Will You “B” Mine? 43 Couples Who Found Love at Binghamton
Posted by John Brhel on February 8, 2023
Did you know that Binghamton is the Premier Public University to Find Your Future Love? We haven’t added that to our admissions materials yet, but we probably should. Just look at these couples! Each year we ask the Binghamton community to share their love stories, and this year we got some awesome submissions. From meet-cutes to long-brewing romances, these stories made us laugh, cry and feel the love.
Scroll to the bottom for links to blogs from previous years.
A Preserve proposal
We met at first-year orientation in 2015! We were friends first and started dating towards the end of first year. We have been living and working in NYC since graduation. Our whole college friend group went back to Binghamton for alumni weekend this past fall, and that is when we got engaged in the Nature Preserve. We celebrated with all our friends and family at the Beer Tree and Lost Dog afterwards!
Cara Jozefowski ‘18 and Dylan Domenico ‘18
The last day of classes!
We met our first year on the last day of classes walking back from The Cash Inn, in the pouring rain. It turned out we both lived in Oneida, in The Woods. Being that it was finals week, we agreed to meet up at home once the semester ended, as we both lived on Long Island. We had our first date in June of 1989, and have been together ever since!
Stacey Gotkin Cooper ‘92 and Stephen Cooper '92
Great first date spot: Lecture Hall
…I found out that Alice lived with one of my fraternity brothers’ girlfriends, so he gave me Alice’s home number. (No cell phones back then ��). I called Alice and our first date was going to see the movie Under Siege with Steven Seagal on campus in Lecture Hall 1. Alice graduated in 1994 and went on to work at Bloomingdale’s and Avon in NYC. At night, Alice went to graduate school at Pace University to get her MBA.I graduated a year later in 1995 and went to medical school at St George’s University in Grenada. We stayed together and had a long-distance relationship for three years. After completing my intern year for residency, we got married in 2000 at Crest Hollow Country Club on Long Island. We lived in multiple places throughout the country including Princeton, New Orleans, and Indianapolis for my medical training from 1999-2006. We finally settled in Fort Worth, Tex. in 2006. I am an interventional cardiologist and Alice raises our three wonderful boys, as well as manages our rental properties.
Alice Finkelstein ‘94 and Jason Finkelstein ‘95
Teddy and I met in the BAT program in summer 2017. We were in the same lab and had our very first clinical rotation together with Professor Karen Browne, who has become a very close friend of ours! Teddy and I became friends first. Our first get together was binge-watching Dexter during a very short break between summer sessions. We then began to spend even more time together, and in January of 2018 we became an official couple. Now, five years later, I proposed to her in December of 2022, surprising her on an outing with her best friends from freshman year of college at Binghamton (also a Binghamton couple). Teddy and I both work at UHS, have spent some time doing travel nursing, and work as adjunct faculty for Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences, teaching clinical rotations. We are so excited to have made the decision to spend the rest of our lives together and can't wait to see what this next chapter brings. Thank you, Binghamton!
Ron Huang ‘18 and Teddy Watrobski ‘18
A New Year’s proposal
We met as seniors during the fall 2016 semester when both of us were taking an English class with Ryan Vaughan. We exchanged numbers the day of our final exam, and we went on our first date at Panera on the Vestal Parkway a few days later. After that, we spent as much time together as we could! Some of our favorite places in Binghamton were Cyber Cafe West, Sound Go Round and Lost Dog Cafe. After six amazing years filled with love and adventure, we got engaged on Dec. 31, 2022! We are so grateful to Binghamton for starting our love story. Special shoutout to our fellow Bing alum, Robert B., for taking our engagement photos!
Leanne Minkoff ‘17 and Charlie Miller ‘17, MS ‘18
Corny pickup lines
Alex “knew me” from working at the information desk in what is now the “Old Union.” I was a junior and he was a sophomore. One day I was walking towards the Union and Alex was walking in the opposite direction. He stopped me and asked what my name was and I said Alex (which he knew already). He said really? I’m Alex, too. I thought to myself How corny and what a horrible pickup line (LOL). Needless to say, the information desk was helpful! I didn’t think he was my type and I wasn’t interested, but he had a great smile and we were both in SOM, so I thought he must be smart! Can’t remember where our first date was, but here we are today after 27 years, married with two kids. Our youngest is a sophomore at Binghamton studying accounting in SOM. I’m currently the director of credit and collateral risk at a large energy company and Alex is an entrepreneur. Alex has owned several restaurants, a wellness company focused on educators and we invest in real estate.
Alex Cabraie ‘98 and Alexandra Cabraie ‘99
We met in the summer of 2013, as we were both orientation advisors! Our first date was at Moghul’s off campus. I remember being very nervous. We moved back to New York this June after both getting doctorate degrees in our respective fields, and just got married this December!
Rajesh Burela ‘16 and Abby Burela ‘15
Wait – it’s a date?
David was my RA junior year (2012-2013) in Mountainview. We were just friends the entire year, so when he asked if I wanted to see a movie a few days after the semester ended, I didn't realize it was a date. We saw The Great Gatsby in the city (our halfway point) on May 30, 2013, and I thought it went TERRIBLY – mostly because I said "Wait... is this a date?" when he took out his wallet and bought tickets for both of us. It was relatively awkward after that, but I guess I had a few good jokes because we went out again a week later. Fast forward nearly a decade, and we have had the most beautiful, chaotic, deep, exuberant, joyous, priceless adventure together. We got married on Oct. 17, 2021, and we are expecting our first child (a baby girl) in just a few short weeks. I wouldn't change our love story for the world.
Shara Underweiser and David Underweiser ‘14
Just the two of us
I met Lydia through the Binghamton Student Association. We did not begin dating right away. It was not until the fall of 2018, my senior year, that we began to start talking more seriously and dating. When I finally graduated from Binghamton in the spring of 2019, we both took the deep plunge into moving in with each other. For the first year, we had a great time living with our very good friends from Binghamton: Zach and Faith. But when Covid first struck in 2020, they eventually moved out and then all of a sudden it was just the two of us. While Lydia and I were both stuck at home for those months, we grew even more closer together. In August 2020 I finally popped the question to her and, shockingly, she said yes. We were married on a beautiful farm in Massachusetts, surrounded by our family and friends, many of them we'd made during our time at Binghamton. Our dear friend and former student representative on the BU Council, Franklin Richards, officiated the ceremony.
Henry Gulergun '19 and Lydia King ‘18
When (sports) stars collide
Nick and I met in November of 2012. He was on the baseball team and I was on the women’s soccer team. We met at a baseball/soccer mixer. We didn’t officially start dating until June of 2013. After college, we were long-distance for three years as I pursued my MS, Ed and CAS, while he began his career. We purchased our first home in July of 2020. We are getting married this year (June 17), 12 days before our 10-year anniversary!
Stephani Church ‘16 and Nick Pancerella, MBA ‘16
We saw each other several times in passing in the University Union at the start of the fall '97 semester. Then at BSU meetings. One day, while Nicole was printing a paper in the computer lab, which was in the Engineering Building at the time, I asked her out. She said yes and we've been inseparable ever since! We were married on Aug. 4, 2001. Needless to say, the decision to attend Binghamton University paid off big time for both of us!
Jamar Johnson ‘03 and Nicole Sirju-Johnson ‘99 MPA, ‘11 PhD
Party at the Plaza
Ryan and I met during our final year at Binghamton; Ryan was finishing up his MBA and I was in my last year of undergrad. We ended up at the same party at University Plaza because of mutual friends. I saw him and thought he was cute, so I went up to him and his friend to introduce myself. By the end of the night, Ryan asked for my number, and the rest is history! Some of our first hangouts were at JT's on State Street, the CIW dining hall and The Ale House, but our first official date was at Little Venice. We started dating in 2010, got married in 2016, and had our daughter, Claire (2), in 2020. We still keep in close touch with our Binghamton friends and can't wait to bring Claire to Bing someday!
Ryan Gallo ‘10, MBA ‘11 and Christina Gallo ‘11, MS ‘14
A hike to remember
Eliana and I met during our freshman year at Binghamton. We met at Hillel’s Freshfest before classes started. We started out as friends, and didn’t start dating until the end of sophomore year. Our first date was a hike in the Nature Preserve. But we didn’t want the date to end, so we grabbed dinner and a movie. Our second date was the next day, and our third the day after that. We’ve been inseparable since. If it wasn’t for Binghamton, we would never have met – and now we’re getting married in August.
Avram Young ‘18 and Eliana Ben-Sorek ‘18
David asked me out on a lunch date at The Grapevine Café in Johnson City. It was a casual date, but it lasted hours because we really enjoyed each other's company. As the days went on, we began to spend more and more time together. We had long conversations about life, passions and our shared interests. We would watch movies together until late hours of the night, paint together, listen to our mutual favorite music artists, and so much more. All of this happened about 1-2 weeks before his graduation date. Now, after four and a half years, we are recently, and happily engaged, living together, and working jobs in our dream career fields! I’m so thankful for my time at Binghamton because if it wasn’t for BU and the amazing friend group I made while being there, I wouldn’t have the life I have today. There is so much more to come and I am excited for it all. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Jessica Fallon ‘22 and David McEvoy ‘18
We met in 2012 in their sophomore year. We had mutual friends and officially met at a Mountainview suite pregame. There was an initial spark between us, but we did not begin to date until our senior year. After some ups and downs and an official first date at The Lost Dog, we began dating and have been together ever since. In 2020, we moved to NYC together and got engaged on June 21, 2022. Our wedding date is set for June 16, 2023 and we can’t wait to be married! Binghamton brought us together and we are both looking forward to spending our lives together. Go Bearcats!
Sarah Triolo ‘15 and Michael Aronson ‘15
We started out as friends sophomore year, going out on State Street with our group of friends and then all meeting for a late breakfast in Appalachian Dining Hall the next morning. Junior year, we started spending more time together alone, and in the summer going into senior year. Nick asked me to be his girlfriend in the Nature Preserve. Seven and a half years later, on Feb. 12, 2022, he asked me to marry him in Astoria Park. We will be getting married this summer, and one of our mutual friends, Sarah, from Binghamton University, will be marrying us! Sarah is also getting married to her Binghamton sweetheart, Michael, this summer. Things really do come full circle.
Samara Monte ‘15 and Nicholas Fiori ‘15
A big Bing wedding party
Eli and I met on OkCupid while at Binghamton in April 2014. I was 19 and he was 22. He had just returned to Binghamton from his spring internship with PwC to hang out with his friends for the rest of the semester at school. I was finishing up my second of three years of undergrad. We had our first date at the Union, where we shared Mexican food and spent hours talking. We then enjoyed a walk in the Nature Preserve because it was an unusually beautiful spring day – which never happens in Binghamton! In August 2020 we got engaged and this past August (2022), we finally said “I do” after eight years together in Cape Cod, Mass.! A good portion of our wedding party were friends we both made at Binghamton, as well as my brother and sister, who are current Binghamton undergraduate students majoring in neuroscience and economics. Today, Eli and I live in Astoria, Queens with our pug, Roosevelt. We both work for American Express and spend lots of time traveling together. We are grateful for the friendships Binghamton brought us, the amazing life it has given us and for it bringing us together!
Amanda Enav (Marshall) ’15 and Eli Enav ‘14, MS ‘15
We first spoke at "The Rat,” the popular college bar. I had a crush on her months before getting the courage to talk to her. Her twin sister was visiting, and my best (and only) pickup line popped out when I bumped into her sister: "There is a girl here that looks just like you!" Dina and her sister went on to tease me for the rest of the night, pretending to be one person. This was in 1990, and we got married in 1998 after I graduated with my PhD in finance. Here we are 25 years later, still in Binghamton, running a company together. I have also taught finance at the School of Management since 2001.
Jonathan Layish ‘91 and Dina Layish (Naples) ‘92, MBA ‘94
More than friends
Hannah and I first met in our first year (spring 2016) through a mutual friend. Although we were friendly around each other our first year, we didn't start hanging out together more until our sophomore year, where we would go to UP for dinner with our friend group, or take weekend trips to Cortland. We remained friends throughout our sophomore year. Near the end of our sophomore year, we started to realize we had feelings for each other and we started to hang out more individually, carrying this into the summer, where we would go on dates to Rye Playland, ice skating at the mall and even the beach. In October 2017 (junior year), we decided to make our relationship official and we have been together ever since! Since then we have both graduated and have been working great full-time jobs in business. We moved in together in White Plains during the pandemic (September 2020), we started our own small business together in March 2021 selling gourmet stuffed cookies, and in July 2022, we got engaged and are getting married later this year in October!
Jonathan Goncher ‘19 and Hannah Bander ‘19
We met on the handball courts of Binghamton University in the fall of 2009. Jason casually asked me if I wanted to play a game of handball (we disagree over who let who win). We didn't exchange numbers immediately, but shortly afterwards, he was visiting a friend on my all-girls floor at Dickinson and spotted my name tag on the door. He thought "What are the odds that the girl I played handball with also lives on this floor?", so he knocked on the door and I answered. The rest, as they say, is history. He proposed in September 2019 (almost a full decade after we met); we got married in September 2020; we bought a house together in March 2021; and we threw an intimate wedding in May 2021. We feel incredibly lucky for the 13 years we’ve spent together and hopeful for what the future holds for us.
Kristin Lee ‘12 and Jason Ngo ‘12
One starry night…
My husband and I first met in the C4 dining hall my sophomore year at Bing (his first year). We had a mutual friend that introduced us and both became part of a very close friend group. We spent a great deal of time that fall semester getting to know one another, playing games, hiking in the Nature Preserve and watching movies. About one month after meeting, I made the first move by telling him I liked him as we hung out with friends on the Newing Quad one starry night. He then shared that he was interested in me too and we began dating. Over the course of ten years together, we have started our careers (Jeff as a software engineer and I as a nurse), moved to Virginia, gotten married, bought a home together, adopted a rescue dog and just welcomed a baby boy (our first child) into our little family.
Carolina Grinberg ‘15 and Jeffrey Grinberg ‘16
Too cute to be true!
Justin lived upstairs from me in Smith Hall in Hinman. It was November 2004, and Facebook was brand-new technology that was only available to students with University email addresses. Justin reached out to me, and I was initially quite skeptical of Justin – he looked too cute to be true! My suitemates literally pushed me down the steps to go knock on his door one evening, and the rest is history! Our first time hanging out together, Justin made me laugh by doing impressions and we watched Jim Carrey's Liar, Liar on his tiny common room TV. Our first date was to the movies – it was just $5 a ticket with your student ID! – to see The Incredibles, and it was the first time Justin introduced me as his girlfriend. After eight years of dating, Justin proposed to me in Bryant Park and we were married in 2012. Today, Justin is a chairperson for a special education department at a Long Island school and I am a psychologist in private practice. We live in Hauppauge with our daughters, Lia (7) and Lucy (3), and can't wait to bring them to Bing for their first visit in the future! Binghamton will always be such a special place to our family story.
Kerry Gioia ‘07 and Justin Gioia ‘08
In a New York minute
Marlon and I met through a trip to New York City with the assistance of a mutual friend that coordinated the ride to New York. As a first-year student, I always searched for ways to go back home. I was homesick and missed my family. Many friends knew I was always up for a ride back home. It so happens that Larry (a mutual friend) coordinated our first encounter. Although it was my first time meeting Marlon, to my surprise, Marlon had his eyes set on meeting me for a while, as he had been seeing me around the campus all summer. After several conversations and fast food outings, Marlon and I have been together ever since. Twenty-three years together and 14 years married with two beautiful boys, we are still holding strong.
Yissell Lazala-Hewitt ‘03 and Marlon Hewitt MS ‘03, MA
A mixer meetup
Matt and I met in September 2002, shortly after returning to Binghamton for our senior year, the night my sorority, D Phi E, had a mixer with Matt's fraternity, TKE. Matt arrived home to his fraternity house from work at the Regency, late to the mixer, but noticed me. Later that night, after the mixer had ended and the group went "downtown," Matt approached me and other D Phi E sisters at "the Rat" and said “Hey, girls from D Phi E that I didn't talk to at the mixer!" We got to chatting, and the rest is history! We had our first date at J. Michael's and got engaged shortly after graduation, in December 2003. We were married on Aug. 13, 2005, with various Binghamton graduates in the wedding party. Today, I am an attorney at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP in Manhattan, and Matt is a school district assistant superintendent in Queens. We live on Long Island and have three children: Ally (13), Ryan (10), and Tyler (6), and a dog, Portia.
Michele (Stern) ‘03 and Matthew Angell ‘03
We met our first year when Karin was dorming on the same floor as Rich’s high-school friend. Although we didn’t interact much until senior year, we had crossed paths many times at parties and get-togethers. Senior year, we coincidentally took two of the same environmental study classes and got randomly placed in a group project together. During our group project, we spent many hours working together in the library and taking trips to Chenango Valley State Park (the subject of our environmental impact statement assignment). Karin fell madly in love with Rich’s goofy dance moves in the library and the rest is history. We just welcomed our daughter, Jane, in November and hope she will attend Binghamton just like us.
Karin (Merrins) Zaberto ‘09 and Richard Zaberto ‘09
One door down
We lived just one door away from each other in the Hinman community our sophomore year but didn’t actually meet until the fall of our junior year at Zeta Psi Fraternity house. Our first date was on Mike’s fraternity wine tour, and we’ve been together since. We currently live and work in NYC. Mike is a senior actuarial associate at MetLife and Emma is a registered nurse on a stroke unit for Northwell Health. Mike proposed in 2021 on a beach vacation. We will be getting married this June in San Diego with all our friends and family, including many Binghamton graduates. We are forever thankful to Binghamton for bringing us together!
Mike Morris ‘18 and Emma Morris ‘18
With a wink
We met in fall 1985 in Lecture Hall 1, in linguistic class. Carl would always wink at me to get my attention. One day, Carl stopped by my room with a mutual friend (Darryl). Darryl was an RA in Hinman. Darryl formally introduced us. We gradually started to get to know each other. We graduated, continued courting and got married in May 1991.31 years later, we have two children: Brandon (28) and Chasity (24).Brandon also is a Binghamton alumnus.
Carl Jenkins ‘87 and Donna Ordonez-Jenkins 88
David and I met in Strategic Management class at SUNY-B at the beginning of our junior year. My group needed one more member for a group project, and guess who was available: David. I lived in Cayuga in College in the Woods and David resided in Endicott in Newing. Always the gentleman, David let me borrow his boots as he walked me back from his dorm to my dorm through the snow. Fast forward 35 years later, we have been married 32 years and have two wonderful sons. We work together in our South Florida CPA practice.
Melinda Rossler ‘89 and David Rossler ‘89
She knocked him off his feet!
Laura and I both worked for FitSpace. Despite me working upstairs in the gym and Laura working downstairs teaching fitness classes, we never crossed paths. We met by chance one day and my roommate, best friend and best man, Ernesto, introduced us. We started dating and for the following months, I took lots of kickboxing and spinning classes. She knocked me off my feet. We married in 2006, live on Long Island and now have three girls: Cameron, Andie, and Samantha. Life is good. Love you!
Dan Waldeck ‘03 and Laura Waldeck (Ebner) ‘00
Love at first bite
We met through mutual friends. We lived in the same community (Dickinson), although, by the time he lived there, I had moved to Hinman. I was still working at the Dickinson Dining Hall and I caught his eye while serving him pasta one day. He invited me to an off-campus party and we talked that first night like we had known each other our whole lives. We had grown up only twenty minutes from each other (Long Island) but never met until we were at college four hours from home. That party was Sept. 28, 1987, and we have been together ever since! We have three children (our youngest being 19) and have been extremely blessed!
Phil Blau ‘88 and Amanda Blau ‘90
PhDs in romance
We met in 2010 in the advanced simulation class offered by Dr. Lam during our doctoral studies. Our first date was at Olive Garden on the Vestal Parkway. We married in 2014 in Binghamton and now have two kids and live in New Jersey.
Evrim (Evy), PhD ‘14 and Aric Johnson ‘04, BS ‘08, PhD ‘12
She passed the audition
My first moment at BU, I auditioned for their winter musical, Irma La Douce, and landed the title role. In the audience at that audition happened to be one Len Augenlicht, who promptly returned to his dorm and declared to his friends that he had seen the girl he was going to marry! Well, Len had a 4.0 average, was president of The Odeans, president of The Intersocial Club Council and the president of his class… and is always right about most things. Our first date was to a BU basketball game and then to Sharkey’s for spiedies. We married in 1970.
Alida Stahl Augen ‘70 and Leonard Augenlicht ‘67
“Are you my boyfriend yet?”
We met sophomore year when Craig moved in with my friends in Broome Hall. We hung out all the time with our friend group. Eventually, we started to get lunch together every day at C4 after going to the gym. Finally, after months of spending all our time together, when we were taking the blue bus to campus from a night downtown, I worked up the courage to ask him “So, are you my boyfriend yet?” to which he responded “I guess so!” We have been together since that night. After graduation, I continued on to nursing school and Craig pursued a master's degree in finance at THE Ohio State University! We did long distance for that year and made many trips to Ohio during football season! I currently work as a NICU nurse and Craig is a financial analyst at a real estate investment trust. We got engaged on Dec. 11, 2021 and are getting married Sept. 30, 2023. We still talk about all the memories we made during our time together at Binghamton. It will always hold such a special place in our hearts!
Despina Leodis '17 and Craig Benigno '17
Have a hug
Troy and I met through mutual friends our junior year. But it wasn't until senior year that our friendship blossomed. We bonded over Syracuse University sports and the fact that we were both from the real upstate NY. Every Sunday, we would go to the Newman House for church..During the sign of peace, Troy would always give me a hug. I thought something was up, but my roommate convinced me Troy was just a hugger. Then one night in March after an SU loss, everything changed. Troy asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes. After graduation, he went to grad school in Clarkson and I got a job in Rochester. We did the long distance thing for three years, and eventually Troy joined me in Rochester. Fast forward to today and we have two beautiful boys ages 3.5 and 1, and have been married for five years. I owe everything I have to Binghamton University. Transferring in my junior year was the best decision I ever made.
Troy Shirley ‘12 and Kaitlyn Shirley ‘12
To date or not to date
Adam and I both attended an upper-level Shakespeare class during our last year at Binghamton. It was a pretty small class, so we all got to know one another over time. Adam always liked to participate in class discussions. He was a bit of a “know it all,” in my opinion. There were definitely moments in class when I couldn’t help but make an occasional eye roll at him. Fast forward to about four years later. I’m on a blind date in a lounge in Soho. Adam walks up to our table and says hello to my date. They were high school buddies. At first, Adam and I didn’t recognize one another. But, once he began to converse, I immediately remembered him, (and that class). I made the connection and blurted out, “ You went to Binghamton!” “You're that guy who always kissed the professor’s a**!” Adam, taken by surprise, said, “Who the he**l are you?” Amusingly, we experienced love at second sight. We were inseparable after that day. We have been married for over 14 years, and have two children. And yes, I sometimes still can’t believe I married the “know it all” from my Shakespeare class.
Courtney Lapayover ‘01 and Adam Lapayover ‘01
Glances in the hallway
At the high school Bronx Science, John and I passed each other in the hallways while exchanging slight glances and friendly smiles. Both of us senior students expected to attend Binghamton University in the fall of 2007. In the fall of the first year, we became friends and began dating soon after. John, myself and seven of our friends signed a lease our junior year, famously named "The Party House,” which overlooked the Chenango River and Court Street. After graduating in 2012, we moved back to NYC... In 2019, John proposed to me, and we married in 2021 in Upstate New York.
Fania Leyvi and John Leyvi ‘12
The politics of love
In 2008, we first met in old Dickinson, as residents of Johnson Hall. Johnson was hosting a "sock war" event to get new residents to meet each other. Each participant would draw a person to hit with a sock; the last remaining competitor was crowned the winner. Abby drew me and, due to my outright refusal to leave my room and stop playing World of Warcraft, she ended up waiting outside my dorm room for hours on end. Probably frustrated from losing in the Sock Wars, Abby campaigned against me for a student government position. This time, she won! We would gradually get to know each other as co-residents of the same building. Eventually, I asked Abby on a date when she picked me up from the Binghamton airport on my way home from a ski vacation. Those first two years we went on countless dates to Kampai, always ordering our favorite Red Dragon Roll! Yada Yada Yada, 14 years later, Abby and I are married and living together in Brooklyn with a beautiful dog.
Harris Peskin ’11 and Abby Peskin ‘11
I met Tyler through a mutual friend at the end of the 2022 spring semester. We very quickly became best friends because of how similar we are: environmentalists, vegans, similar interests, and goals for the future. Soon enough, we began developing feelings for each other, except he knew what he wanted while I was incredibly confused about what I wanted. Eventually, I realized that I loved him too, and we decided that we wanted to be with each other. We have an amazing relationship and I couldn't ask for a more perfect person to be in a relationship with. I visited him for his birthday in Tampa, where he proposed to me with a handmade Lego ring! I know it happened fast, but I have never been so sure about something in my life.
Ash Derk '23 and Tyler Stevenson '23
I (Randy) needed a quarterback for my co-rec football team. It was my senior year and to compete with 100-plus other university teams, you hoped your quarterback could throw ten yards. I heard there was a tall freshman girl who moved into our third floor Hughes Hall in Hinman College. My fellow male players said “Don’t even try her out. You can’t win with a rookie quarterback.” With no other options, I convinced her to go out to the quad with me and throw the football I owned. She did great for five yards. I continued to push it out further. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 yards. I probably could have gone further, but when you had eight downs to go 70 yards, I knew we struck gold. We won all our regular season games and claimed the university championship in 1976. After the season, I saw the long-range potential of this relationship. Now, 47 years later, married with four adult children, three grandchildren, a career as a psychologist (me) and a home health care administrator (Michelle) nearing the finish line, I would say my recruiting and play calling has been exceptional. We loved, loved, loved Binghamton and are forever grateful for the opportunities it gave us.
Randy Mendelson ‘77 and Michelle Carnevale Mendelson ‘80
You’ve Got Love
Since the summer of 1998, we were always running into each other in various settings, as we shared mutual groups of friends at Binghamton. The first time we had a conversation we both felt like we could speak forever, as we found we had so much in common. Our first date was in December of 1998 where we went to see "You’ve Got Mail" and didn't officially start dating until February 1999. Since then, you can say the rest is history, as we have been together for 24 years and married for 16 years come July 2023. We live in New Jersey and have two beautiful children: Zoey (10) and Zachary (8).
Jenny (Ortiz) Williams ‘02 and Torey Williams ‘00
Friends for 10
We met in September of 2022 (our senior year), at a Phi Alpha Delta pledge event and became friends almost instantly. Although we never dated until much later (10 years to be exact!), we remained friends throughout that time period, speaking often and meeting up for coffee to reminisce about old times and catch up on life. In January of 2012, we had our first date at Avra in New York City, and the rest is history. We were married in 2013 at Crabtree’s Kittlehouse in Chappaqua, NY, surrounded by family and friends – quite a few fellow Bearcats. In 2015, we welcomed our twin sons into the world and later in 2020, we welcomed our baby girl and completed our family. We currently live in Rockville Centre, Long Island. Michael is the senior trial attorney at Korman and VanArsdale PC in Flushing, NY and Cristina works part time for Morgan Stanley as a senior registered associate. We were very fortunate to have crossed paths in our last year at Binghamton and even more fortunate that we ended up together after all of those years of friendship.
Cristina (Freda) Lynch ‘03 and Michael Lynch ‘03
A whirlwind romance
We met in 2012, when one frigid February evening Kait walked into my room in new Newing. She was following some friends that lived across the hall from me, after a game of late-night basketball in the snow. We talked, exchanged numbers (she added me as ‘Joey Beezy the TA,’ as I was one of her friend’s TA's at the time), and then went to Late Nite Binghamton, followed by a walk through the Nature Preserve (again, through the snow). We talked the entire time; it was inexplicable, but within moments I felt like I was talking to someone I’d known my whole life. Looking back, it was a whirlwind. She graduated a year early, so we could graduate together in 2014, and we moved to NYC, both eventually finding ourselves working at ad agencies. A few years in Astoria, Queens, and then an opportunity came up and we settled across the country in Seattle, WA. This year, we’re celebrating 11 years together and our second wedding anniversary, as well as five years with Bichon, Poe.
Joey Bzomowski ‘14 and Kait Callahan ‘14
The Waiting Game
We ran in the same social circle for a few years and knew each other as friends. In my junior year, when Tricia was a sophomore, I wanted to take the friendship to a more romantic level. When Tricia's sorority was planning its fall formal event, I saw my opportunity. I approached Tricia and her friends in the Mini-Mall and, quite arrogantly, said, "I know your formal is the same night as another sorority's formal, and someone from that sorority might be asking me to be their date. So, if one of you is going to ask me, you better do it soon." I, of course, hoped Tricia would ask me. And sure enough, she did….From there, I was relentless. And one night, weeks later at The Rat, Tricia finally caved. She offered to help me clean up after a Chabad of Binghamton Hanukkah party that I organized…Twenty-five years, three kids, multiple homes, and many life events later, we remain very much in love, thanks to Binghamton University!
Tricia Hoff ‘96 and Robert Hoff ‘95
Check out love stories from years past
John Brhel is a communications manager in the Office of Media and Public Relations. When he's not writing press releases or managing Binghamton's social media accounts, you can find him drawing, running his Etsy shop, writing music, reading and spending time with his family.
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