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Michael Shine ’18 and Lena Shine ’17.

College is a time for exploration, both academically and personally. Graduates of Saint Rose leave our school having discovered what they’re truly passionate about, learning important things about themselves along the way. Sometimes, though, our students leave Saint Rose with something even more valuable than a world-class education: Love.

We caught up with some alumni who met their soulmates at Saint Rose. Read their love stories in their own words below!

Alumni responses have been edited for clarity.

Justin Campbell ’19, G’19 and Jacquelyn Fossati ’20, G’20

Justin Campbell ’19 and Jacquelyn Fossati ’20, G’20.

“Justin Campbell ’19, G’19, and Jacquelyn Fossati ’20, G’20, first met in Dr. Dana Abbott’s Individuals with Exceptionalities course as first-year students in spring of 2016. They had their first date in February of 2018 and have been together for four years. After endless laughter and adventures, Jacquelyn and Justin became engaged on July 4, 2021, and are getting married in September 2023.” 

Julia Miller ’17 and Alex Pecha ’17

Julia Miller ’17 and Alex Pecha ’17.

“We’re Julia Miller and Alex Pecha, both class of 2017. We actually met our freshman year in the library after Julia ‘borrowed’ a book from Alex. We became fast friends for all of our college years, drifting in and out of each other’s lives as Saint Rose students tend to do. We didn’t start dating until our senior year, where we both had a crush on each other but didn’t say anything to about it for months. Our first date was a Scavenger Hunt around campus to all of ‘our spots’ that were important to us like where we first met, and where we would go on long night walks together as friends, culminating in a Market 32 cheese and cracker dinner at the picnic table hiding in the hedge outside of Lally. We’ve been together for five years now as of November!”

Lyndsey Mokhiber ’03, G’05 and Leo Mokhiber ’05

“I (Lyndsey) was attending Saint Rose in 2005 getting my master’s, and Leo was finishing up his bachelor’s. A mutual friend introduced us at a state teaching test, but we didn’t see each other again until six months later at the Partridge Pub, when we both went for happy hour. We started talking about the Duke vs. Carolina game. We went on our first date to Casa Mia in Selkirk where his parents lived. We have now been together for 17 years and married for 14. Leo and I hit it off from day one, and I knew he was a keeper. We now live in North Carolina with our two adorable sons.” 

Aelijah Wilson ’16 and Meghan Hackett ’20

Aelijah Wilson ’16 and Meghan Hackett ’20.

“We actually went to the same high school in Saugerties, NY, but our paths did not cross until I (Meghan) was a freshman at Saint Rose, and he was a senior. We met on campus and bonded over our similarities. Our first date was a movie at Regal, where we still have regular date nights to this day. I know he is my ‘one’ because he has supported me through all the ups and downs life has thrown at the both of us these past few years, and our love grows stronger. Five years together, we have created a life in Albany. I am so happy he is my Saint Rose Soulmate.”

Erin Killkenny ’12 and Kevin Ford ’10

“In February of 2009, I met my now husband Kevin Ford in the cafeteria. He came up to me at the grill, started talking about sports, and the rest is history. I was a freshman that graduated in 2012 as an education major. He was a junior that graduated in 2010 as a business major. For our first date, he invited me to his dorm where he cooked me dinner (steak and fries) and we watched ‘National Treasure 2’; because my concentration was social studies, he knew I’d love anything history based. We dated the rest of our time at Saint Rose and for an additional seven years after college until, on May 27, 2018, he popped the question – of course, I said yes. We got married two years ago on November 9, 2019. At our wedding, there were two other married Saint Rose couples! 

Kevin says he knew right away that it was love at first sight. I knew when I decided to pack up my Albany apartment after graduation to move to Staten Island (his hometown) in order to be near him. Now, I’ve been here for 10 years in May, and we just bought our first home together in June 2021. We not only owe our relationship to our time at Saint Rose but also our current careers. You started and shaped this beautiful life Kevin and I are building together. Thirteen years later, in 21 days (2/21/09), and forever to go – thanks to Saint Rose! 💛🖤” 

Chrissy Vermilyea ’13 and Jon Vermilyea ’13

Chrissy Vermilyea ’13 and Jon Vermilyea ’13 with their son, J.D.

“Jon and I (Chrissy) met in 2011 in Tammy Schillinger’s education class. After a semester of working in the classroom together, we finally went out on our first date on December 30, 2011: dinner and ice skating. Through all the laughter and learning new things together, we knew we were meant to be. We have very different interests, but we are always ready to learn about something new, and we enjoyed each other’s company. During our senior year we adopted our first furbaby Romo, and from that day on we knew we’d be together forever. Ten years later, we are now married, adopted two more furbabies, a snake, and have our wonderful 3-year-old son, J.D. Thanks to Saint Rose, we not only have our dream teaching jobs but our amazing family.”

Cassie Falvey ’15 and Mary Williams ’16

Cassie Falvey ’15 and Mary Williams ’16.

“I (Cassie) didn’t meet my husband at Saint Rose, but I absolutely met one of my soulmates! My best friend, Mary and I met living in Lima Hall our freshman year. She’s from Maine, and I’m from Massachusetts, so Saint Rose was the missing piece that brought us together. The first time we hung out alone was at Tierra Coffee Roasters, and our friendship has grown through countless cups of coffee since. I’m forever grateful to Saint Rose for the life long friendship I treasure every day that all started in Lima Hall.”

Nicole Mellan ’14 and David Mellan ’14

“My husband and I (Nicole) met and started dating at Saint Rose! We were both SEED majors (Special Education and Elementary Education) and graduated in December of 2014. We both transferred from other colleges for the start of our junior year, so we were taking all the same classes at the same time. We didn’t start dating until our last semester when we were student teaching. We’d known each other a while but our first ‘date’ was at Madison’s to get drinks with some friends. From there, the rest was history. We’ve been by each other’s side since that night. We went through grad school, finding jobs, each of us moving to a new place, and now we are both working as special education teachers in the same elementary school! We got married in 2019 and we’re both still so glad we picked Saint Rose when we decided to transfer that year!”

Mike Stocker ’80 and Lynne Stocker ’81

Mike Stocker ’80 and Lynne Stocker ’81.

“In the fall of 1977, my (Lynne) parents brought me to Saint Rose as a freshman. We unloaded all my belongings into my room. Mom helped me get settled in. Mike was a sophomore and on the Orientation Committee, I think there to check out the new freshmen. 

My parents and I went to the president’s reception that afternoon. We were just sitting at the end of a table having some punch and cookies. As we were talking, I saw a strange look on my father’s face and suddenly, this guy, (Mike) just appeared at the end of our table. He made a point to tell my parents that if they heard any rumors about Medaille Hall they should just disregard them. …  Apparently, my father had seen him heading toward our table, trip over a chair and just fall into place at the end of our table. I thought for sure at that moment my parents were going to take me back to my room, pack my belongings and take me home. Haha … nope, they left me there to fend for myself. 

Later that evening there was a social event for the freshmen to get to know each other. I went with some of my floormates. Guess who was there? Our first dance was a polka, and we still enjoy dancing together. Forty-five years ago, married 42 years.” 

Jami Durante Rogowski ’91 and Adam Rogowski Jr. ’92

Jami Durante Rogowski ’91 and Adam Rogowski Jr. ’92.

“Adam and I (Jami) met at Saint Rose and married in 1996. We met in class in the Fall of 1987 and became good friends. He always sat beside me or next to me. We were in the same program working toward the same major of business administration so we were in many classes together over the years. Our first date was on May 9, 1991, at Michael’s on Madison Avenue during Senior Week, and we have been together ever since. We have been together for 31 years and have 2 beautiful daughters, Alexandra and Ariana, and a dog named Ozzy.”

Tori DiMarzo ’11 and Dean DiMarzo ’11

Tori DiMarzo ’11 and Dean DiMarzo ’11.

“We met at Saint Rose in 2010 at an open mic night at Jack’s Place. Several months later, we had our first official date at a music industry fundraiser at TGI Fridays, followed by singing at an open mic night at a local coffee shop. A few weeks later, we stayed up all night talking and that’s when we both knew we wanted to be more than friends. We have been together for almost 11 years now, married for five and a half years. Our relationship still heavily revolves around music and performing, as we spend many of our weekends together performing at local wineries.”

Brandon Miller ’11 and Morganne Miller ’11

Brandon Miller ’11 and Morganne Miller ’11 with their two children.

“My wife and I both met during our undergrad years at Saint Rose. We met in 2009 while living off campus in our respective apartments that were both part of the same house on Ontario Street. Our ‘official’ first date was to TGI Fridays at Stuyvesant Plaza. We have been together for 12 years and married for seven-plus years. We now have two children, aged 5 and 1.5 years old. I knew my wife was the one when we first met. It just felt right when we were together.”

Amie Bourgeois ’07 and Oliver Bourgeois ’09

Amie Bourgeois ’07 and Oliver Bourgeois ’09 with their three children.

“Oliver and I first met in 2002 in a first floor ‘triple’ dorm room of a common friend in Brubacher Hall. We spent the next few years with a common circle of friends, and even dated for a short period. We lost touch after school as we headed out into the world after college, but were reunited by chance in 2009. We started dating and never looked back. Now we have been happily married for almost 10 years and have three awesome kids ages 8, 5, and 2. Without our initial introduction during our time at Saint Rose, we likely would not have reconnected as adults and created this family. Thank you, Saint Rose!”

Michael Shine ’18 and Lena Shine ’17

Michael Shine ’18 and Lena Shine ’17.

“We met on Lena’s first night back to school of her sophomore year and Michael’s freshman year. There was a back-to-school get together at the baseball house. Being a year older, Lena and her friends already knew some of the teammates, but were just meeting Mike for the first time. After a number exchange and some convincing friends, we began texting and had our first date at the Dunkin Donuts on Madison Avenue. We had no car, so we walked there together and talked about everything! We have been together ever since – seven years and almost one year married this April. We knew it was meant to be once Lena studied abroad for a semester very early on in our relationship, and we were able to make it through and were stronger for it!”

Katherine McGan ’17, G’18 and Brady King ’17, G’17

Justine Vaitas ’14 and Stan Vaitas ’14

Justine Vaitas ’14 and Stan Vaitas ’14 with their daughter, Madison.

“Stan and Justine met while attending The College Of Saint Rose in 2012 at a mutual friend’s house. They were instantly best friends, but didn’t start dating until 2013. They both say that as soon as they met, though, they knew it was forever. When you know, you know. Their first official date was at the Albany Pump Station and their first Valentine’s Day was actually spent at Saint Rose at a social Valentine’s event, where they made frames for each other  – they still have them! Stan and Justine have been married for almost five years and have a 1-year-old girl, Madison, and are expecting a little boy in May. Both are teaching in South Carolina and loving life!”

Kristine Ellis ’10, G’13 and nathan ellis G’16

Kristine Ellis ’10, G’13 and Nathan Ellis G’16 with their daughter, Maeve.

“My husband and I (Kristine) met in one of our undergrad education classes at Lally in 2008. We ended up in a couple more classes together the next semester, including one class where the professor partnered us up for every project! We went on our first date in November 2009 to I Love NY Pizza on Madison Ave… and here we are now: together for 12 years, married for almost 7, with our 3-year-old daughter, Maeve.”