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Love and Marriage, U-M Style

Michigan alumni share how they met their spouses at U-M. Here is a select sample of the nearly 350 love stories we received.
Read time: 6 minutes

In observance of Valentine’s Day, Michigan Alumnus asked alumni via its Facebook page, “Did you and your spouse meet as students at U-M? Tell us about your first date.” The following is just a sampling of the nearly 350 love stories that alumni submitted.

Naomi Goldberg, MPP’08, Libby Hemphill, MSI’04, PhD’09

Naomi And LibbyNaomi: I met Libby (pictured right) for the first time in the summer of 2006 at the Heidelberg on a ladies’ night. Three months later, we met again at Leopold Brothers, which no longer exists but was a brewpub with board games. Finally, the third time we met — again, three months later — at a dinner party of a mutual friend, it stuck. She asked me out to a Detroit Tigers game for our first date. There was a lot of flirtation, but it was complicated as I was moving to Boston that summer for an internship.

We kept in touch and then started dating in earnest in the fall of 2007. When I graduated and moved to Los Angeles for work, she was still finishing her Ph.D., so we did long-distance until she finished her dissertation. We then moved to Chicago. We had a marriage ceremony in May 2012 and a civil union in April 2013, and we converted our civil union into a legal marriage in May 2014. The power of threes in our relationship. We moved back to Ann Arbor with our 6-year-old son in 2017, as Libby is now an associate professor at U-M’s School of Information. I now work from home for a think tank on LGBTQ policy. All roads lead back to Ann Arbor!

Linda Tartof, x’70, and David Tartof, MD’70

Linda: We met in September 1969 at a campus protest demanding the board of regents allow students to open an inexpensive bookstore. At the time, Ulrich’s and Follett had the textbook market covered and were expensive.

I was sitting on the steps of Angell Hall and noticed the guy next to me was wearing a Wayne County General Hospital jacket. My mom, Yoeh Ming Ting Yee, MD’48, worked at that hospital. I asked if he knew her, and he said, “Your mom is Dr. Ting?” In other words, my future husband met my mother before me.  As a medical student, Dave was at the protest to help if someone got hurt. Luckily, he did not have to give medical attention to anyone that day, because we talked the entire time.

Our first date ended up being at a laundromat. I remember being really impressed by how well he did his laundry. Then we ate olive burgers somewhere nearby. We married in 1970. Fifty years later, we have two children and four grandchildren.

Sharon D’Andreta-Waller, ’85, and Gary Waller, ’85

Sharon: I was a freshman in South Quad and joined a women’s intramural touch football team. Gary, who was a student athletic trainer for the football team, was our trainer. At one practice, Gary was playing defensive line against me. When I hiked the ball, he ran me over, or as he likes to say, “When we met, I knocked her off her feet.” He helped me up and we became friends.

That summer, we both stayed on campus to work at U-M’s athletic camps. I took him and some other friends to my family’s cottage over Memorial Day. My little sister, who was eight years younger than me, said to him, “You like my sister, don’t you?”

Our first date was June 11 at the Michigan Theater. We saw “Singing in the Rain.” Being a poor college student, he picked me up with a bouquet of flowers he had made out of paper. I still have them. After the movie, he walked me to the Engineering Arch. Campus lore says if you kiss your date under the arch, you will marry. He kissed me, said he just knew we would get married, and we did in 1986. Now, 33 years later, we have two kids.

John Puckett, MSE’10, and Jennifer Beyer, ’03, MA’08

John: It was 2008 when Jennifer and I met online. Everything went wrong the night of our first date at the Arbor Brewing Company. It was a snowy, January night and I had to take a bus because my car brakes were out.

I tried to pay for dinner and my card was denied. She gave me a ride home and her car wipers broke. She called a friend to pick her up and her friend got lost. We had to walk to what was then the Blockbuster on Plymouth Road and wait 15 minutes in the cold for her friend.

Our next date was playing racquetball. She beat me. Six years later, we got married. Twelve years later, we are still together.

Roger J. Bus, ’75, and Lida Bus, x’75

Roger: Lida and I were both living in Bates. It was 1975 and I had first noticed her when she moved into the dorm earlier that year. The night before I graduated from U-M, I finally got the nerve to ask her out. I figured if the date did not go well, it wouldn’t matter as I was leaving.

First, I took her to Bicycle Jim’s for dinner. Then we walked around campus until really late since I wanted to take her to the Michigan Radio studio where I was in charge of signing off the broadcast every night at 1 a.m. This would be my last time and I thought it might impress her. It was a magical night, literally, as I do magic tricks and when we got back to the dorm, I did a bunch of card tricks for her. I don’t think we said “Good night” until 3 a.m. and I still had not packed. My grandparents showed up at 8:30 a.m. We got married in 1977 on North Campus and hired a bluegrass band we heard playing on the Diag. We have now been married 42 glorious years, and our son married a U-M graduate.

Peter Tiernan, ’81, MA’83, Michelle Tiernan, ’81

Peter: My wife and I met at Markley in 1978. The boys’ sixth floor of Fisher Hall did a “secret someone” with the women on the fifth floor. The guys had to draw a gal’s name out of a hat, give them presents all week, and then do the big reveal at a Friday night dance. I didn’t pick my wife Michelle’s name, but I was so smitten with her that I traded with the guy who got her name and sweetened the deal by giving him a six-pack of beer. Long story short, we were married within two years.

The guy who I traded names with became a Microsoft multimillionaire. Meanwhile, I started my career managing a bookstore in town. The good news is, this August will be our 40th wedding anniversary. We have three kids, one of whom went to U-M, and three grandchildren, all of whom root for Blue.

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