Anyone who attended Ursinus knows that alumni couples are quite the “rage.” Ursinus currently boasts nearly 1,000 living married alumni couples. For this love-themed GOLD Standard, we sat down with five of those couples to find out more about their relationships from the very beginning, to their wedding, and beyond. Read on to enjoy the spotlights of Kristen (Mareno) and Nolan Maloney, MaryElizabeth (Ashley) and Harry William Bambi, Margo (Randelman) and Matt Dougherty, Joanne (Althouse) and Liam Marston, and Kim (Goldberg) and Christian Posluck.
Kristen (Mareno) ’13 and Nolan Maloney ’12
1) How did you meet? During a speed dating event during Freshman orientation.
2) What’s your favorite part of your marriage? Continuing to build our life together
3) What was your experience like planning (or attending) your wedding? We currently live in Austin,Tex. so we were planning our wedding from a far. We did have a lot of help because my family is local in Pa. but we still got to travel back to visit venues, do our food tasting and visit the church. The wedding was the best day! We had friends and family travel from all over the country and we had many people say to us after that it was the best wedding they had ever been too :).
4) Do you have any advice for young couples? Always put your partner first in any decision and continue to make your relationship a priority. We get so busy sometimes that people tend to lose sight on what is important.
5) Anything else you want to share about your partnership/wedding/UC experience together? We actually decided to officially date after Nolan (class of 2012) moved back to Texas. I had one more year left (class of 2013) and he had moved back to Texas so we started our relationship long distance. We were long distance for two years until I moved to Texas in 2014. It has been a long journey for us but we are so happy that Ursinus brought us together.
MaryElizabeth Ashley ’13 and Harry William Bambi ’11
1) How did you meet? We first met at a social gathering at Todd Hall. MaryElizabeth wasn’t too fond of the guy swinging from the rafters, which is understandable. In early 2014, MaryElizabeth was hanging out with a mutual friend, Ray Clarke ’11 in Philadelphia. MaryElizabeth noticed Harry was posting pictures eating cheesesteaks nearby and decided to invite Harry to join them for a drink. The rest, as they say, is history.
2) What’s your favorite part of your marriage? Waking up every morning next to my favorite person. Coming home from work to my best friend (Sorry Miles Mawby!). Always having someone who wants to get ice cream with you even if it’s five degrees outside.
3) What was your experience like planning (or attending) your wedding?
Harry William: I was on a work assignment in Belfast, Northern Ireland for five months right before we got married, so there were many Skype calls throughout the day discussing floral arrangements and seating charts!
MaryElizabeth: we knew right away we wanted to get married on campus and it was so special to have our friends and family all gathered together. I’ll cherish it forever! After the ceremony our wedding party all celebrated with a beer in Reimert in the fanciest clothes we will ever wear on campus.
4) Do you have any advice for young couples? Don’t leave the country for a work assignment right before getting married! Other than that: Don’t go into debt to finance a wedding. Starting a marriage in debt is a not a great way to start happily ever after. There are so many wedding options that won’t break the bank.
5) Anything else you want to share about your partnership/wedding/UC experience together? If you both went to Ursinus, you need to get married in Bomberger. It’s perfect in every possible way. I think that because we never dated while on campus we were able to share enough experiences and mutual friends but we were able to appreciate our relationship even More and our roots from Ursinus!
Margo (Randelman) ’15 and Matt Dougherty ’14
1) How did you meet? Matt and I had crossed paths briefly during my sophomore year because I lived across the hall from mutual friends Louis Mueller and Mike Davis. Matt would conveniently run during our swim workouts in the field house every morning as well as always wave and say hello. He later admitted that he got up at 6 a.m. to run, even though his first class was at 10 a.m. specifically for that reason, to be able to be there to say hi during the swim workouts. Then during a Halloween party hosted by Phi Kaps and Ochi, we started to talk and hang out and realized how much we had in common. About two weeks after that, Louis sneakily watching from the Thomas bushes as Matt asked me out on our first date. And to no surprise, Louis was still by Matt’s side on our wedding day as his best man.
2) What’s your favorite part of your marriage? We get to experience everything our life has to offer with our best friend at our side. Through the challenges such as graduate/medical school to the exciting adventures like navigating the whole country of Ireland together, we have accomplished things we will not always remember forever, but also brought us even closer than we thought was possible.
3) What was your experience like planning (or attending) your wedding?
Matt: Hectic. Margo did so much I can truly say she was a super human. She managed to plan an entire wedding while juggling her studies for her PhD. I became the master of saying “yes” and “wow looks awesome” during that time. I handled the fun part…planning our honeymoon to Ireland
Margo: It was very busy. I was in the middle of graduate school and Matt in med school so our free time was limited. But we made lists and divided and conquered! We were also very fortunate to get help from both of our amazing families, which we will forever be grateful!!
4) Do you have any advice for young couples? Remember what marriage truly is. After the pomp and circumstance of the wedding day itself, it’s a commitment, and the best one we feel like we ever made. Be a rock for your partner and take on every day with love hand in hand.
Also, buy two bed covers … during the winter even the most generous people can steal the covers when they fall asleep.
5) Anything else you want to share about your partnership/wedding/UC experience together? Our UC experience is such a large part of our relationship even to this day. Almost our entire wedding party were Ursinus alumni. When we first started going out, we joked about being an Ursinus statistic but at the end of the day, the experiences and life lessons we remember from our time at Ursinus is one reason our marriage is so strong. Admittedly, we still like to come up to campus in the spring/summer and walk around campus with our rescue dog Odin to reminisce but also see the great strides Ursinus is making on campus.
Joanne (Althouse) ’13 and Liam Marston ’13
1) How did you meet? Jojo was on the women’s rugby team and I was in Delta Pi when our two groups had a party in Reimert. While my memory is a little fuzzy, I still recall the exact spot she was standing when I introduced myself. We ended up chatting all night over popcorn in Lower before going our separate ways. The next day, I realized that I had forgotten to get her phone number though. I had never seen this lovely lady in my three years at Ursinus and I thought I’d missed my chance to see her again. My brothers and I had gone down to Wawa for breakfast and sure enough Jojo was there. She beat me to the punch. She came over, asked for my number and invited me on our first date to Ott’s plant nursery. The rest was history.
2) What’s your favorite part of your marriage? Cliché, but going through all sorts of ups and downs together with her. For the good times, I get to enjoy them with my best friend who seems to only enrich every experience. For the tough times, we get to fortify each other, sometimes suffer, but always end up just fine and stronger together. My favorite part of my marriage is the person my wife is and how she empowers me to be my best.
3) What was your experience like planning (or attending) your wedding? It’s the first test of your marriage! (First of many :)) By working with each other, you make the planning manageable and get to build arguably one of the best days of your life. It’s a group effort though. Our wedding was something Jojo had thought a lot about and had specifics she wanted. I really didn’t care as long as her and my loved ones were there. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t do a ton of work to help plan it and work with her to make it special. If one of us cares about something, it becomes important to both of us.
The day itself went off without a hitch and was one of our best memories. The rain threatened all day, but it’s only after I invited our last guests inside for cocktails hour is when the rain finally opened up. It’s like someone was watching out for us. We danced, drank, and had a blast with all our closest friends and family. It was more than we could have asked for.
4) Do you have any advice for young couples? Communicate and empower each other. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a stellar relationship! Honest communication, no matter how tough it can be, builds trust. And trust is quite simply the glue that fortifies every great relationship. This goes hand in hand with empowering each other. Your word holds more weight to your spouse than almost anyone else in their world. Use that to encourage them when they’re striving, reassure them when they fall, and be constructive when they may need to make a change.
5) Anything else you want to share about your partnership/wedding/UC experience together? Don’t be afraid to grow independently for a while. Jojo and I started dating at the very end of our UC experience…Then she moved out to Ariz. as a junior park ranger for six months. I was at home, working at a convenience store and wondering if I’d ever make anything of my life after graduation (I did and you will too, don’t worry), when Jojo called me to say she had gotten the internship she always wanted… for 12 months in Calif. this time. I tried my best to be excited before hanging up and wondering if I could wait that long. Then I thought about the adventures we’d had together, the warmth I felt by just being around her and the joy I felt by hearing her tell me anything. I called her back and told her I will wait as long as I have to and for her to run with this opportunity. It was one of the hardest things I had to do after college, but I came to realize that it was one of my best decisions I have ever made.
Over the next 12 months, she explored Joshua Tree National Park while I got a job and advanced at Lincoln Financial. We both learned some fun and tough lessons, all building us into stronger people. By the time those 12 months were up, we drove cross country and started our life together with maturity we’re grateful we gained while we were separate.
Kim (Goldberg) ’12 and Christian Poslock ’13
1) How did you meet? We loosely knew each other throughout college but not well. We met in Reimert (where all great love stories begin ) at a Rugby/Sig Nu party.
2) What’s your favorite part of your marriage? We love that since we met in college, we were able to grow together as adults once we graduated. It was a great experience becoming ‘real people’ together. It’s a hard time in everyone’s lives but doing it together made the transition easier. We both had such special experiences at Ursinus and we love being able to share that memory together. We have also loved becoming parents together and navigating the crazy world of parenting. Definitely the most challenging but rewarding experience of our lives.
3) What was your experience like planning (or attending) your wedding? Wedding planning was actually less painful than we expected. We gave ourselves an entire year to plan, so we were able to take our time and really figure out the details together. As for the actual wedding, it was amazing to get all of our favorite people, including so many of our Ursinus friends, down to Florida to celebrate with us!
4) Do you have any advice for young couples? Don’t be afraid to take the plunge— if there’s a job, opportunity, or you even just have a dream to move elsewhere, do it! We were so afraid to leave the Philly area after college, but moving to Florida ended up being one of the best decisions we could have made. We do miss our friends, though!
5) Anything else you want to share about your partnership/wedding/UC experience together? We welcomed our first born on May 18, 2018 (Reid Francis Poslock) - hopefully he will be a Bear one day, too!