April 18, 2024
overcast clouds Clouds 51 °F

21 Couples Who Found Love at Binghamton

We don’t mention it in our admissions materials, but Binghamton isn’t just a premier public university—- we’re also a great place to meet your sweetheart. Don’t believe us? Check out some of these stories from the countless alumni who found their love at Binghamton! Just try not to cry.

He added her on every social account!

ashley Alesi '11 and Michael Conrad '12

We met when we were on opposing co-rec football teams in CIW. Mike was on Oneida his freshman year and Onondaga his sophomore year. I was on Cayuga for both my freshman and sophomore years. I had admired Michael’s good looks from across the field. We went through our years at Binghamton with mutual friends, but never became close. After graduation, we both moved home to our respective families’ homes on Long Island and continued on in grad school and careers. In January of 2018 we “matched” on Bumble. I was hesitant to message Mike, given that we had already known each other and thought it might be “weird”. Well, apparently Mike didn’t, because he instantly began to add me on every social media account. We began to talk and reconnect about our time together at Binghamton and you guessed it, starting dating. We have been inseparable ever since and got engaged January 26, 2020. We plan on (COVID-19 dependent) getting married on July 10, 2021. Even though our love story took ten years to develop, we never would have ultimately found each other without Binghamton. We will never be able to thank Binghamton, CIW, or Co-Rec enough. Bearcats till we die!

- Ashley Alesi ‘11 and Michael Conrad ‘12

A second home

Dave and Eileen Cohen

I first knew about Eileen the day I moved into Oneida Hall as a freshman. She was my suitemate’s best friend from home and went to the University of Delaware. She transferred into Binghamton in the spring semester of my sophomore year and lived in the floor below me in Oneida. We started dating the following fall. Thirty-four years later, our older son moved into College-in-the Woods. Our younger son started at the School of Management this fall. Nothing makes us happier than seeing our kids love the school that brought us together. Binghamton is their second home, like it was for us.

- David Cohan ‘87 & Eileen Berman Cohan ‘87

A Netflix romance

Davon Harris and Sophie Lampiasi

I moved off campus at the end of my sophomore year in 2010 and ended up being Davon’s neighbor. We knew each other, but we weren’t friendly yet. He came over once because he was friends with my roommate, but he ended up hanging out with me the whole day while I watched movies. Davon has no issue sharing his opinions with anyone, and he was very vocal that he thought I needed to broaden my movie viewing experience. He took the liberty to update my Netflix queue (this was when they were still sending DVDs) and said, “Let me know when these come in.” We started a weekly tradition where he would come over once per week whenever new movies arrived—sometimes his choices and sometimes mine—and watch them together. It didn’t take long for me to fall for him, which I think was his plan the whole time. Fast forward 10 years later; we just got married on September 5, 2020. Our big celebration was postponed due to COVID-19, but we still had a small, beautiful ceremony with a few fellow Bearcats in attendance! I’m forever thankful to BU for connecting me to my husband and some of my closest friends.

- Sophie Lampiasi ‘12 and Davon Harris ‘11

45 years and going strong

Rob and Estelle

Estelle and I met at Harpur College in 1972. I was already at Harpur for a year—I lived in Delaware during my freshman year—and Estelle was a transfer student. We lived in O’Connor Hall—I was on the third floor and she was on the second floor. We graduated in 1975 and went to SUNY Buffalo School of Social Work; we both graduated with MSWs in 1977. We were married in 1976 and will be celebrating 45 years in June 2021.

- Rob Schwartz ’75 & Estelle Brickner ’75

A smooth move-in

I met Resident Assistant Meg in 2007 while I was lugging my stuff into Roosevelt during move-in week. With the smoothest flipphone pickup moves ever recorded in the annals of human history (and also the most modest), I asked Meg to put in her number outside the entrance of Roosevelt. Overcome by my charm, good looks and consistent modesty, RA Meg agreed. When she gave my phone back, I asked for her last name, which I couldn’t spell, so instead typed the portions I could and filled the rest with gibberish numbers. Thirteen-plus years later, and some stories in between, “Meg Val2y” and “mike (roose)” just celebrated their first anniversary in August/move-in month.

- Megan Valesey ‘09 and M. Michael Bosone ‘11

A well-timed TED Talk

Tom and Marty's

Neal and I met in January 2013 (his sophomore year and my freshman year) at campus tour guide training back when the Admissions Center was in one of the academic buildings. I was pumped to have been hired as a freshman and sat behind a couple of RAs I recognized from my building (Seneca). One of them was Neal. I started talking to them and asking questions about how to become an RA. After that day, I began running into Neal everywhere. He was constantly forgetting his keycard and asking me to scan him into the building and inviting me to do things on campus. It took me way too many of these occurrences to realize he was flirting with me and not just being friendly. Fast-forward to February, Neal invited me to go to the campus TEDx event. It was titled “Sex, Tech and Rock n’ Roll.” The very first speaker was talking about how dating in America had become so unnatural and digitally-focused. He concluded his talk with a prompt—“The next time you meet someone…go up to them and ask them on a date. The worst they can say, is ’no.’” So, what does Neal do? He turns to me and asks me out and I say ’ok’.” I think we were both a little taken aback at how on point and well-timed that TEDx Talk was for us. Our first date was at Cortese the very next day! We started officially dating not long after. We continued working as tour guides and I was also hired as an RA in CIW. While we both worked many jobs to pay for school, these two were our favorites and provided us with an incredible group of friends. After graduating in our respective years we continued long-distance for around five years. As an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, Neal moved around quite a bit and I was still ’figuring it out’ and uninterested in moving until I had a plan. Once I settled on marketing as my career, we moved to Baltimore together. In 2019, Neal went on a 12-month deployment that stretched into 14 months due to COVID-19, but he is back now!

- Bridget Kunz ‘15 and Neal Bonenberger ‘14

They didn't meet until grad school

Lauren Tabone '09 BSN'11 and Joseph Tabone

Although we both went to Binghamton undergrad together, we didn’t meet until fall 2010 when he was getting his master’s degree and I was getting my second degree in nursing. Built on a solid friendship, we started dating in 2014, married in 2017 and welcomed our baby girl in 2020!”

- Lauren Tabone ‘09, BSN ‘11 and Joseph Tabone ‘10, MBA ‘11

A match made in music

Kyle Mabee '20 and Carley Nielsen '18

Kyle and I met in 2018 when his band, Elephant Jake, was booked for Cyber West Fest, WHRW’s Loud Rock Event. We met backstage when I was setting up for the event at CyberCafe West, as I was WHRW’s public relations director at the time. I can recall talking to my friends about Kyle, a.k.a. the cute bass player, all night long after the concert. In the following months, we interacted at a few more radio station events where Kyle’s band was performing. It wasn’t until I got his number from a mutual friend that we starting dating in the fall of 2018. Our first date was at Strange Brew, the local coffee shop in downtown Binghamton. We have been inseparable ever since, and currently live together with our two cats, Hunter and Link.

- Kyle Mabee ’20 and Carley Nielsen ‘18

Feelings finally shared

Yadira Sierra and Christian Tejera

We met in 2015 during Student Support Services Summer Program (S4P) as incoming freshmen, but we weren’t really on each other’s radar until move-in in late August. We were in the same friend group (shout out to the homies!) and hid our feelings for each other for a while. Christian was the first to make a move, and it was a complete surprise when he asked me out right before finals in May of 2016. He sent a cryptic text message saying that he had to talk to me and we arranged to meet up at C4. At the time, I thought that he was going to tell me that my feelings for him were obvious and one-sided (glad I was saved from the embarrassment). After hours of random conversation, he finally admitted to having feelings for me. I was shocked! After a few awkward seconds of Christian explaining that he didn’t want our friendship ruined due to his one-sided feelings, I admitted that I had feelings for him too. We’ve been together ever since!

- Yadira Sierra ‘19 and Christian Tejera ‘19, MA ‘20

A group project brought them together

Traci Nickdow '18 and Allen Saltzman '18

We met on the first day of classes in each of our last semesters at Bing. We were already acquaintances through the a cappella community (Kaskeset and Harpur Harpeggios), but when our diversity and health professor, Dr. Okoror, assigned us to work on a group project together, we finally got to know each other. We realized we had a lot in common and we immediately had a connection. A few weeks later, we started dating. On the day we had planned our first date, Allen got injured skiing, but that didn’t stop us from seeing each other only a few hours after he left the hospital. We were so fortunate to spend a whole semester enjoying Bing life together. Since our graduation, we’ve been side by side, seeing the world and celebrating our successes together. This past December we got engaged, and this February we will be celebrating three years together!

- Traci Nickdow ‘18 and Allen Saltzman ‘18

A fateful walk around the Brain

Jacqueline Robins '16 and Joseph Brees '15

We met my first day of college, as a freshman in 2012. Joseph was a sophomore living three doors down from me in Roosevelt Hall in Hinman. After a few short weeks, he asked to meet me after my Chem 107 class was over. He met me outside Lecture Hall 2 and we walked around the brain to the gazebo on Bunn Hill Road, where he asked me out. Our first date was the next night at the Lost Dog Cafe for my birthday, and we have been together ever since. Our relationship started in Hinman, spanned Hillside and UP, and even to three years of long-distance when Joseph attended law school in Maryland after graduating from Binghamton. We will be getting married this Sunday!

- Jacqueline Robins ’16 and Joseph Brees ’15

Fixed up by a friend

Lori Ziff Levine

Although we were probably in many of the same classes our first two years, we didn’t meet until first semester of junior year. We were in the same discussion group for phyics and my friend, Holly Schwartz ’87 introduced us. It was fixed. I had told her that I wanted to meet him, so she made it happen. I remember that we both were also in the same musical theater class and he asked if I wanted to go to see the movie that we were required to see. I was really excited until he showed up at the movie with another girl (he didn’t tell me that he had also asked someone else). Fast forward a few years, we got married in 1992, and are currently parents of three. Our son Adam graduated from Binghamton in 2019 and our daughter Jenna is currently a sophomore at Binghamton. We have very fond memories of Binghamton from then and now! Our picture (circa 1993) was taken by a fellow alum, Michelle Hiltzik Beckerman ’87.

- Lori Ziff Levine ’87 and Elliot Levine ’87

Bonding over basketball

Preethi Fernandez '11 and Colin Walsh '12

We met in the dorm hallway in Hunter Hall in 2008. We fell in love playing lots of basketball on the Mountainview courts (he claims he “let” me win). We started dating in 2009 and got married in 2019! We now live in Manhattan and both work in a hospital —me as a nurse practitioner and Colin as a management engineer.

- Preethi Fernandez ‘11 and Colin Walsh ‘12

They didn't start dating until two weeks before graduation!

Madelynn Liguori and Gregory Link

Gregory and I met in the summer of 1995 during Residential Life training. However, we didn’t start dating until two weeks before graduating. We are both attorneys and were married in 2003. We are now a family of four and are hopeful that our children will follow in our footsteps.

- Madelynn Liguori ‘96 and Gregory Linkh ‘96

Long-distance relationships can work!

Xuefei Wang '15, and Seungyeob Wang '14

We both were international students—he is from South Korea and I am from China. We took ECON350 together and did the first project in the same group. He had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend at the time, so we were nothing more than classmates. And we didn’t contact after that semester and reconnected one semester later. I had a really good first impression of him because he is always gentle and willing to help. I don’t even know how we got together; everything just happened. Unfortunately, he graduated one semester earlier than me and he went back to Korea soon after graduation. Everyone thought that was it and long-distance relationships don’t work. But, we made it! I moved to Korea in 2016 and our wedding was held in summer 2018—and we are pregnant! Can’t wait to see our little baby this summer!

- Xuefei Wang ‘15 and Seungyeob Wang ‘14

Love at first tackle

Kate and James Kogut

We met in Binghamton in 2010 at a mutual friend’s party after knowing each other’s names for most of college. We finally met face-to-face in the basement of a party. I played rugby and he basically said, “You won’t tackle me.” I did and tackled him into a beer pong table, knocking everything into the air. Love at first sight. We got married in 2019 and have a wonderful husky and cat together. I’m a physician’s assistant and James is in real estate. Here is a picture of many of our close friends from Binghamton together! We wouldn’t trade our experience for the world.

- Kate Kogut ‘10 and James Kogut ‘11

Happy family of five

Richard Connelly '2007, Kara Connelly BSN '2009

We met in the Binghamton Vibrations a capella group in 2005, got married in 2015. We’re now a happy family of five with our two sons and English Bulldog Gracie. We owe a lot to BU!!

- Richard Connelly ‘07 and Kara Connelly BSN ‘09, FNP ‘13, DNP ‘18

They just got engaged!

Gabrielle DeSantis '20, and Jason Ovryn '18

Gabrielle DeSantis and I got engaged January 30, 2021. We met on a sandwich line at Boar’s Head and started dating three weeks later. Now, four years later, we’re engaged! We loved Binghamton! Her parents, Sal and Jo DeSantis, met in the Union nearly 35 years earlier!

- Gabrielle DeSantis ‘20 and Jason Ovryn ‘18

Three kids and six Binghamton degrees

Loria and Marc Ben-Ezra

Marc and I are class of ’87. Thirty-four years later, we have three kids and a total of six Binghamton degrees in the family, and a seventh on the way. Binghamton is our family tradition and we are grateful for our educations and the opportunity to meet there.

- Lori Ben-Ezra and Marc Ben-Ezra ’87

They reconnected on Facebook 20 years later

Jeff and Jennifer Blakeslee

Jeff Blakeslee and I (née Jennifer Glennon) both graduated in 1991. We met as juniors at WHRW and dated for three months. We remained friends after we broke up, and went our separate ways after we graduated. We reconnected on Facebook 20 years later, and got married in 2014. We live in the Hudson Valley (Beacon, NY) and visited Binghamton just a few years ago for WHRW’s 50th anniversary. So much has changed, but we still felt that SUNY spirit. (Though I’m still trying to figure out what a Bearcat is, haha—we didn’t have a team mascot back then!) I love knowing that other BU love stories abound. It’s a pretty magical place.

- Jeff Blakeslee and Jennifer Blakeslee ’91

She came in and said hello


TJ and I met in Binghamton in 2014 when I was a junior and he was a senior. TJ lived two doors down from me in University Plaza. One day I was taking a walk with my roommate, Jackie, at the beginning of the semester and passed his open door that had a sign hanging up that said “Come in and say hello!” While we knew we shouldn’t talk to strangers, that rule doesn’t apply in college, so obviously we walked in. TJ’s roommates John (a.k.a. the Free Waves Guy) and Nick were there. We chatted a little bit and they invited us to a party at their apartment later that night. TJ and his other roommates, Joe and Mikhial, were also there and we all hit it off. I remember the first conversation I had with TJ was about Hey Arnold. TJ and I didn’t start officially dating until the spring semester in 2015. After about five and a half years of dating, TJ proposed to me this fall (November 2020) in the middle of a pandemic, and we will be getting married in May 2022! Thank you, Binghamton!

- Dana Lowenthal ’15, M.S. ’16 and T.J. Lowenthal ’15

John Brhel is a communications manager in the Office of Media and Public Relations and a longtime resident of the Binghamton area. When he’s not managing social media accounts or crafting press releases, you can find him drawing, watching movies, or spending time with his family.

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at social@binghamton.edu.