Penn 1993 Love Connections Part 4

Since it was Valentine’s Day last week, we asked our Penn 1993 classmates if they met their spouse at Penn. Many classmates responded with the story of how they met, if they met at Penn, and if they both graduated in 1993. We will be sharing these stories over a few posts. Here is the fourth installment of Penn Couples from the Class of 1993!

Stories included in this post:
  • Allison Feder Fliegler, W’93, L’99, and Brett Fliegler, W’93
  • Michelle (Pohusky) Wellman, Eng’93, and Parris Wellman, Eng’93
  • Vyjayanti (Tharmaratnam) Desai, C’93, WG’00, and Sanjay Desai, Eng’93, W’93
  • Christie Shaw Whidden, W’93, and Michael Whidden, C’93
  • Mara Turbiner Felder, C’93, and Alan Felder, W’93
  • Meredith Grabois Josef, C’93, and Brian Josef, C’93
  • Dorothea Schlosser, W’93, and Tom Kopczynski, W’93
  • Hilary (Marion) Hayes, C’93, and Brooke Hayes, W’93, WG’99
  • Margaret (Kane) Schoen, Eng’93, and Larry Schoen, C’93, W’93
  • Liz (Rabii) Cribbs, W’93, and Derek Cribbs, W’93
  • Barry Mark, C’93, and Jorie Green Mark, C’96
  • Sejal (Tailor) Srinivasan, W’93, and Naren Srinivasan, W’94, C’94
  • Carol Wilkinson, C’94, and Dan Schoenholz, C’93
  • Jaclyn (Israel) Leit, C’93, and Richard Leit, C’94

Allison Feder Fliegler, W’93, L’99, and Brett Fliegler, W’93

The first day of senior year, I started walking home from my class at the Colonial Penn Center on Locust Walk, and I noticed Brett Fliegler walking out of the same building. I said something about about not seeing him in a while. As it turned out, he and I hadn’t been on campus together in over a year, since we were each abroad opposite semesters of junior year. Our off campus houses were on the same block (shout out to all my 4038 ladies!), so we walked home together throughout the semester and became fast friends, though we didn’t date at Penn.
After graduation, we both headed to NYC. That fall, Stacey Graff Kaufman, C’93, and I were on our way to meet Suzy Shlensky Aronoff, C’93, Jen Eisenberg Bernstein, C’93, and others (who else?) for Gabi Gould Solash’s, C’93, birthday dinner at Tony Di Napoli’s, when we ran into Brett and Todd Aronoff, C’93, on the street. Brett mentioned that a mutual friend of ours had just given him my number the day before, so of course I asked him why I hadn’t heard from him yet. He called the following Wednesday (still not sure what the hell took so long). Our first official date was a week later—we ate at Fez and saw Blue Man Group in the east Village, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Brett and I have been together for 24 years, married for 18, and took our kids, Emme (15) and Matthew (12), to see Blue Man group on the 20th anniversary of our first date. They thought it was just ok. What do they know anyway?

Michelle (Pohusky) Wellman, Eng’93, and Parris Wellman, Eng’93

Our story began at 220 S. 33rd Street (the Towne Building) one April evening in 1991. Six years of graduate school, one wedding ceremony, five startups, ten jobs, five moves, one money pit and one little girl later, we’re still together. Grayer, older and probably not any wiser. The best adventures are yet to come…

Vyjayanti (Tharmaratnam) Desai, C’93, WG’00, and Sanjay Desai, Eng’93, W’93

Sanjay (nickname Bobby) and Vyjayanti were friends from the very beginning of freshman year. Bobby is pretty sure he met her at a party orientation week, although she doesn’t quite remember that. They were friends throughout Penn…studying together for hours (or trying to study) on the 4th floor of Van Pelt or in Steinberg Dietrich, dancing weekends away with their same group of friends at parties, supporting each other through other relationships, taking Amtrak down to their hometowns together for vacations, and practicing bhangra past midnight with their dance troupe on the High Rise rooftop.

It’s hard to put a date on their official start of their relationship…she laughs at how many Saturday evenings she ignored his inebriated declarations of affection for her because she knew that on Sunday when they met up to study or grab a meal, he would not remember. Post college, they dated long distance as well as overlapped in Boston for graduate school. They got married in 1999 and live in Bethesda, MD with their 11 year old twin boys.

Christie Shaw Whidden, W’93, and Michael Whidden, C’93

We met at the intersection of 40th and Spruce in the beginning of senior year; it will be forever debated whether the fateful spot was at Billy Bob’s or, across the street, at Allegro.  Our paths would cross a few more times in the fall while friends such as Elissa Laitin, Eng’93, Chris Gidden, W’93, Elaine Chang, C’93, and James Helfrich, Eng’94, GEN’95, served as emissaries.  Fortuitous seating in spring semester AMES 090 brought our worlds irreversibly together.
Editor: What is AMES?
Christie: Asian and Middle Eastern Studies!
We started dating in February 1993, got engaged in Japan in November 1995, got married on Long Island in 1999, settled into Brooklyn in 2000, and have since brought three little Quakers into the world: Miranda (11yo), Everett (7yo) and Atticus (5yo).

Mara Turbiner Felder, C’93, and Alan Felder, W’93

 Alan and I met freshman year in a Chemistry lecture hall.  We were both pre-med at the time, and I thought he was really cute so I mustered the courage to sit next to him one day. He soon realized that pre-med was not for him (something about a D in Chem lab) and transferred to Wharton.  We would never have another class together but kept seeing one another around campus.  By junior year we were dating seriously, even staying together while Alan was abroad in Heidelberg. I sent him lots of care packages, and he wrote me lots of letters (snail mail on that thin, blue, international postage paper).
After graduation we remained together even though we were in different cities for several years. We finally came together in 1996 to live in South Africa for a year and get married. It’s been 21 years, and I still tease him about almost failing Chemistry! We now have two daughters (Samantha, 17 and Emily, 15) and a ton of good memories of Penn and all the years that followed.

Meredith Grabois Josef, C’93, and Brian Josef, C’93

Brian and I are both ‘93 grads. We met freshman year at the Quad, but didn’t start dating until sophomore year, when a chance meeting near High Rise North led to our first date—Bocce pizza & TCBY. We got engaged at the High Rises six years later and will celebrate our 20th anniversary later this month! Some of our favorite memories of Penn include late nights at Murph’s and Abner’s with friends, road tripping to see Penn basketball play in the NCAAs in Syracuse without heat in the car, and traveling together during our study abroad semester in Europe. We now live in the Washington, DC area and have two children ages 13 and 10.

Dorothea Schlosser, W’93, and Tom Kopczynski, W’93

 Tom and I met in the first day of school as freshman in Community House in the Quad, and started dating sophomore year once he was single! I can still hear him crunching on Snyder’s Hard Pretzels during Accounting 101 that made me giggle. We are still very close with many of our friends from Penn- we are sitting in our kitchen laughing about pranks, parties and Merkins, some of whom also feature in Penn couples- Amy and Jeff, Steve and Elaine, and Dave and Stacey.  We married in 1996 and we are happily settled in Basking Ridge, NJ with two kids and too many animals.

Hilary (Marion) Hayes, C’93, and Brooke Hayes, W’93, WG’99

Hilary and I met in the Spring of sophomore year.  She came to eat lunch with Katie Faunce at Smokey Joe’s on my first day waiting tables.  I recall they tipped pretty well.
Hilary and I didn’t connect again until the senior week pub crawl of our junior year.  That night, she was hanging with some dude on a double date alongside John Clement, C’92, and Christy Glass, C’93, W’93.  Somehow (thanks Clem), by the time we got to campus, I had replaced the dude.
After a steamy week together, Hilary left on a trip to Israel. She had given me her phone number, but I don’t think she expected me to call her. It was her home-home phone number! Her dad was very confused of why some gentile was calling all summer while his daughter was in the Holy Land. Fast forward to our 25th reunion, and we have been married for almost 21 years and have four great kids (and the oldest of them is a sophomore at Penn)!

Margaret (Kane) Schoen, Eng’93, and Larry Schoen, C’93, W’93

 We met senior year, introduced by Josh Astrof, W’93, Larry’s roommate and my co-editor at the Daily Pennsylvanian. Married September 1997 (with plenty of alums in attendance!) We have two kids, Julie 17, and Emily 14.

Liz (Rabii) Cribbs, W’93, and Derek Cribbs, W’93

Derek and I both lived in Kings Court/English House Freshman year but didn’t start getting to know each other until Sophomore/Junior year. We began dating at the very end of Senior year and have been together ever since. After grad school in Boston, we moved to NYC and got married in 1997 – and just celebrated our 20 year wedding anniversary this past September. Six of our Penn friends were in our wedding party: Rich Barrera, W’93, Tom Lee, C’93, Catherine (Donladson-Evans) Strawder, C’93, Sonia (Verma) Parekh, W’93, Julie (Avila) Stuckmann, W’93, and Jen (Yang) Weedn, W’93, and remain among our closest friends today.  We have been blessed by two wonderful children – Carter (15) and Cassidy (13).  Looking forward to seeing all of our classmates at the reunion.

Barry Mark, C’93, and Jorie Green Mark, C’96

Jorie and I met in 1995 at the candy machine inside the DP when I was visiting my middle brother Adam, C’97.  “Whoa, you look nothing like your brother,” Jorie said to me…. So I took the cue, nudged Adam aside, and spent the next few hours hanging with my future wife.

16 years of marriage and three kids later, we’re enjoying warm Florida winters and our sunny lives together. Jorie is the Senior Manager of Social Media for The Kroger Company, and I’m an Allergist in and around Fort Lauderdale.

Sejal (Tailor) Srinivasan, W’93, and Naren Srinivasan, W’94, C’94

 While I am Class of ’93, I robbed the cradle and married Naren Srinivasan, Class of ’94.  Naren literally picked me up on the bridge over 38th Street on our way to a South Asian Society dance party. I tripped and couldn’t walk and so he helped carry me over!
We were close friends for a long time and only started dating after he graduated from Penn and were married just two years later. We always had a connection. The first time we met up after the bridge pick up, we shut down 1920s Commons we were talking so much. Another time, he took me out to dinner to celebrate my first job offer and we didn’t even notice that we weren’t served dinner two hours after arriving when the waiter asked if we wanted dessert!
We’ve been married almost 22 years and have two wonderful children. When we are not too exhausted from our children, we can still talk up a storm!

Carol Wilkinson, C’94, and Dan Schoenholz, C’93

Dan and I met in line at the old Penn bookstore. After finding out my name and what building I lived in at the Quad, he looked through every floor of my building until he found my room. Then he left a note under the door with his 4 digit Penn extension. Our first date was at Beijing Restaurant on Spruce Street. That was 28 years ago!

During the fall of my freshman year, my 36 year old uncle passed away unexpectedly,  and I became sick from the stress. Dan was not big on making me go to the Student Health on my own and took me to get me checked out many times. He was a keeper! We were inseparable after that. Dan sat in on my classes and we spent all of our weekends in and around Philly.

Jaclyn (Israel) Leit, C’93, and Richard Leit, C’94

 Richard and I met when we were both cast in the Penn Players Fall 1990 show The Threepenny Opera.  He was a freshman, and I was a sophmore. While he can tell you exactly what I was wearing at the first read-through; I can’t tell you much, except that I was trying to figure out how to say his last name. We became friends and he did ask me out, but at that time I had started dating someone else. We started to get closer when we began spending more time together through mutual friends and because we were both psych majors. In my junior year, we were both on the Arts House Theater board and that is when things changed. He became one of my best friends.

We didn’t start dating until second semester of my senior year. We call it the Billy Bob’s conversation because we were there when we realized we should go out. We had a few break-ups and make-ups over the next few years while we were both doing our graduate studies (He was in DC getting his Ph.d and I was in Chicago earning my MSW). We actually never lived in the same state after I graduated Penn until after we were engaged. Ironically, we were also never cast in the same show together at Penn except for that one show. We married in June 1997. We began the most important roles in our lives when our children were born. We have 2 sons (13 yrs and 10 yrs) and  and a Morkie.  Both boys would love to go to Penn.

Love these Penn Love stories? Read Part 1! Read Part 2!  Read Part 3!

We’re still hoping to collect more stories. Send us your Penn love story to upenn1993 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of February 9 – 10, 2018, marked 13 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 14, 2018)! Meet us at the Button!

Join us we count down the weeks to our reunion #93tothe25th:

  • Do you have old photos or mementos from our time at Penn? Photos of Spring Fling? Football at Franklin Field? Classes at DRL? We are taking a trip down memory lane and would love for you to share your memories with our class in a future post. Please email us!
  • Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
  • Classmates are invited to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
  • Donate to The Penn Fund in honor of our reunion! We want to break the 25th reunion participation giving record and every gift matters!

Book Your Hotel Room for Alumni Weekend NOW!

The Marriott Downtown (where we had a Penn 1993 and a Penn Alumni room block) is sold out for Alumni Weekend. There are alternative hotels near by. We recommend booking ASAP! Please see our class website for additional details.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th


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