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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

UB students shot with Cupid's Arrow

stories of eternal love

This Valentine's Day, flowers, candy and cards will fill hearts, mouths and minds. For many students, this holiday is a time to cherish relationships and honor love. For these seven couples, a combination of fate, commitment and dedication has proven that true love really does exist.

Catherine Walsh and Dave Eckert - Together since February 2002

Each and every Valentine's Day is extra special for Catherine Walsh and Dave Eckert. The couple met their sophomore year on their high school track team and will be celebrating their six-year anniversary this Thursday. These lovebirds have truly survived the test of time.

"We started talking on the bus home," said Catherine Walsh, a senior communications major.

Today, Walsh prepares for graduation, while Eckert continues his graduate study. Both are committed to sustaining a strong bond. Their secret to success? Maintaining common interests.

"We both play field hockey, so we just make time," Walsh said.

The stresses of the typical college life with busy schedules, late nights and part-time jobs, can take a toll on a couple. Walsh and Eckert have kept their relationship strong by being patient.

"He came to UB a couple years before I did and those years were really hard because I lived six hours from here," Walsh said. "You really have to understand what each other are going through and work it out."

Colleen Philpott and Ken Wright - Engaged since October 2007

A part-time job at a sporting goods store turned out to be serendipitous for Colleen Philpott and Ken Wright. Four years ago, the two met at work and eventually hit it off. They began dating during their sophomore year of college.

During the fall semester, Wright had asked Philpott to attend an opera with him, which she declined due to upcoming midterms. He came to her apartment dressed in a shirt and tie and carrying flowers and popped the question.

"He proposed right in my apartment," said Colleen Philpott, a graduate student studying higher education administration. "It was cool, because I wasn't expecting it at all."

The couple has set a wedding date for this May. They said communication is their most important survival strategy.

"We've gotten through school by understanding that we each have our own goals and objectives, and appreciating them and understanding how we can motivate each other," Philpott said. "In turn, it helped us appreciate each other, because we realized we could reach our goals. Being different helped us stay stronger."

Heather Muir and Scott Birkby, Jr. - Engaged since November 2007

The October Storm of 2006 brought more than power outages and snowfall-it also brought Heather Muir and Scott Birkby together.

"I was living at North Campus and he was stranded," said Heather Muir, a senior health and human services major.

Muir had just been through a messy breakup, and the pair started off as friends.

"We were friends for about a month, and he came back with me at Thanksgiving to Long Island and asked me out," Muir said. "It was amazing. There were feelings there, but I didn't realize it until he asked me out."

The following November, the couple traveled to New York City to celebrate their one-year anniversary. The enchanting ceilings of Grand Central Station had always captivated Muir and when they reached the terminal, Birkby got down on one knee in front of hundreds of onlookers and proposed. Muir happily accepted and the couple is planning a December 2009 wedding.

"I couldn't believe it," Muir said.

Throughout college, the couple has made special adjustments to set aside time to see each other and often study for classes together to spend extra time with each other. When they worked at their respective part-time jobs, they visited one another during their breaks. Their relationship strategy has been to always be willing to compromise and to have compassion and understanding.

"What may work for one person may not work for the other," Muir said. "What benefits both is what really matters. That's what makes the relationship work."

Jennifer & Joesph Bochynski - Married since December 2007

Although Jenn Bochynski, a graduate student studying physical therapy, broke Joe Bochynski's heart back in sixth grade, they would eventually find eternal happiness as husband and wife. He was the first and last person she would ever kiss.

The couple reconciled their relationship at the end of high school almost four years ago, before Joe went away to school at Hobart and William Smith College.

"We have been in a long distance relationship almost our whole relationship," Jenn said.

A few months prior to Joe's graduation, he popped the question.

"It seemed like the right time," Jenn said. "He was coming back to Buffalo and I was just starting physical therapy schooling."

After an eight-month engagement, the couple celebrated a Christmas wedding. Studying for finals and planning for a wedding was no easy task, but with the help of Jenn's family she was able make it a success.

Jenn said that handling both married life and school life is not a problem.

"We both respect each others' time," Jenn said. "He knows when I have to study and respects my time."

She said that sometimes Joe would go the library with her and read a book while she studies.

Their biggest problem has been adjusting to living together, because Jenn is messy and Joe is neat.

Although she married young, Jenn does not think most 20-year olds should jump into marriage.

"If you have been with someone long enough, then it is ok to get married," Jenn said. "It's a commitment for life and you have to be sure you are making the right decision."

As far as their first Valentine's Day as man and wife goes, Jenn plans on giving a homemade card, and will be anticipating a surprise from Joe.

Cheryl & Nathan Schutt - Married since July 2007

After being best friends all through high school, Cheryl and Nathan Schutt hit the ground running when they started dating their freshman year of college.

"I knew I was going to marry him after a month of dating him," Cheryl said. "I just knew."

Cheryl, a senior nursing student, and Nathan dated a year and a half before becoming engaged. He proposed during the summer of 2006, after the mutual decision to be engaged for at least a year, so that after Nathan graduated, he could support them.

Nathan and Cheryl were hiking in Arcade, New York and he had set up a scavenger hunt that led to the eventual discovering of the engagement ring.

"I found the ring on top of a hill that was overlooking a lake and I turned around and he was on one knee." Cheryl said. "I was shocked. We had talked about marriage but I thought it was further down the road."

Being from Rochester, New York, Cheryl and Nathan had to do some long-distance wedding planning. They wed on July 27, 2007.

"I kept the wedding simple and my mother helped a lot," Cheryl said. "I was more concerned about being married than the actual wedding day."

Cheryl said that life since her wedding has been very busy. She is working 25 hours while being a full time student. Although Nathan works on campus, they still do not see each other very often.

"We don't see each other very often but we try to set aside time for each other," Cheryl said. "We spend all day Sunday together and try to do something simple during a week night."

Although life is a little crazy, Cheryl does not regret getting married before graduation.

"It's really nice to know that when I wake up, he'll be there or when I come home after a stressful day he is there," Cheryl said. "It's a nice sense of security and encouraging to know how much love I have from him."

Valentine's Day is Cheryl's favorite holiday, but unfortunately, she has to work during her first as a married woman.

Maria & Steven Glamuzina - Married since August 2007

Maria and Steven Glamuzina met each other back in first grade, at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School. According to Steven, a senior business major, his future wife did not fancy him at first.

Love finally sparked when the two ran into each other at a combined high school dance of Holy Angels Academy and St. Joseph's high school. They have now been a couple for over six years, getting engaged during the middle of their sophomore year of college.

"I wanted to do something special and nice, like go to Delaware Park or the steps of the Albright Knox Art Gallery, but there was a big snow storm," Steven said.

Steven instead took Maria out to dinner at the Creekview Restaurant.

"The ring was burning a hole in my pocket, so I had to give it to her that night," Steven said.

They were engaged for a year and a half before tying the knot, and wed August 11, 2007. Steven said that Maria and her mother planned most of the wedding, which made it easy for Steven.

"All I had to say was 'yes dear,'" Steven said. " If it made her happy, it made me happy."

With the hectic schedule of being a full-time student, employee and husband, they have Thursday as their special day to spend time together. Thursday is the only day of the week that they both have off from work. With Valentine's Day falling on a Thursday this year, they plan on having dinner and spending the day at home.

For Steven, the hardest thing is still being in school.

"I feel grown. I feel older than everyone else," Steven said. "I'm 21, married, I own a home and I work full-time."

Steven said that the key to success is to plan everything out before committing to a marriage, because it leads to fewer surprises.

"You have to care more about the other person than yourself," Steven said.

Rose & John Hu - Married since May 2007

Rose and John Hu share many things as a couple of more than five years. They both have eternal love for each other, a strong faith in Jesus, and dedication to their academics. Rose, a graduate MBA student, and John, a senior biomedical science major, both entered UB as honor students and coincidentally lived on the same hall their first year in Governor's Complex.

Their junior year of college, they became engaged on Christmas Eve.

"We had talked about it previously," Rose said. "We had been together a long time."

John accompanied Rose for her family's Christmas traditions. While Rose was off with her cousins, he had asked her father for his permission to marry his daughter.

"When we returned home from Christmas Eve dinner at my Grandma's, he took me outside underneath the stars to give me my present," Rose said. "He told me to close my eyes and when I opened them he was down on one knee."

Rose and John planned their wedding in a little over five months.

"Finals were really difficult," Rose said. "I had my last final 10 days before our wedding. During finals week we moved into our apartment together."

"The MBA program is very demanding," Rose said. "He is really good at making sure I am being taken care of."

John has a schedule that is equally as demanding as he prepares for the medical school application process. Although they face academic stress, they make sure to set aside time for each other.

For Valentine's Day, John has traditionally given his wife a single red rose and then followed it with a surprise. This year as a married couple, she is still expecting the red rose and surprise. They do, however, have to delay their Valentine's Day plans until Saturday because of classes.

Rose said that dating is a lot different from marriage, because marriage has a higher level of commitment. She said that putting his needs first is an important aspect of the higher commitment. Rose also said that their relationship is successful because of their strong faith in Jesus.

"We are both strong Christians," Rose said. "They key to our success is to keep Christ at the center of our relationship."



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