Jumbo Love Connections

We asked, you answered. Here are some Jumbo tales of love to warm your heart this Valentine’s Day:

“In the fall of 1991, I had a band friend who convinced me (a violinist) to join Pep Band. He (a saxophone player) had a different band friend who did the same. Thanks to John McCann and his wonderful attitude of welcoming any and all to the amazing, eclectic, fun Pep Band, we’ve now been married almost 15 years and have three children.”

— Katie Radin Bonner

“We met doing a Torn Ticket production of ‘Pippin’ in 1981: I was a freshman and Neal was a sophomore. At our wedding, we danced our first dance to “If I Could Share my Life with You” from the show’s score. We’ve been married for 25 years now! When we took our 16 year old son to visit the campus in November, he expressed an interest in musical theater to our guide, who told him that Torn Ticket was planning on performing ‘Pippin’ again this spring. It brought back such happy memories for us!”

— Susan and Neal Klausner

“We were both seniors and had just gotten back from study abroad. I first met Greg in early October at a friend’s birthday party. But, our true ‘Jumbo love connection’ happened during homecoming. After a great win on the rugby pitch, I met up with Greg and my teammates at tailgating. It was a very rainy day and the parking lot had become a huge mud pit. I talked to my teammate (also one of Greg’s housemates) about my new crush on Greg. At her suggestion, I rugby tackled Greg into the mud and casually said ‘hi.’ Luckily, we weren’t the only ones enjoying a little mud slip and slide that day.

This past October (5 years since the tackling incident), we came back to Tufts for our 5 year anniversary. And, on the night before homecoming, Greg proposed to me on the Tufts Library Roof. We’re so happy for Jumbo to have brought us together!”

— Shana Horak & Greg Hawley

“Brandon and I worked in David Kaplan’s lab as undergrads. All I wanted to do is get my lab work done and get out, but Brandon always wanted to chat. I finally gave in and went to see him perform with the Bubs and we’ve been together since. We’ve been together for 8 years and will be married this May!”

— Alyssa Ngangan & Brandon Kitchel

“Freshman year, move in day, ice cream social in the Hill Hall lounge, my roommate and introduced ourselves to two guys. They were Dave and Steve, I thought Dave was cute. Steve lived across the hall from Dave and was in most of my classes. Everytime I went to visit Dave, I would end up talking to Steve…and still am 28 years later.”

— Liz Milman Christo

“We met while we were working at the Tufts Conference Bureau during the summer of 2008; we lived next door to each other in Wilson House, which was the staff housing for that summer. He was initially annoyed with me for “appropriating” the room that he wanted his friend to take, and I was annoyed at him for hogging the shower in the morning. But we found mutual love for the show LOST and quickly warmed up to each other. We’re still dating, and this past summer, we even made a voluntary decision to live together again!”

— Ben Axelman & Julia Cheong

“We dreamed up and started Tufts’ Christian a cappella group (Anchord) together in 2008, when I was a sophomore and Ben was a freshman. We started off more as business partners, then friends, then close friends, and then… well… we got even closer! We got engaged at the end of my senior year in 2010 and got married after he graduated early in December 2010. He likes to say that ‘Hey… you have a nice voice… Do you want to start a Christian a cappella group with me?’ is the best pickup line ever.”

— Katherine (Kat) Runes Hampson

“We first met as freshman in Houston Hall, both taking Geology 101. No spark at that time. As sophmores, she roomed in Wren with a friend of mine and coming to parties at my apartment (Hillside). We started dating just before junior year (after she said no when I asked her out at the end of sophmore year). She painted the cannon for me on my 21st birthday. Two and a half years after graduation (94) we got married in December 1996 at Goddard Chapel. In 2006 we participated in a renewal of vows ceremony at Goddard Chapel during Homecoming Weekend. After 14 years of marriage, I still love her very much. Happy Valentine’s Day Kristen!”

— Marc Garrigus/Kristen Garrigus

We met while volunteering for Tufts for Eugene McCarthy and against the War in Vietnam. The McCarthy campaign failed but the romance blossomed to a marriage. Since then, we have given tens of thousands of dollars to Tufts, but it has been as tuition for three of our children. Our Jumbo love is we love Tufts.

— sheldon and lee van auken fishman

Junior year in coed dorm, Hill Hall, Fall of 1973.

— John Eckart and Karen Giannelli

You can find more stories of couples that met at Tufts in these stories collected by the Tufts Fund. Or share your own in the comments!

  1. #1 by Kiera Boermeester O'Neil / Dan O'Neil on February 14, 2011 - 4:05 pm

    We met the spring of 86, at a Hogden Hall “screw your roomate” dance. I was not his date.. The years went by, a friendship grew, but nothing else. Then one day October of 1988, a little flirting, a kiss in the basement of a frat house, and something more was sparked… Like turned to love and now we’ve been married for over 17 years.

(will not be published)