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UB alumni who fell in love on campus

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The Spectrum

Some people come to college hoping to walk away with more than an education and a diploma. They hope to find their soul mate.

The popular notion of finding “the one” in college has been around since before my grandmother went to school – she went to University of Michigan where she met my grandfather.

Twenty eight percent of married couples meet each other in college, according to a data collection study done by Facebook.

UB is no exception.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here are some couples who met at UB and are still together, hoping to live happily ever after.

Renee Lansley and Joseph Szustakowski, together for 21 years

UB undergraduate class of 1996 and 1995, respectively

How they met: On the day Renee moved in, Joe showed up at her Roosevelt dorm room looking for his cousin, her roommate. He lived in room 310, and she was in 307. They developed the same group of friends and grew to be best friends. Eventually, they got closer and started hanging out just the two of them. That’s when they became “exclusive friends,” Renee said. They have been together ever since.

Life after UB: The UB Honors College couple got married in 2002 at St. Joes in Buffalo after Joe proposed to Renee at Baird Point on North Campus. They currently reside in the Boston area with their two kids.

Advice to college students: “If you aren’t best friends, it’s probably not the right match,” Renee said. “The romance could and will eventually wear off but if you marry your best friend, you always have that. You’ll be with your friend forever.”

Kenny and Melissa Patticoff, together for 31 years

UB undergraduate class of 1987

How they met: Melissa’s best friend was trying to set her up with a UB football player on a group date. Instead of hitting it off with the athlete, she started talking to his best friend, Kenny. The two of them started dating in October of their freshman year after he asked her to meet him at the Library, a popular bar at the time but has since closed.

Life after UB: Melissa went to Hofstra University to get her masters and Kenny continued at UB in dental school. Their long-distance relationship lasted two years and he proposed in Atlantic City. They later got married on Long Island and live there with their three kids.

Advice to college students: “You can’t look for love” Melissa said. “Find yourself in college first and when you do that, you’ll find the one. It will come when you least expect it and you can’t have a negative attitude about it, either. It’s not instant, the whole fireworks thing is bulls***, it takes time to grow and develop. People your age are sometimes superficial about love, but it’s not physical, it grows.”

David Weinman and Mindy Patticoff Weinman together for 38 years

UB Dental School class of 1981

How they met: Mindy met David in a 100-student dental school class of 81 boys and nine girls. His version of the story is seeing her in a lecture hall and wanting to ask her out, but her version is more detailed. He asked her out, but made her drive to their first date at a friend’s concert in Eden, New York. During their first year of dental school, however, Mindy had to focus on her health, due to a medical condition. She and David almost didn’t work out. He asked her out again their second year, and fortunately they were able to stay together.

Life after UB: As Mindy puts it: They “forgot to leave Buffalo.” The couple got engaged their third year of dental school and got married right after graduation on Long Island, but came right back to Western New York to complete their residencies. The dentists still live in Amherst and Mindy works as a professor in UB’s Dental School.

Advice to college students: “You need to find a friend,” Mindy said. “If it goes well and turns into something, that’s the best kind of relationship. You should also have differences. Yes, we both are dentists but he’s into sports and I’m not. It probably wouldn’t work if we were together all of the time and liked all of the same things.”

Chris Egebert and Michael Cohen, together for 32 years

UB undergraduate class of 1988 and 1987, respectively

How they met: They met their first day of school in chemistry in 1983 and then were in the same group of friends for a year and a half before anything romantic happened. They noticed they had similar interests and one day Chris said they “took the plunge” and kissed on the couch. They have been together ever since.

Life after UB: After graduation, Chris continued at UB in grad school while Mikael went to Cornell Law School. The couple then moved to Boston, Massachusetts – where they currently live – in 1991 and got married in 2006.

Advice to college students: “It will be that one best person in your life,” Chris said. “Meeting someone in the workforce is harder. In college, get involved with things you’re passionate about. Living off campus made me grow up and meet more people. Also stay open minded.”

email: features@ubspectrum.com


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