Wes to Wed: A Valentine’s Day Special

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Wesleyan alums go on to do many things, one of which is to marry their college sweethearts. For a Valentine’s Day special, I reached out to these WesCouples to briefly get their stories on how they met and transitioned to the “real world” post-college. Some of them are now parents to current Wes students (and are worried this post will be embarrassing), or hope that their newborns will be someday. Their first meetings (hallmates in the Butts; SOC pre-frosh orientation) and frequent date spots (WesWings..) will be familiar and heartwarming for most of us.

Look forward to a second installment of WesCouples on Valentine’s Day. Read about their lovely stories after the jump:

Sharon Gold-Steinberg ’83 and Mike Steinberg ’83

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Mike and Sharon in 1982 during the summer between junior and senior year

1. How did you meet at Wes?

We started out as friends living together our junior year in a Williams Street 4-person apartment. Sharon had actually set me up with her best friend but, as she later confessed, became jealous. One night in 1982, we went with friends to hear a Wes band play at McConaughy Dining Hall, which used to be on Foss Hill. Sharon and I were dancing to the song “Pretty Woman” and, although neither of us planned it, we were having such a good time that we spontaneously kissed at the end of the song. We have been together ever since.

2. How did you make the transition from college relationship to ‘real world’ relationship?

After Wesleyan, Sharon came with me for two years to upstate New York while I taught and coached at a Quaker high school. I then followed her to Ann Arbor for her graduate school and we’ve been here for nearly 30 years. Although she never would have moved to Poughkeepsie but for me and I never would have moved to the Midwest but for her, we made it work. She’s now a clinical psychologist in Ann Arbor and I’m the legal director of the ACLU of Michigan and teach at the University of Michigan Law School.

3. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory together?

I proposed to Sharon over a Valentine’s Day dinner a year after Wesleyan at the Beekman Arms Inn in Rhinebeck, New York. Very romantic.

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Present day family photo

4. Favorite Wesleyan related “couples moment?”

Remarkably, four close friends from my freshman hall (Butterfield C) and I all married women we met at Wesleyan during our junior year. Even more remarkable, all five couples are still together. Sharon and I have a daughter who is currently a Wes junior and one of the other couples have a daughter who was just admitted to Wes early decision and starts in the fall.

5. Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas?

In the interest of not embarrassing our daughter, “no comment.”

 

Andrew Stuerzel ’05 and Adriana Rojas ’07

Andrew and Adriana while students at Wes

Andrew and Adriana while students at Wes

1. How did you meet at Wes?

We met at a house party on Pine St. on May 5, 2005.  We were introduced to each other by a mutual friend at the party and immediately hit it off. Adriana was a English-Sociology double-major with an interest in teaching, and I was scheduled to leave for Japan in August to teach English through the JET Program.

2. How did you make the transition from college relationship to ‘real world’ relationship?

Our relationship was as real as it gets right from the start.  We spent most of the summer together before I left for Japan and were figuratively connected at the hip even though we were over 6,000 miles apart.  We were in touch every day for that whole first year of our relationship.  Adriana visited me twice, too, which meant so much to me.  I know it sounds cliché, but communication was our biggest asset at the start of our relationship, and continues to be as our family grows and we take on more responsibilities.

3. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory together?

I am sorry to say we have not done a great job of keeping track of our Valentine’s Days.  We had a dinner and movie date a number of years ago.  We saw Gnomeo and Juliet; I highly recommend it.  On the whole, I think we do a good job of expressing our feelings on a daily basis.  That said, as the pace of life quickens up I think we will start to take advantage of Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to reflect on our shared journey, thank each other for being true to each other and ourselves, and express our love for one another.

4. Favorite Wesleyan related “couples moment?”

On campus?  The night we first met.  We looked around the room after talking for about an hour and realized we were the only ones left in the house.  Off campus?  Our wedding day.  It was a great celebration of love, hope, and commitment, and a good number of our guests were our best Wes friends.  I would also slip in the birth of our daughter, Reese (Class of 2034?).  That was a special Wes couples moment.

5. Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas?

Go to the Mystic Aquarium.  It is one of our favorite spots.  Downtown Mystic has a number of solid restaurants too, although we are big fans of Mystic Pizza.  The Yale-Peabody Museum and Connecticut Science Center are nice places to spend time with someone.  I also recommend getting a state park pass and spending as much time as possible at the state beaches and Wadsworth Falls State Park.

Miguel Guadalupe ’98 and Maria Santana ’98

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Miguel and Maria in 1997 and now

1. How did you meet at Wes?

We actually met for Student of Color Pre-Frosh weekend. I saw Maria at the party at La Casa. Apparently she didn’t see me. Then I tried to be smooth and sit next to her on the bus ride back to NYC. That didn’t work out like I’d planned. Skip ahead to freshman year, and I decided I wanted to ask her out. She said no, but we could be friends. That of course was the kiss of death, from which I did not expect to recover from. But we did remain friends and were part of the original founders of Caliente – the student dance group focusing on Latin music. We worked together on putting together pieces and managing the group, and we became great friends.

2. How did you make the transition from college relationship to ‘real world’ relationship?

Our parents are pretty traditional, so when we graduated there was definitely more of a formal “courtship.” I’d go to her apartment almost every night after work, meet with her family, then lug myself home. After a while the taxi company that I would call would know instantly who I was and where I was going just from the caller ID. That was way before Uber, so it meant I was a regular.

3. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory together?

Our Favorite? Not sure, but I can tell you our most memorable – before we were married, I had gone all out to get dinner reservations and an off-broadway play for the evening – I wasn’t making much money at the time, so when I found relatively inexpensive front row tix I was very proud of my ability to save money yet still roll like “a baller.” Besides, the play was described as a great comedic take on some classic biblical stories, which I felt would be fun for St. Valentines day. Turns out the play was a bit more “in your face” than I had imagined, and at one point, one of the characters simulates giving birth while topless in the middle of the stage – and again, we were in the front row. Luckily, the dinner reservation cut into the 2nd half of the play so I had an excuse for us to leave early. We did get to see John Goodman in the audience though.

4. Favorite Wesleyan related “couples moment?”

I think it’s a toss up between a first kiss at La Casa, and having a private picnic in the Skull & Serpent tomb (with permission, of course).

5. Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas?

FELLAS – LEARN HOW TO COOK, LEARN HOW TO DANCE.  There are other tips but that’s the most important. If you can cook, a date can be anywhere at anytime. If you can dance, that date will be memorable. Punto.

David Robinson ’87 and Jane Robinson ’87

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Present day picture of the couple

1. How did you meet at Wes?  

We met through a common Wesleyan friend during the final months of our senior year.  Jane was friends with one of David’s housemates, and while we knew of each other through most of our final year, we never really spent any time together until just before graduation.  Jane was a French Literature major and David was a Government major.  Jane was on the crew team and David on the wrestling team.  Despite those differences, the Wesleyan melting pot brought us together.

2. How did you make the transition from college relationship to ‘real world’ relationship?  

Not only did we survive the transition from college to the real world, we also made the transition through law school, various jobs, kids and several moves and we’re still going strong.  Unfortunately, we don’t have any secret to impart.  We did it through hard work and trying not to be selfish.  Relationships, especially lasting ones, have to be two-way.  There have to be sacrifices made on both sides.

3. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory together?  

We don’t go in too much for the Hallmark holidays.  We try to reinforce our relationship every day, not just on a designated day (besides roses and chocolates get “marked up” so much on that one day, you feel like a fool buying them).  As a result, our best memories together are random and frequent – every vacation we’ve ever taken; key milestones in our respective and joint lives; and family gatherings at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

4. Favorite Wesleyan related “couples moment?”  

We spent David’s 40th birthday at a B&B with another Wesleyan couple, Chris Roellke and Kim Greenberg.  David and Chris are close friends from Wesleyan (sharing the same hall freshman year and living together Junior and Senior year) and share the same birthday.

5. Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas?  

There are so many great/romantic spots at Wesleyan and because we still live close by (up in West Hartford), we’re reluctant to reveal them as we still use them from time to time.

Dave Vanech ’03 and Ava Casper ’04

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Dave and Ava while students at Wesleyan

1. How did you meet at Wes?
During Dave’s sophomore year and Ava’s freshman year, Dave lived on the same hall (in Butterfield B) as Ava’s good friend, Dani Ho, so that’s how we first met. Ava got to know him better her sophomore year because he was friends with her roommates, and we began dating the beginning of Ava’s junior (Dave’s senior) year.

2. How did you make the transition from college relationship to ‘real world’ relationship?

We moved out to San Francisco and lived together right after graduation. We pretty much lived together Ava’s senior year, when Dave stayed around an extra year to coach baseball, so it didn’t feel like a major change.

3. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory together? 

Our first Valentine’s as a couple we went to the Saybrook Fish House in Old Saybrook and spent the night at a nearby hotel. It felt very grown up not to be at WesWings.

Their two kids, 2 year old Wyatt and 3 month old Zoe

4. Favorite Wesleyan related “couples moment?”

Ava’s senior year, we were the first ones back from winter break and came home to find that my off-campus house on Williams street was frozen over. One of Ava’s roommates had turned off the heat and it had been extremely cold. The pipes and radiators burst, the ceilings and walls caved in and the house was condemned. Why was this a “favorite moment”? Because we were laughing and crying at the same time- in total awe of what crazy New England weather can do and it seemed like a classic student move.

5. Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas?

There was a small Tibetan restaurant on Main St. that we liked to go to. We’d never see other students and felt like a good break from campus. We also really enjoyed going to Lyman Orchard in the fall.

6 thoughts on “Wes to Wed: A Valentine’s Day Special

  1. Taylor Shift

    Love this! Will you please do a follow up with queer couples and/or long term cohabitants (not necessarily married couples)?

    1. Samira

      Yes, I’d love to! Unfortunately did not hear back from any/was not referred to any when I was originally reaching out to people. If you have people in mind please let me know.

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