It All Began on the Hill...
Happy Valentine's Day! After four (or more!) years on the Hill, there's so much we hope you carry with you: a commitment to theory, practice, and impact, a pathway for a fulfilling career, cherished memories. Maybe you left the Hill with even more: your person. Did you meet your significant other on the Hill? Below, we're sharing the stories of some of the lucky alumni who met their match at WPI.
WPI means everything to us. It is where we found each other, our current career paths and our own identities. WPI was a special time during our relationship because we would just have fun every day before and after class.
Our favorite campus memory was graduation day under the tent on the quad. It was the first time our families met each other and it was a day full of joy to celebrate our accomplishments and time together at WPI.
Jenny Wallace ‘16 and KJ Haney ‘16
We met our freshman year –we were on the same floor (Riley 3!) and in the same CA group.
We spent a lot of time in Higgins House during school as part of SAS, and, even better, we got married at Higgins House! We like to walk through the garden every time we come back to campus.
Through WPI we've found friendships, love, countless memories, and the foundation to be successful and resilient in our lives. It's a place that will always be familiar even as the community grows.
Tori Alexander ‘15 and Tyler Alexander ‘15
Freshman year we both lived on the second floor of Daniels. For about a week, Carolyn didn’t like me very much. Turned out that I met my wife on the first day of college!
I am on campus almost every day. In addition to teaching WPI Business School Courses and MQPs, I support the Dean of Students Office, Greek Life, and anything else that comes my way. Everyday Carolyn and I get to reminisce about how much has changed, and how much has not changed.
Wally Towner ‘83 and Carolyn Towner ‘83
We met while working at a small Biotech in Boston. While we knew that both of us had graduated from WPI, it turned out that we had quite a few WPI friends in common. After knowing each other for a year, we finally decided to go out on an official date. And 20 years later, here we are.
We still have active ties to WPI. Leanne attends reunion weekends and helped organize her 15 year reunion. And most recently, after bringing our niece for a tour of the campus, she applied for the class of 2027, and just the other week received her acceptance. So the WPI tradition continues!!
Leanne Smith ’01 and Brendon Smith ’99
In 2016, we were both selected to be community advisors at WPI. On the first day of training, everyone was told to sit next to people we did not know. Thankfully Derek picked Haylea as his stranger of choice! Throughout the week of training, our friends continued to push us closer and closer. We came out of NSO practically married, and seven years later made it happen for real.
We are forever grateful for WPI. We started our lives there; built lifelong friendships, kicked off our careers, and most importantly found each other. We're both still involved in our Greek life affiliations and both continue to mentor current students through the Bioinformatics department and the AIAA HPRC team.
Derek Porter ’17 and Haylea Porter '19
We met in the Fall of 1992. We were both civil engineering students and had an early morning CE class together. Being creatures of habit, we sat in the same seats each class, and we happened to sit a few seats apart in the same row. Lisa recalls that Roy started to get to class early so she would need to ask him to move so she could walk past.
Our favorite place on campus was the bowling alley in the former alumni gym. We loved bowling and would double-date with friends! I bowled my best string on campus -206.
We have fond memories of our time at WPI and know that our education has served us well. We love being on campus, we always felt like it was a second home for us.
Lisa Schletzbaum ‘95 and Roy Schletzbaum ’95
We met at the start of the school year sophomore year, in 1998. I was a transfer student and was placed in a suite with three other women, one of whom was dating Paul’s roommate. We quickly became friends based on our Ohio heritage, our shared extracurriculars (band and track), and the fact that I had a car that could drive him home for school breaks. It took us until senior year to start dating, though!
WPI set us both up for success in graduate school and our careers. It served as a solid foundation for everything that followed. It’s been challenging to stay involved as we’ve moved around for Paul’s military career, but we are looking forward to reconnecting when we move back to Massachusetts for his next assignment at Hanscom Air Force Base this summer.
Amanda Muller ’01, MS ’02 and Paul Muller ’01
We both signed up to go to Hong Kong in C term of our junior year. Our friendship began in ID2050 B term, when we were put in the same project group working with WWF to study the Chinese white dolphins. In Hong Kong, we became best friends, always working together, laughing together, and exploring everything together. We remained close after IQP and even joined the same community service fraternity, APO. We finally began dating on pi day of our senior year.
In December of 2021 they got married in Hawaii and now live happily in California where Giselle is a Facilities Electrical Engineer and Amanda is the Director of Clinical Services for a behavioral support company.
Giselle Agdeppa-Verbera’17, MS ‘18 and Amanda Agdeppa-Verbera ’17
The first time I saw Jason, it was 2014 and I was seconds away from failing Chemistry 1 the spring semester of my freshman year at WPI. I overhear a young Jason asking the chemistry professor to be a teaching assistant for the class next semester because he had gotten A's in all the chemistry classes at WPI. You could say I was starstruck and completely in awe. We wouldn't officially meet until our senior year at WPI in 2017 through mutual friends.
We bonded over our love for family, nerdy engineering analogies, deep conversations about life, traveling and experiencing new cultures.
Ivanna Stuart ’18, MS ‘18 and Jason Bruno ’18
Marco and I met during Connections before our freshman year at WPI. Something clicked and we spent a lot of time together, which resulted in us starting to date a month later. We were both architectural engineering majors and worked on a lot of designs together throughout our college careers. Now, five-plus years since meeting at WPI, we are lucky enough to have gone on a lot of adventures and now live together in Waltham with our friends and a small black cat.
Allison Smuk '21 and Marco Garcia-Duarte ’21
We met in Alden Hall our first day at WPI during International Orientation. We became very close friends and had a crush on each other but did not date until after graduation. We did long distance for 3 years as Danny had to move back to her home country. Finally in 2020, we eloped and were finally able to live in the same country again. After 2 years of COVID we celebrated our wedding in November 2022. More than 40 of our WPI friends traveled to Mexico to attend our ceremony. We couldn’t be happier to celebrate our love with the presence of our WPI family.
Daniela De la Fuente ’16 and Fernando Gonzalez ’16, MS ‘16
Before Rachel moved over to the IT Department, she worked in Athletics as the Assistant Basketball Coach. We met there and became best friends first.
WPI will always be an important place for both of us. We have both worked here for nearly a decade! We are lucky to work with such amazing students and colleagues. WPI has offered opportunities for professional growth and has provided a supportive and inclusive environment throughout our careers here. And most importantly, WPI helped us find our person.
Stephanie Riley-Schafer and Rachel Riley-Schafer MS ‘17