On main campus in 1965, there was a coffeehouse in the Lutheran church on Saturday nights. A friend and I decided to double date, but during the evening, it became evident that his date and I had so much more to talk about, and he discovered the same about my date. At the end of the evening, it seemed quite natural that we walked the other’s date back to the dorms. The next Saturday night I took his date to a movie. We’ve been together ever since.
Douglas Donahue ’69 Edu
War and Peace
I was called to war and deployed to Baghdad in 2003 during my first semester at Penn State. Matthew was also deployed to Iraq that same year. When I returned, I went back to Penn State, but Matthew was deployed again and enrolled in World Campus from Iraq. He sent me a half-dozen roses to symbolize he would return in six months, and I received flowers on my doorstep every month until he returned, when he brought me a dozen roses. We got engaged in front of the Nittany Lion Shrine and are happily married.
Aubrey Lynne Sejuit ’07 Lib, ’09 MEd Hbg
“May I Borrow a Pencil, Please?”
While I was setting up my computer freshman year, a beautiful woman walked by my open dorm room and asked to borrow a pencil. I grabbed one and introduced myself, before she quickly went on her way. We became friends over the next year before it eventually blossomed into something more. I found out years later that she stopped to borrow that pencil to write down the phone number of a guy she had just met. But I guess I should be happy that guy gave her a reason to talk to me, as we’ve been married 15 years.
Nick Pflugh ’02 Behrend
When Sparks Flew …
We met in a class in Sparks Building. Sparks flew by the spring and we were madly in love. We graduated in 1983 and had a long-distance relationship, but we lasted only a year and shortly after we broke up, we met our future spouses. We had no communication for 29 years. Jamey’s brother found me on Facebook and, through him, Jamey and I made arrangements to meet again, in November 2015, under the Madison Square Garden sign in New York. We dined and laughed the night away. We discovered each was single again and sparks flew yet again. By spring 2016, we decided we never wanted to let one another go again. We joined our lives and are living our dream.
Carole Tuohey Britain ’83 Lib
At a Halloween party my freshman year, I met a guy dressed as Mr. Peanut. We danced and exchanged numbers when he walked me back to my dorm, but never spoke again. Our sophomore year, a friend started inviting a guy named Andrew to our lunches in Simmons. When that same mutual friend and I studied abroad in Florence, we visited Andrew in Madrid, where he was studying, and had a blast. Back in Happy Valley for senior year, we had a reunion at Bar Bleu. While chatting, Andrew mentioned that he’s known me longer than the friend who “introduced” us but it was too embarrassing to tell me how. Thankfully, my girlfriends and I had a funny habit of saving phone numbers of people we met as however we remembered them. When we typed his number into our phones, it was saved as “PSU Mr. Peanut.” He was the same Mr. Peanut I met freshman year. We had our first kiss that night and the rest is history.
Christiana Cacciapuoti ’12 Com
Staten Island, N.Y.
I met my first wife in a logic class sophomore year. Before long, we were passing notes back and forth, and dating. We even signed up for another class together, but we cut it often to spend time at the My-O-My Tavern on College Avenue. Their 25-cent Michelob drafts were a whole lot more enjoyable than the class we were supposed to be in. Our romance led to marriage a couple of years after graduation, but true love doesn’t always last forever, and our marriage ran out of steam. We still meet occasionally and enjoy reminiscing about those Penn State days when a cheap beer in the afternoon made a lot more sense than a college lecture.
Ken Franklin ’65 Com
Cape Coral, Fla.
I met my wife of 52 years in a dance class. We wore name tags and I knew I had to find a Polish girl to dance with, especially when we learned the polka. I spotted Carolyn, who had the “ski” on the end of her name, and I grabbed her for my partner in every class. We had records and a record player and would go to the quiet post office in my dorm in East Halls and practice for our dance class, which we loved. We married one year after graduation. Four children and nine grandchildren later, we are still dancing.
Stephen Kozeniewski ’64 H&HD
Lawyers in Love
Our love story began in tax-law class, in our third year at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law. Amy and I found ourselves seated beside one another. Close proximity in the classroom led us to form a study group, which resulted in some late nights together and, eventually, a relationship. After a seven-year courtship, we got married. While neither of us practices tax law, we’ll never forget the influence it’s had on our lives.
Birch Blair ’09 JD Law
We briefly chatted on Tinder in August 2015. In October, I planned to delete the app, since I didn’t really use it, but figured I would message him again. The conversation went something like this:
Michael: Hey, what are you up to?
Me: Well, I WAS watching FRIENDS, but the power just went out in my apt.
Michael: Mine too!
Me: Really? Where do you live?
Michael: The G*******
Me: No way! ...what floor?
We actually lived two doors away from each other. We officially started dating in November 2015 and are still happily together.
Olivia Kane ’17 Lib
Cherry Hill, N.J.
The Apathetic Lovers
I was lying on my couch with my radio tuned to the football game. Just as kickoff was approaching, I heard a knock on my apartment door. I opened it to find a cute little chipmunk of a girl, who, it seemed, was passionate about supporting an apathetic individual. We began dating, and two years after our first meeting, we were married in a small, quickly arranged ceremony. Unfortunately, she became largely apathetic toward life, while I seemed to acquire more passions with every passing year. And therein were sown and grew the seeds of our young marriage’s demise.
Noah Cutler ’67 Lib
St. Davids, Pa.
He was a WWII veteran, attending college on the G.I. Bill and working in the college infirmary kitchen. Sometimes he’d bring me a dessert from the kitchen, if there were any leftovers. Along with classes together, there were parties, dances in Rec Hall, football games at Beaver Field, coffee and conversations at Ye Olde College Diner, and goodnights at Grange dorm, my sorority Gamma Phi’s home. Eventually, we were “pinned,” and his fraternity brothers sang “Sweetheart of Sigma Chi” under my window at Grange one starry night. My young heart melted. We graduated in 1953 and got married in 1954.
Elizabeth (Bette) Agnew Alburger ’53 Com
Glen Mills, Pa.
$750 or Bust
A 63-year love story between Miriam Olander, a rising senior in home economics and a Zeta Tau Alpha officer, and Gordon Fee, a rising junior majoring in physics and an ROTC Army cadet officer, began with a blind date in the lobby of Simmons Hall in August 1954. The couple became engaged on Christmas Eve 1955, after agreeing with Miriam’s father that there would be no wedding until the groom had $750 in the bank. To meet the requirement, Gordon would have to work at least six months, and the wedding was set for Dec. 15, 1956, at Penn State. On that day, we became the second couple to be married in the new Eisenhower Chapel.
Miriam Olander Fee ’55 H&HD
Gordon G. Fee ’56 Sci
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Green Beetle Mix-Up
A tall, beautiful girl with long hair would occasionally enter the Corner Room, where I often ate alone. It always brightened up my day, but I had no way of getting to know her. One day when apartment-hunting in my 1963 green Volkswagen Beetle, I drove into a parking lot and saw someone waving and jumping up and down, trying to get my attention. It was my dream girl from the Corner Room. Unfortunately, she had mistaken me for someone else who also drove a green Beetle. But soon enough, we met for real, fell in love, and married the next year. We still joke about how she flagged me down that lucky day in State College.
Joseph Hansford ’66 Eng
With Help from Mike the Mailman
At a graduation party for one of my former RAs, Laura Deihl, I saw Mike Herr, aka Mike the Mailman, who introduced me to his friend Jon, a tall, dark, handsome graduate student. On Monday, when I went to work in Old Main, a coworker asked if I needed anything at the post office. I said “Yes!” and hastily wrote a note to Mike: “Who is Jon Nese?” When I returned from lunch, Mike was standing outside my office, and he said, “Jonny wants to know more about you, too!” Jon called and took me to the Tavern for our first date later that week, and the rest is history.
Gwen Kaufman Nese ’81 H&HD
Milk and Cookies
My mom and her roommates noticed the cute guys across the way in Penn Towers when they offered to help hang some pictures (the girls had no hammer and were using a high-heeled shoe). The girls made chocolate chip cookies, using a fan to waft the enticing smells out the door. Their plan worked, and the group of young men came over with a gallon of milk, offering to “barter” for the cookies. That exchange resulted in three couples: My mom and two of her roommates married my dad and two of his roommates. All three couples went on to have multiple kids, and all those kids became Penn Staters. Many of us “kids” also met our spouses there.
Katrina Kumpf Blanchard ’12, ’14 MS EMS
Third Time Lucky
I worked in the chemistry department in Whitmore Lab after graduation, and I also volunteered at State College Presbyterian Church’s welcome for new students. Carolee immediately caught my eye. She was in Chem 101, so I often saw her in the lab, and we both attended the discussion group at church on Sunday morning. But when I finally asked her out, she turned me down. Not once, but twice. Yet I was really attracted to her and decided to ask one last time. I thank God every day that she finally accepted my invitation.
Anthony L. Grillo ’62 Sci
We met at a Spanish-class celebration party in summer 1988. My friend Deb had invited her sister from New Jersey to meet a friend named Drew, who was waiting for her when I walked in. He asked Deb if I was her sister, to which she responded “no.” He still wanted to meet me, so we were introduced and hit it off with beer and a three-hour conversation. When it was time to go, he offered me a ride home. Deb said he was a good guy, so I said yes. Well, Drew locked himself out of his apartment next door; he had to break into it and crawl through the bathroom window to get his car keys. I should have run, but I decided to keep him.
Dana Furjanic ’89 Edu
Clifton Park, N.Y.
Aunty Knows Best
In summer 2003, I had just broken up with my boyfriend when my aunt, who was the Penn State cheerleading coach at the time, called me to say she’d given my number to one of her cheerleaders. She said his name was Luke and he was “perfect” for me. I was dreading his call, as blind dates never appealed to me and I knew nothing about him. When he called, I agreed to a Sunday lunch date, figuring that would be the end of it. But that “one and done” turned out to be my perfect match. We dated until the end of college, were married the year after graduation, and now have four children. All thanks to my aunt Lou Ann Kloss.
Michelle Spearly Simonetti ’07 Agr
Warriors Mark, Pa.
My wife Heather and I started “going steady” when we were juniors at Pottstown High School, and we enrolled at Penn State in the fall of 1955. During Heather’s sophomore year, she met Mary Giddings, a junior transfer student from Silver Spring, Md. The three of us remained friends during the rest of our time at State and then lost touch. A few years later, Mary and her family bought the house directly behind ours in Pottstown, Pa., and we renewed our friendship. Heather died in 2001, and Mary and her husband divorced. Sometime after that, my friendship and interest in Mary grew. We married and have blended a family of five children and 10 grandchildren.
Dick Frantz ’60 A&A
Love Train Leavin’
My college boyfriend and I stayed together for three years after graduation, which included several romantic weekend trips to State College and Saturday evening dinners at the Train Station Restaurant on East College, the perfect place for couples. We had broken up by the time I read that the Train Station was being torn down. Alone, I drove to State College. I stood across the street on the lawn of South Halls, taking photographs of the Train Station, tears streaming down my face as I said goodbye to an important part of my romantic history.
Kathy Irey ’78 Lib
White Oak, Pa.
The Red Pen
A slender girl with long brown hair, a pink sweater, and jeans that flared to a generous bell-bottom, caught my eye. She took a seat several rows below me in the auditorium. When the professor entered, he handed a legal pad to be passed around for everyone to sign. I’ll count the people before her, then count the names and I’ll know who she is, I schemed. Of course, I lost count, but then I saw her sign her name with a red Bic pen, and when the pad reached me, only one name was written in red. I looked up her number, summoned my courage, and called to ask her out. She consented, and we’ve been married for 40 years. But when I get to feeling too secure, she reminds me that, when I made that call, she thought I was someone else.
Ben Moyer ’75 Agr
Claus, Jason, and Don moved into Grange Hall—the only coed dorm on campus—in 1963, at the same time as Jeanette, Jan, and Marilyn. These six students, and a couple more, went on an impromptu picnic to Black Moshannon before the fall term started. In 1964, wedding bells rang. Claus and I lived most of our 35 married years in Happy Valley before his death. Jason and Jan, and Don and Marilyn, celebrated their 53rd anniversaries last year. There’s something magical in that boggy water at Black Mo.
Jeanette Janota ’64 MS Edu, ’86 MA Lib, ’94 PhD Agr
When Skaters Elope
My wife and I were on the first Penn State ice skating team. We were paired up together because we were the shortest skaters. We eloped in March of our senior year, were married in Maryland, and then returned to class. We didn’t inform our parents of our wedding, and by the time of our church wedding in September, we were four months pregnant. Needless to say, the parents were not ecstatic. All worked out well, though, and we had two kids and three grandkids.
Richard Mahany ’68 Bus
Emre was an international student from Turkey and I am from New Jersey. Penn State will always have a special place in our hearts because it brought our two completely different lives together. It was the foundation of our relationship, where we taught and inspired one another through different languages, cultures, traditions, and lifestyles.
Laura O’Brien ’15 Bus
Grilled Cheese Lovers
I was a shy, seventh-term junior majoring in dairy science, living in Beam Hall, North Halls. It was October of 1966 and a group of us from Beam, having lunch at Warnock Commons, decided to have an eating contest. The cooks were serving grilled-cheese sandwiches and soon refused to give us any more sandwiches. We improvised and asked fellow diners for their sandwiches. I summoned my courage and asked a girl who I thought was very cute for her sandwich. I still lost the grilled-cheese eating contest, but I met Myra Rosenberg. We were married in April 1969.
John Piwowar ’68, ’72 MS Agr
Nick and Niky
I first met the love of my life at Penn State Erie in 2013, when studying with my nursing friends at one of their apartments on campus. About a year later, we met again at an event and instantly hit it off. Nick asked if I had ever wanted to date a Nick (we thought it was funny we were Nick and Niky). I didn’t know at that moment that not only would I date a Nick, but I would fall head over heels in love with one.
Nicole Donaldson ’14 Nurs
Crazy for You
We met in April 2007, when Ryan was performing in the Penn State Thespians’ production of Crazy For You. Neither of us realized that they had just met the person they would spend the rest of their lives with. Over the next two years, we would give campus tours together as Lion Scouts, attend socials and retreats, and dance in THON 2009. We had a few dates, but it wasn’t meant to be. Yet. In November 2014, when we were both in London, Matthew asked Ryan for a date when we returned to the States. We’ve been together ever since, and had a small, legal wedding ceremony in January 2017. We’re planning a big wedding celebration with family, friends, and fellow Penn State alumni in May.
Ryan McRae ’10 Com
Matthew Goodrich ’09 Bus
From Chennai to Central Pa.
Karthik and I grew up in the same neighborhood in Chennai, India. We went to the same preschool, primary school, middle school, and high school, but we never met. Maybe because we were destined to meet, he waited three years to apply for his MBA at Penn State at the same time that I applied for my master's degree. We found each other through the Indian Graduate Students’ Association, became best friends first, then lovers. We got married in September 2017.
Akshaya Srinivasan ’16 MEngMgt GrtVly
I met my wife in the fall of 1974 playing coed football on the former IM fields near Beaver Stadium. She got hit in the face with a football (not by me) and came back to my room for ice. I asked her to be the quarterback of the team, and we got married in 1978.
Bob DeWitt ’76 Lib, ’77 MEd Edu
Moon Township, Pa.