lol. A year later, I was conducting a research report for my Ethnomusicology course about Binghamton musicians and he agreed to be a participant. After learning more about him, I asked his band, Shattuck, to play a show with my band, Liberty Belle and the Union Boys, at the University Undergrounds on Feb. 1, 2014. Truly, the rest is history. He was the first guy to ever offer to help me carry gear and equipment -- the music industry is not often very gentlemanly atmosphere! He asked me on our first date to Cyber Cafe West (RIP), where we both recall thinking that "this was forever." He graduated in May 2014 and continued to visit me in Bing almost every single weekend from working in the city, until I graduated in December 2014. We were engaged Valentine's Day 2017 and married on May 5, 2018, at St. Sebastian's Roman Catholic Church in Woodside, Queens (where Kieran's parents got married 32 years prior), with many of our Binghamton pals in attendance. There has never been a doubt in my mind that God destined us to be with one another. He is truly my best friend and soul mate and every moment with him is such a fun adventure! My husband currently works as a senior traffic manager for Label Ad Operations at Spotify, and I am a kindergarten-eighth grade music teacher and choir director at Christ the King, in the Bronx. We currently live in Woodside, Queens, and are "dog-parents" to an adorable little hound-mix named Lucy! Music continues to be an integral part of our lives and our story together. We can't thank Binghamton University enough -- we have the fondest memories of our life there and our friendships even before we met one another. We certainly have Binghamton to thank for bringing us together for our happily ever after!

- Laura McManus '14 & Kieran McManus

Introvert meet extrovert

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Shawn and I were suitemates during freshman orientation. We met in Hunter G17 to be exact! We are TRIO Student Support Services students and were participating in their summer program, S4P. He was very quiet and I was, and still am, quite loud and extroverted. I tried befriending him, but he was a little apprehensive towards my very different personality. Fast forward to the first lecture of Chem 107, I saw him sitting alone and asked him to sit next to me and some friends I met. Later that fall we went on a trip to a corn maze with some fellow SSS students, and that’s when sparks started to fly. We hung out a lot and made things official second semester freshman year and have been dating ever since. We have both been RAs for the past few years; I in Mountainview and him in Dickinson. We will be moving in together after we graduate this May!

- James Wilkinson '20 & Shawn Lansing '20

Can I borrow your notes?

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I met my college sweetheart, Josh, in Bing! We were taking this Medieval History elective, and originally I was supposed to be in a different discussion slot, but somehow got switched at the last minute to his! I always thought he was cute and, of course, studious. As an excuse to talk to him, I asked to borrow his notes, since he always read the articles. Of course, we passed (some thanks to him) and even when he graduated, we spent our breaks, summers and the remainder of my studies together in Bing. Our seven-year anniversary is on Feb. 17, and on our first Valentine’s Day date, he took me sledding in one of the parks in Binghamton! I can go on with stories about our adventures together in Binghamton. I’m always so thankful that I not only got the best experience and friends from Bing, but I have the love of my life to remind me of that always. Proud to be a Bearcat!

- Samara Matityahu, '14 & Joshua Church, '13

Bing bringing people together

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We met by chance through her roommate and discovered we were neighbors off-campus. She was an international student from China in the SOM Accounting Master's program and I was just finishing a BS in Business Administration. One date turned into a few more and a few more, and two graduation ceremonies and a trip around the world later, we were engaged. Now married and celebrating our second anniversary this February, we are living and working in Binghamton with a home of our own, a dog and a lot of thanks to Binghamton University for bringing us together!

- Kexin Yu '17 & Mike Mihalko '15

Rugby love

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My now-husband and I (both class of 2013) met our freshman year at Binghamton. We started dating our senior year, while we were both playing rugby, and got married last March! We had a great Binghamton crew celebrate with us at our wedding!

- Mike Thompson '13 & Devin Thompson '13

More like Harpur's married

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Met in '98 at Harpur's Ferry. Been married 15 years with three kids. We have some stories!

- Paul Paradiso '00 & Cindy Paradiso '00

Love at first bite

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My fiancé, Jeremy, and I met at Binghamton (technically at The Colonial) in 2015 when we were both graduate students. We’re getting married on our fifth anniversary, on Nov. 14!

- Elana Ginsburg MSEd '17 & Jeremy Vela '14, MBA '15

Now and then

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We met freshman year and lived in the same dorm all four years (Champlain Hall for three years and then Johnson Hall), but we did not get together until senior year, in 1980. We’ve been together ever since! The top photo was an early “selfie” taken in 1980 on the field between Johnson (now “Old Johnson”) and Whitney (camera with timer placed on the short brick wall at the end of the field). (Part of Whitney can be seen in the left background.) We recently went back and posed in the same spot, 40 years later. This time, our son Sam was the photographer! 

- Rachel Graber ’80 & Mark Hahn ’80

20+ years of love

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My husband, Rich, and I met in '94. We now have three kids and are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year!

- Rich Klein'97 & Natalia Guarin Klein '97

A secret-Santa romance

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Sean and I lived on the same floor in Rafuse Hall freshman year. He and his roommate wandered into my room on move-in day to meet people on the floor. We were friends after that, and we hung out together in big groups. It wasn’t until December when we really got close, while we were planning a secret Santa for our friends. No one knew the two of us were planning it together, so we hung out in secret every day and made clues out of magazine letters to send to our friends. We finally started dating that March. Now, five years later, we live together in New York City. 

- Kora Sileo '18 & Sean DeKay '18

Valentine cookie grams do work

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Chris and I met at the beginning of the spring semester of 1987. It was my freshman year and his junior year. We both lived in Roosevelt Hall in Hinman and he showed his interest in me by sending a Valentine cookie gram. We had our first date a week later and have been together ever since. We’ve been married 26 years and have one daughter who is now a senior at Binghamton!

- Stephanie Darienzo Marinelli ‘90 & Chris Marinelli ‘88 

We met in (T&Ms) tax class

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We met through a mutual friend while playing Mountainview Co-Rec sports during our sophomore year. We then starting hanging out and studying together when we took the same tax class junior year (shout-out to SOM!) We later “re-connected” at Tom and Marty’s family feud our senior year (we just tell the family we met in tax class). We’ve been together six years and counting, and just got married in November 2019. Of course, we had our fellow Bearcats there to celebrate with us!

- Kathryn Masci '14 & Ian McAdams '14 

All of the stories listed were submitted to the University via Facebook, Instagram and email. If you would like to be included in our Valentine's Day blog 2021 send us an email at social@binghamton.edu

Click to read part 1 of the blog