Stories of relationships that blossomed through Marquette University

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re shedding light on love stories with a special Marquette connection.

Kristin Cherrier, Nurs ’18, and Tom Gorman, Bus Ad ‘18

Despite being in the same 2018 class, it wasn’t until a trip to Dublin, Ireland, during their junior year in 2017 that Kristin and Tom met. Kristin was spending the semester abroad with a group of Marquette nursing students, and Tom was visiting one of Kristin’s classmates with a group of friends over spring break. After being introduced on St. Patrick’s Day, they hit it off and began dating once Kristin returned home to Milwaukee that summer. They got married on Sept. 16, 2023, at the Church of the Gesu. They still call Milwaukee home and you can find them at most Marquette basketball home games.

Katie Robertson, Comm ‘21, and Nick Howard, Arts ‘22

Katie and Nick met at the Ignatian Leadership Retreat run by Campus Ministry before the start of their freshman year. The pair didn’t bond with each other right away but made mutual friends at the retreat, which brought them closer in time. The couple started dating a few weeks later and have been together ever since, with their ILR friends from day one still by their side.

Leah Celarek-Stellpflug, H Sci ‘19, and Austin Stellpflug, Arts ‘18

Austin was working for facilities and serving as a ball boy at Leah’s Marquette soccer game down at Valley Fields in 2017. Austin struck up a conversation with Leah’s dad on the sidelines during the game, Leah’s dad introduced them after and the rest is history. The couple got married at the Church of the Gesu this past fall and will always be thankful for their Marquette roots.

Megan, Bus Ad ‘20, and Tyler Landoch, Bus Ad ‘20

Megan and Tyler met at Caffrey’s during their senior year through a mutual friend. The couple started dating two weeks later and have been inseparable since. In October 2023, Megan and Tyler got married with dozens of Marquette alumni (family and friends) by their side. They’re thankful for Marquette bringing them together.

Marnee June Fuertes, Nurs ‘19, and Brett Barton Arts ‘19, Dent ‘22, ‘24

Marnee and Brett originally met during their freshman-year English class but didn’t officially reconnect until their sophomore year on National Marquette Day. Marnee and Brett’s respective best friends, Olivia and Jack, were dating, so they all just hung out together that day. After the basketball game, Brett walked Marnee back to her dorm, asked for my number, and they were off. After several study dates, coffee runs, Snapchats and FaceTime calls over summer vacation, Brett asked Marnee to be his girlfriend at the start of junior year. They dated the rest of their time at Marquette.

They graduated from undergrad in 2019, then spent much of their time driving between Chicago and Milwaukee while Brett was part of the pre-dental scholars program at Marquette and Marnee started working as a Cardiac/CVICU nurse. Brett matched at Marquette for his orthodontics residency, and Marnee moved back to Milwaukee to start this a chapter with him. They got married on Aug. 19, 2023, at the Church of the Gesu. As for Olivia and Jack? They remained Marnee and Brett’s best friends and are now also married. Jack was the co-best man at their wedding and Olivia a bridesmaid.

Allison (Achtel) Blackmur, Nurs ‘16, and Caleb Blackmur, Comm ‘16

Caleb and Allison met in McCabe Hall and started dating on Valentine’s Day in 2014. They were married in 2020 and now have two sons — Parker (2) and Scotty (1).

Rachel (Pogodzinski) Hollister, Ed ‘21, and Clyde Hollister, Eng ‘22

Rachel and Clyde met on their first day of SPARK, when Rachel was a new transfer student and Clyde a new freshman. Rachel’s randomly assigned roommate had left on the pre-orientation Campus Ministry Ignatian Leadership Retreat and offered to introduce Rachel to her new retreat friends. They went to lunch at the Commons dining hall. Fast forward five years, and three of those friends became Rachel’s bridesmaids and one of those friends became her husband. The couple got married at the Church of the Gesu, with Rev. Ryan Duns, S.J., officiating.

Sophia Pirozzoli, Nurs ‘20, and Jack Ciesinski, Arts ‘20

Sophia and Jack knew about each other for years but didn’t meet in person until their second day at Marquette. The couple texted before they got to school and Sophia introduced herself right away when they bumped into each other in the Cobeen dining hall. They dated through their four years and then moved to Washington, D.C. after graduation. They were married on April 22, 2023. Many of the friends who supported them while far from family at Marquette celebrated with the couple that day.

Elizabeth “Beth” (Ranft) Ostrowski, Eng ‘08, and Patrick Ostrowski, Arts ‘09

Beth had injured her ankle and was on crutches, and Patrick worked for Student Safety and drove students around campus during the day. For six weeks, Patrick drove Beth to class every Tuesday and Thursday. When Beth was healed and no longer needed a ride to class, Beth offered to cook Patrick dinner as a thank you. They now live in Nashville and have been married 12 years with two daughters.

Kristin (Phelps), Bus Ad ‘90, and Dr. Nicholas Guehlstorf, Arts ‘93

Kristin’s roommate was dating Nic’s brother and the couple met through them in 1992. Nic was still at Marquette and Kristin had graduated and was working downtown. They would often meet in front of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel. They dated for five years through graduate school and work transfers, but came back and were married at the Church of the Gesu on Dec. 26, 1997. They come back every year for Christmas Day Mass and take a picture on the altar with their four children.

Lora (Siebers) Reinholz, Bus Ad ‘84, and Paul Reinholz, Eng ‘84

Lora and Paul met at a Mashuda dorm party on Jan. 29, 1983, with music by the Romantics serving as the soundtrack. The pair became fast friends. Paul had built a computer a couple of years earlier and his dorm room was directly beneath Lora’s. She went to his dorm room to write her papers (instead of using her own electric typewriter), then used his 256 baud modem to send them to the computer center so she could print them off. Paul had an engineering co-op job, so they had expensive phone bills back when you had to pay for long distance. They sent messages back and forth using his computer and his trusty modem. They’ve been married almost 39 years, have four kids and five grandkids in Milwaukee and Norway.

Siena (Morrissey) Boutelle, Arts ‘17, and Eric Boutelle, Bus Ad ‘17

Eric and Siena had quite a few mutual friends, yet never officially met until the summer before their senior year. Siena was running late from work — frozen burrito in hand — as she piled into her roommate’s car for an off-campus adventure to the Wisconsin State Fair, squeezing into the backseat next to Eric. It somehow became a double date as some of the larger group couldn’t attend, and Eric and Siena were quick to bond over their love of all of the animals, the wacky foods to try, and the novelty of the 25-cent milk stand (Eric’s favorite from childhood). A few days later Eric texted Siena to plan dinner. This led to their earliest adventures involving many karaoke nights at Milwaukee Ale House, Brewers games, Thursday nights at RWB, Marquette Basketball games, on-campus eats with Evan and Gianna, lake days out at Eric’s Oconomowoc home, and more. The two have been inseparable ever since.

Kirsten Cash, H Sci ‘11, and Owen O’Riordan, Arts ‘11

Kirsten and Owen met while working for Milwaukee Therapeutic Recreation summer camp during the summer before their junior year. They first interacted at orientation for the camp, and then one of their mutual friends invited them to a party that night. Owen walked Kirsten home, kickstarting a summer where they spent every day together. They stayed together through study abroad and lived in different cities during grad school before finally ending up together in Chicago. They now have three children together.

Michelle (Moran) Gross and Jim Gross, ‘95 Undergrad, Grad ‘02

Michelle knew Jim as one of those guys around campus all were familiar with. He was a Marquette cheerleader and talked to everyone, including random strangers. The pair were in a few classes together and were involved in the Business Admin Student Council during their freshman and sophomore years. She initially thought of him as a nice, friendly guy, but he always walked around campus with headphones singing out loud as he went to class — so maybe he was a better fit for her roommate. Michelle tried to set them up but after a date or two it didn’t work out. By junior year, they got to know each other better working closely as co-presidents of BASC. One day, Jim asked Michelle if she wanted to catch the movie “Rudy” with him. After the movie and some pie at Baker’s Square, they started dating and got married two years after graduating in 1997. The couple have celebrated 26 years of marriage and have two boys, Anthony (20) and Nick (17). Nick will be joining the Marquette incoming freshman class in Fall of 2024.

Alyssa Foley, Ed, Arts ‘08, and Dan Mostyn, Eng ‘08

Alyssa and Dan met during Orientation week freshman year, became fast friends, and grew closer on long walks after Tuesday Masses at St. Joan of Arc Chapel. They started dating sophomore year and have been together ever since. In 2008, Dan proposed in front of St. Joan of Arc Chapel, where their relationship began. The couple got married in 2009 and now have three more Marquette fans in their family — though one cheers more for Iggy than the team.

Juana Diaz-Sawyer, Arts, and Kevin Sawyer, Arts ‘75

A mutual friend set Juana and Kevin up by telling each of them the other wanted to talk. They connected and went on their first date at the Multicultural Center on Wells Street. Within the year they exchanged vows at the chapel in April 1973. They remain happily married today, set to celebrate their 51st anniversary in April.

Cami Malak, Nurs ‘24, and Max Pickart, Arts ‘23

Cami and Max met during the fall semester of their sophomore year through a mutual friend and Max’s current roommate, Xavier Savard, Arts ‘24. Immediately, Max admired the way that Cami sought out each person and made it her mission to infuse a soft, kind energy into the world. They quickly became friends, and their friend groups merged. At the end of winter break in January of 2022, Max visited Cami in her hometown, Middleton, Wisconsin, and they sat and chatted over a cup of coffee — for seven hours. A few months later, they became partners. Coffee dates at Stone Creek Coffee Company ensued, late nights in Memorial to study became frequent, intramural soccer with their dearest Marquette friends filled their Tuesday evenings, and Milwaukee and Marquette became their shared home. Throughout the past couple of years, Cami and Max spent time with one another’s families, which ultimately merged into one big family on Dec. 26, 2023, when Max proposed to Cami with their families present in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Katie Hatke, H Sci ‘ 12, and Kevin Bubolz, Comm ‘12

Katie and Kevin met on the first day of freshman year when Katie got lost trying to find her first class in the ROTC building.

Katie Tuchel, H Sci ’17, and Enrique Torruco, Comm ’15, Grad ’17

Katie thought of Enrique as the cute RA on the floor above hers during freshman year. That summer they started dating and have had nothing but fun ever since. They made it official and got married in October 2021, and had their baby boy, Enrique IV, in July 2023.