We have loved getting to know and feature many of our StagMates since the program was launched in 2015!

Below you’ll find an archive of stories previously shared by some of our alumni couples.

StagMates Love Stories Archive


Andrea (Renzoni) Bascetta ’85 and Sebastian Richard Bascetta ’85

It was 1983 - the class was Dr. Heath's Introduction to Music 101. The classroom was hot and the air was heavy as the students filed into class while "Every Breath You take" by The Police played loudly in the background. The students talked excitedly about Michael Jackson's and Madonna's latest album and waited anxiously for the professor to begin class. I took a seat in the very front of the room and noticed a dark haired young man sitting in the very last row of the class. Each class he moved closer and closer to the front row where I was sitting until he was sitting alongside me. He dropped a letter from his desk and I picked it up and returned it to him. The values we learned from our Jesuit education and Catholic faith have kept our relationship a priority for 35 years. They have enabled us to grow stronger with each challenge life has given us.

Emily Barrett ’12 and Mathew Bleam ’07

Our story is truly one of coincidence and dumb luck. We both played rugby as undergrads which led us to attend the 50th Rugby Anniversary weekend in October 2013. Being 5 years apart in school we never overlapped but had a number of mutual rugby friends in the years between us. During the rugby event we managed to somehow strike up a conversation -- most likely over a keg at The Point. We had an undeniable smitten attraction that weekend, but since Mat is a native of Philly and I hail from Boston, we were unsure if or how we could bridge that 271-mile gap. Despite the geographical setback, we used every excuse to see one another after that first meeting. Whether it was an alumni event or a rugby gathering in NYC, we took literally every opportunity we could to see one another. We started officially dating in April 2015 and spent the next 2.5 years dating long-distance thanks in large part to FaceTime, TSA pre-check and JetBlue Airways. Mat proposed in April 2017 and we wed in September 2018 surrounded by a herd of Stags and Fairfield ruggers. It goes without saying that our relationship would not exist without Fairfield and Fairfield U rugby.

Katherine (Hayes) Saracino ’88 and Robert Saracino ’88

While we had many stories and friends in common, we did not actually meet or date on campus despite Kathy being friends with my roommates and her girlfriends living next to us in the townhouses. We met eight years after graduation; good thing - there is little chance we would be here had we met as students! I had attended a wedding of a Fairfield friend in Texas with another StagMate couple, Tom & Rena (DiBernardi) Reagan. He is/was a friend of mine and her a friend of Kathy's; they were dating at the time and subsequently were married months before us. While on the wedding trip, Rena asked how it was that I could be single and I replied, "who do you know?" A short while later, after getting clearance from Kathy, she called and let me know that she did, indeed, have a friend.

Kathy and I met a little after that on a blind date; I was sure to wear my WVOF t-shirt so she could identify me, though I am pretty sure we both perused our Freshman Directory (aka The Meat Sheet) prior to meeting. Not surprisingly, the first date consisted of a lot of common Fairfield connections and remembering events where we, as it turns out, were only feet away from each other but managed not to meet. For example, I liked to study in silence and sought out spots in the library where I thought I would find it...that usually meant the basement. However, while it was pretty quiet there, occasionally, a group of girls would be "studying" in the media room and I could hear them. I was amazed to learn that was Kathy and her friends! Or, during our senior year, a cat had kittens in the window well of one of the townhouses and the girls who lived there cared for them. As the time for graduation neared, many wondered what would become of the cats. Well, I found out, as Kathy took Cosi, one of the kittens home, and she was our first pet when we married!

So, our connections to Fairfield are varied from our introduction, to my friend and fellow '88 alum, Fr. Tom Nydegger, marrying us in the chapel on campus, to my father being an alum to Kathy, now, being a professor in the school of nursing on campus. The connections are important and meaningful to us and it's always amazing when we think of them, especially the disbelief we had when we were freshmen in the Oak Room being told by Fr. Bill to look around at this group of mostly strangers and understand that a high percentage would end up as couples! It's been 22 years since that blind date and 20 since our wedding in the chapel and we are delighted with each other and to share our Fairfield story!

Michelle Martin Tiernan ’89 and Eugene Tiernan ’89

Somehow, we managed to not cross paths at Fairfield U from Freshman through Junior year. It wasn't until Alumni Weekend in Autumn 1988 that we were introduced by a mutual friend, and at that moment our coupled journey began. After graduating in 1989 there was so much uncertainty as we and our friends started to map out our careers and lives in "the real world," yet our connection as part of the Fairfield University community kept bringing us back together until we grew inseparable. We actually got engaged on campus years later at the very spot we met - geographically what is now Rafferty Field, and what was in 1988 simply a green field. We were both working in Manhattan at the time, but came back to be married at the campus chapel and ended up settling in East Norwalk where we still live today. Our daughter attends Lauralton Hall in Milford, and our twin boys attend Fairfield Prep, since the Catholic/Jesuit values instilled in us throughout life and reinforced during our years at Fairfield U are deeply rooted. We attended the first StagMates event as an excuse to see friends who are also StagMates, and the annual event has become an important and meaningful ritual for us. To this day, we remain connected to the Fairfield U community in ways we could never have imagined at our first chance meeting back in 1988, and we look forward to continuing to renew our vows and regroup with friends at StagMates each year.


Nicole (Livesey) Camporeale ’12 and Vincent Camporeale ’12

We were both recruits for the cross country program, so before classes began or anyone else arrived on campus, we arrived for the start of pre-season practice. It was easy to bond with a fellow New Jerseyan and cross country runner, so it wasn't long before we became friends. Throughout college our friendship continued to grow; however, we didn't start dating until after we graduated. We were often asked why it took four years for us to start dating. The easy answer is that the timing was just never right! We always enjoyed each other’s company, had many mutual friends, and got along well, but that was just the basis of our great friendship. Second semester of senior year we started to become even closer friends. Vinny would wait for me before my afternoon class at the business school, and I made more frequent visits to Vinny’s beach house. Vinny would make it a point to make sure I always got from the beach to campus safely and would wait outside in the cold and keep me company (and warm) while waiting for a cab. In March 2012, Vinny told me that he thought of me as more than just a friend because he had a feeling that we would make a great pair, and as usual, he was right! We had the same stubborn personality, family values, and opposite interests which still seemed to complement each other. From the start, our mutual friends could tell that we would make a great couple, even if I was still a little bit unsure. Transitioning from being close friends to dating was a big leap. We didn't want to ruin our 4 years of friendship, especially if it didn't work out. But, we took the risk anyway. After graduation, all of our Fairfield friends took a trip to a lake house in upstate New York. It was there that we really decided that we were meant to be more than just friends. Five years and many great memories later, on September 16, 2017 we got married at St. Patrick Cathedral in Norwich, CT followed by an amazing reception at Priam Vineyard in Colchester surrounded by family, friends, and fellow Stags!

Kimberly (Hugret) Hamel ’77 and Thomas Hamel ’78

Tom and I will be married 39 years this August 4th. We met at Fairfield through the Hockey program. Tom played hockey and I (yikes!) was a cheerleader. Most of our married life we lived in Massachusetts. Tom owned a hardware store in Hingham and I have been a NICU nurse, mostly in Boston and now in North Carolina. Tom presently manages a Benjamin Moore paint store. We moved to the Wilmington, NC area 11 years ago. We have 2 adult daughters (Sarah married to Brant, and Allie) and 2 grandchildren (Jillian and Will). They all live in the Raleigh area. When not working we enjoy bike riding, entertaining friends and hanging out together. Tom still does most of the cooking, just like he did for me and our friends in Loyola (there was a decent kitchen there we could use anytime) and later at our beach houses! We continue to keep in touch with 7 or 8 of our Fairfield friends.

Sonia (Gomes) Hine ’93 and Kenneth Hine ’92

Sonia and I met working our way through college at the local grocery store. Sonia was in floral and I was next door in produce. This was significant because we were next to one another and I spent most of my time talking to her. So much so I was almost fired! It paid off though as we soon dated. She transferred from another college to Fairfield University to be with me. We were married just weeks after her graduation. Next year will be our 25th happy anniversary. We have two sons who are 9 and 16 years old. We are planning and hoping for them to be Stags! Sonia’s major was business management and she now is an assistant to the Fairfield town clerk. I have a bachelor’s in accounting, a master’s in education, and 6th year degree in administration. Yet, I make my living now as an author and artist. Go figure! We live in the shadow of Fairfield U and can walk to campus. Fairfield University holds great memories for us. So much so that we, as I said previously, hope our sons will be within the next generation of Stags.

Allison (White) Marshall ’74 and Donald Marshall ’71

In Spring of 1973 after a disagreement with my house mates, I stayed with my brother in South East Dorm, sleeping on the floor with the ok from his roommate. The arrangement was great for all of us since I had a car and Sea Grape money and they had the room. Unfortunately I didn't have a meal pass. Well in 1973 I met my future wife Allison, who was also a South East Dorm resident and a member of the first class of women. It turned out that Allison was a good friend of my brother. Thanks to Fr. McMahon's mercy and poor eyesight I was able to stay with my brother the whole academic year. My brother got married that year in the Japanese Gardens near the big house. To my great delight Allison was invited with her roommates and better yet she had no date. Somehow I got the courage to dance with Allison and the world turned into a spectacular place. I didn't see Allison until the beginning of the next school year when I met her and her new roommate and summoned the courage to ask her out for dinner. To my great delight she said yes, which eventually led to engagement in March of her senior year and marriage in 1975. Those years are wonderful to remember realizing that love does last. We've been married 42 years.


Kristen (Pienkowski) Fitzgerald ’03 and Dan Fitzgerald ’99

Dan and I met after we attended Fairfield University (at different times). Our sisters, Elena Pienkowski and Kelly (Fitzgerald) Lackner, both alumni ’97, are good friends and Dan and I met at Kelly's wedding. Ironically, she was also marrying a Fairfield alumnus, Steve Lackner ’93. Dan and I dated long distance for 3 years while I worked in NYC and he was in Hartford. Fairfield was always our meeting point, so it was perfect that Dan chose Jennings Beach in Fairfield to propose in 2007. We ultimately decided to make Fairfield our new home. Since that time, Fairfield University has been a constant presence in our lives and both of our daughters have been baptized at Egan Chapel by Father Allen. We take every opportunity to bring our kids back to campus for various events such as the Alumni Mass and visit with Santa at Christmas and the Easter egg hunt. We are so proud to have so many Fairfield alumni within our family. Go Stags!

Sarah (Piccolomini) Keenan ’11 and James Keenan ’11

James and I met our freshman year while out one night with friends. Unbeknownst to us, we had mutual friends that helped us to meet that night. However, we forgot to exchange phone numbers by the end of the evening, and we left without having one another's contact information. We soon discovered that coming week that we lived on the same floor in Campion Hall, and shared the same math class. By the end of that week we had become inseparable. We officially became a couple over Christmas break, about a month after meeting, during a now-infamous trip to Montreal, Canada with some of our friends. We have been together ever since. Six years later, James asked me to marry him in New York City, at one of our favorite restaurants. We were married July 16th, 2016, surrounded by our friends and family - many of whom had attended Fairfield University themselves. Fairfield will always be a special place in our hearts!

Valerie (Gradel) Keenan ’80 and Timothy Keenan ’81

We met the first night of classes my sophomore year, Tim’s freshman year. I arrived at Xavier Hall very early for an Accounting class, to find this freshman boy already there. Night classes were not the norm for full time students at that time, so we were both concerned that something was wrong with our schedules. We started talking and found out we had many mutual acquaintances, as we were both from Bergen County, New Jersey. We became good friends, started dating after Tim graduated, and married on April 28, 1984. We were fortunate to live many places around the world due to Tim’s job, but we never missed a reunion; even flying in from Sydney, Australia for my 15 year. Our Fairfield family legacy began with my brother Greg Gradel ’76. It continued with myself, Tim, Christopher Gradel ’06, James Keenan ’11 and his Bride Sarah Piccolomini ’11, Mark Keenan ’12, and Kerianne Keenan, a current junior in the class of 2018. We will see if Fairfield is in the future for Paul, our sophomore in high school!

Jane (Bujanauskas) Pogoda ’74 and Don Pogoda ’73

We met in the fall of 1970 in Fr. Leeber’s Intermediate Spanish course. We enjoyed basketball games and Dogwood Formals during our time at the University. We returned to the Town of Fairfield to buy our first home. By taking our sons to the Women’s and Men’s basketball games we stayed in touch with the University. We cherish the memories and the friendships made there and continue our relationship by attending Mass in the Egan Chapel and traveling abroad with the Alumni Association.

Jennifer Amdur ’09 and Ted Swiderski ’09

We met when Jen asked a friend and his friend, Ted, to help her move some furniture into her beach house. Never thinking that this minor moment could be of such significance! After meeting through mutual friends senior year we started to become friends. We remained close after graduation since our home towns happened to be next to one another in Massachusetts and started dating. We entered into a long distance relationship between New Hampshire and Connecticut due to work and law school. Luckily, Ted had a wonderful career opportunity which brought him back to CT before Jen finished law school and we got engaged in the fall of 2013. Fairfield has always held a special place in our hearts so we decided to buy a house across town. We married in Massachusetts in August 2015. We are very lucky to remain close to the University's campus. Fairfield University brought us together and for this we will always be grateful and will continue to stay active within the alumni community.


Cara (Galterio) Buckenmeyer ’12 and Michael Buckenmeyer ’11

Mike and I first met when we played on the same co-ed intramural basketball team. I was a freshman and he was a sophomore. We only spoke briefly during the season, and didn’t see or talk to each other again until we played again his senior year. My roommates and I had to do some community service and I jokingly asked Mike if he wanted to come to the soup kitchen with us Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Never in a million years did I expect a second semester senior guy to agree to wake up early on a weekend to do community service so when he said yes, I knew he was special. We hung out together around campus and eventually went to see the movie Limitless as our first date. Never did I expect that three and a half years later he would use the same movie to propose. We were married this past October in New York and are currently living together in Pittsburgh with a new puppy. Life couldn’t be better and we are so happy to be on this adventure together.

Jacalyn (Dziados) Colligan ’06 and Tyler Colligan ’06

After briefly meeting as freshmen, Tyler and I officially met through mutual friends during junior year at a townhouse party and dated for two years. After college, life took us in different directions, but we remained close and saw each other often at Fairfield events and with friends. In 2014 we rekindled our love when Tyler moved up to Boston, were engaged 7 months later, and married 6 months after that. Fairfield holds a very special place in our hearts and we love going back to visit campus often. Go Stags!

Pamela (McGrath) Decker ’89 and Joe Decker ’89

My husband, Joe Decker, and I met at Fairfield freshman year. Our first date was the Luck of the Roommate Dance freshman year and we have been together ever since. We are very proud Fairfield alumni and Fairfield will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Kelly (Young) Falcone ’10 and Eric Falcone ’08

Kelly and Eric met in the spring of 2007 while Eric was a junior and Kelly was a freshman. While it was not love at first sight, they were friends from the start. Their friendship continued for the next two years through Eric’s senior year. During finals week, Kelly and Eric ran into each other on Lessing Field. Here they talked for nearly an hour about life at Fairfield and what the future held. Neither really considered the idea that they would have the chance to spend time together again. In the fall of Kelly’s junior year, Eric returned for his first Alumni & Family Weekend. They reconnected that October weekend and the rest is history. Kelly and Eric were married in October 2013 in a Fairfield-inspired wedding on Long Island. Father Allen officiated and each table was named after a favorite location at Fairfield U including Townhouse 141 where their friendship first began.

Trish (Curran) McMullin ’91 and Peter McMullin ’92

We met when I was a sophomore and Pete was a freshman – introduced by our mutual friend, Sue (Quinn) Craig ’91. We were both in Peer Counseling and had many of the same interests. Pete’s friends were all so fun and friendly and my friends and I had a lot of good times hanging out listening to his band, Thru the Mood, and then later, Grand Design. In Pete’s junior and senior year, he lived at the Green Turtle down at the beach while I was on campus as a Resident Advisor. We were married on June 10, 1995 by Fr. Paul Holland who we are still friendly with and who is back at Fairfield U. Our son, Ryan, is at Fairfield Prep, so we are fortunate to be on campus a lot. Pete and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last year. Fairfield will always hold a special place in our hearts. We never miss a reunion!

Alexandra (Dziuma) Orth ’07 and Christopher Orth ’07

I met Alex early freshman year and our groups of friends quickly became one. By sophomore year, I asked Alex out, and then a few months later officially asked her to be my girlfriend in the halls of Loyola. We loved the time we spent at Fairfield and built many memories from cheering on our friends at the hockey rink, visiting Alex in Florence while she was abroad, to enjoying sunny days at the beach. Six years after we started dating, I brought Alex back to Fairfield and asked her to marry me in that very same spot I asked her out. We married that following summer surrounded by many of our classmates, some of whom also married their college sweethearts as well!


Jennifer (Lawlor) Anastasi ’11 & Robert Anastasi ’10

My husband and I met during Welcome Week when we were freshmen. We were introduced by a mutual friend and went to the drive-in movie event together. The next night we went bowling and had such a great time he asked for my number! The rest is history :)

Sandra (Stock) Beyerly ’02 & Mark Beyerly ’95

Mark, already an alumni of Fairfield (graduated 1995), was subbing for our usual pianist at the Egan Chapel while I sang with the liturgical music group my sophomore year at Fairfield (December 2000). Two years later we went out on our first date in March of 2002...we had already cultivated a beautiful friendship and that blossomed into something more. Mark continues to play piano at the Chapel every Sunday for the Community mass and I attend (and sing) when I can with our two little kids! Fairfield brought us together although we did not attend the same years. Fairfield, for us, means family. The Chapel was where we met, it was part of our engagement story, where we married, and where our children were baptized. It feels like a second home to us!

Patricia (Vocino) Femia ’82 & Robert Femia ’82

My husband Bob and I met in our dorm (Loyola) during my freshman orientation. He was a sophomore Chemistry major and I was a freshman Biology major. We became great friends at first, with him tutoring me in Chemistry and giving me rides back home to New Jersey. We married two weeks after my graduation in 1982 and neither of us could imagine life without the other. We have incredible memories of our years at Fairfield and always love returning for events and Advisory Board meetings. Our Jesuit education made a profound difference in our outlook on life, love, family and spirituality.

Catherine (McCabe) Jahne ’89 & John Jahne ’89

I met my husband, John, the beginning of senior year. He was actually dating one of my friends (yes we are still good friends) and was in my town house. Though my group of friends all knew him, we had never met. During the fall semester we got to know each other better and our friendship grew. When he and my friend broke up, our friendship continued and grew into much more. Our first date was Sadie's Hawkins (he asked me) and we were married at Fairfield University 3 years later. He is my one true love and my best friend-a true diamond in the rough. Fairfield University means so much to me and my family. It not only gave me (us) a great liberal arts education, but it prepared me to be one of the finest breeds of nurses. It helped me find the best of friends, the love of my life, and brought my faith and family full circle. As we start to look at colleges for our eldest son, we of course start with Fairfield. For my husband and I, Fairfield means "Home" to us.

Kathleen (Mooney) Cardillo ’02 & Philip Cardillo ’00

We met after college through our FU friends. We were married at the chapel by Father Allen and my Glee Club alumni friends sang throughout the ceremony. Our son was baptized by Father Allen as well. We have a photo on the steps of Bellarmine at our wedding that covers alums from the original graduating class all the way through 2005. If my son was to attend he would be a 3rd generation stag.

Lori (McDonald) DeLise ’84 & Antonio DeLise ’83

Toward the end of my freshman year, I was in the cafeteria and placed my tray down while I turned to fill a glass with milk. When I turned back to my tray, a bite had been taken out of my hamburger. Looking around, I didn't see anyone claiming responsibility, so I sat at a table with my friends and told them what had happened. As I glanced up, two tables over my future husband was grinning and waving at me, taking credit for the bite from my hamburger. That is how I met Tony DeLise (class of 1983). We dated off and on throughout college, and in 1986 he treated me to dinner at the now closed Pancho Villa's in Westport. On the way home he suggested we revisit our old stomping grounds at Fairfield University. Since this was before the days of keycards, we were able to access Loyola, where we had both lived, and when we came to the second floor landing where we shared our first kiss, he asked me to marry him - and reminded me that when we shared our first kiss, I corrected his grammar, since he asked "Can I kiss you?" and I told him the proper usage would be "May I?" We married in 1987, and have very fond memories of our time at Fairfield and the friendships we formed there.

Catherine (White) Guszowski ’96 & John Guszkowski ’96

Cathy was the first person I met at my first class on my first day at Fairfield. I sat next to her at our Freshman Honors seminar, and thought she was a very attractive and interesting person - the sort of girl you hope to meet in college. We were friendly but not good friends for the next couple of years. First semester Junior year, we ended up in three classes together, including our entire morning schedule, so we spent a lot of time together. We sort of more formally got together at the end of that semester, just a couple of weeks before Cathy went to Italy for a semester abroad. I visited her in Florence over spring break that year, and we've been together since then. Next month will be the 20th anniversary of our first kiss, at Cathy's dorm room in Dolan Hall. Fairfield, and particularly the kids from the Honors Program, will always be part of our connective tissue and our history.