ESU Alumni Love Stories

Happy Valentine’s Day, Warriors!

Congratulations Matthew Phelan ’02 and Jacqueline Ventriglia Phelan ’02 on being named the 2021 ESU Alumni Sweetheart Couple! Matthew and Jacqueline met in Shawnee Hall in September 1998. They became fast friends when Matt spilled a large cup of fruit punch on Jackie’s roommate’s white carpet. They began dating in March 1999 and will celebrate 22 years together, and 18 years of marriage this year. They have been through three Army deployments, four moves and have three daughters. They live in Piscataway, N.J., and both work for Foley, Inc. 

*All entries were submitted into a random generator to select a winner.

#Warriorsweetheart #ESULoveStories #Alumni #ESU # Warriors #HappyValentinesDay


April Koveleskie & Franco Fabiano ’11  

April Koveleskie ’11 and Franco Fabiano ’11 met in Lenape Hall in 2007 and remained close friends during college. Their love story didn’t begin until post-graduation.  April and Franco got engaged in 2018 and moved to Jackson, N.J., with their two dogs, Gordie and Trixie. They planned a wedding for June 26, 2020, but had to postpone due to COVID-19. They decided that they couldn’t wait, and still got married on that day! #fromESUtoIDO

Tom Fail '11 M.S. '12, and Leah Connolly '12 M.A. '15

Tom Fail '11 M '12, and Leah Connolly '12 M'15 met when they were both resident advisors in Minsi Hall. They remained in Residence Life, working for Patrick Monaghan for the duration of their undergraduate careers until they were both offered positions as graduate assistants for the Residence Life and Housing Department at ESU. Sharing similar campus experiences brought them together. They returned in October 2017 to where their story began to get married at the scenic Stony Acres and celebrate at Siamsa Irish Pub in Stroudsburg, Pa. They live in Philadelphia, Pa., with their two cats and dog.

David Novak ’08 & Melissa Hanley ’08

Dave Novak ’08 and Melissa Hanley ’08 met during fall 2004 at Shawnee Hall. They quickly became friends and spent just about every day and every weekend hanging out and going to parties. David and Melissa remained in touch years after graduating in 2008, always grabbing a drink or dinner when they could. In 2015, after having dinner together they saw each other every day, and Melissa says “it’s been a whirlwind since then.” They got engaged and bought their first home in February 2017. They got married and rescued a puppy named Studley. Melissa was then due with their first baby, a boy in January 2020. Not long after this announcement, they found out Dave was diagnosed with testicular cancer. They couldn’t believe it. Just when everything was falling into place, the floor disappeared beneath them. Melissa was giving birth and David’s hair started falling out from the chemotherapy. It was surreal. Nonetheless, he is a fighter and beat it. They have been raising their baby boy in this crazy, COVID world, not taking a single day for granted. Dave and Melissa are truly best friends and adore one another. “I have ESU to thank for putting us together!” Melissa explained. *

Robin Kessler ’08 M’12 and Stacy Kessler ’11 M’20

Robin Kessler ’08 M ’12 and Stacy Kessler ’11 M ’20 met in spring 2010 during the class: Major Writers: Geoffrey Chaucer with Dr. Leigh Smith. They were both pursuing their B.A. in English Literature. Upon returning from summer break, Robin and Stacy again found themselves in another class: Medieval Literature, with the same professor. They were both non-traditional students. Dr. Smith, aided by other members of the English department, provided opportunities for Robin and Stacey’s friendship to develop into romance. Happily, several members of the English faculty involved in their match attended their 2017 wedding, Dr. Smith acted as matron of honor.

Kim Andrusin ’90 and Mike Andrusin ’90

ESU Class of 1990...but it all began fall 1986!

Kim and Mike’s stars aligned in astronomy in Moore Science Hall. The championship intramural volleyball teammates solidified a great partnership. Love bloomed with study sessions at Kemp Library, walks to the WESS station, and meet-ups after classes at Stroud Hall. After graduating in 1990, they got married in 1992 and had two incredible sons in 1995 and 1998. They couldn't be happier. 

ESU holds a special place in the hearts of these college sweethearts!

Charles “Chic” Hess ’67 M’72, and Linda Hornberger ’68

Charles “Chic” Hess ’67 M’72, and Linda Hornberger ’68, have enjoyed 51 years of marital bliss, all because they decided to get their teaching degrees at ESSC and become Warriors.  Chic was born and raised in the Philly area and Linda was from the northern New Jersey.

Linda and Chic were students together in the mid-1960s when life revolved around old Stroud Hall and the quadrangle.  Chic and Linda’s romance blossomed after he spied Linda in the gym while he was recording fitness scores for non-physical education majors. Chic couldn’t keep his eyes off of her!   Finally, and with great trepidation, he asked her to be his date for Junior Weekend.  Linda accepted, and the rest is history.  Now with three children and seven grandchildren, they are retired and living the good life by the beach in Hawaii. 

Ken Sauter ’06 and Jenn Beichler Sauter ’06

Ken Sauter ’06 and Jenn Beichler Sauter ’06 met at ESU in 2002 as part of the Living Learning Community at Linden Hall.  They were both education majors and had many classes together.  They became friends and started dating the following summer. They then set up their roommates Carrie and Matt Panzarella ’06 and were inseparable. Ken and Jenn returned to campus on July 7, 2007, and got engaged outside of Gessner Hall, where they had their favorite class together. Two years later they were married and their favorite roommates got married just three weeks after that.

Rick Vroman ’67 and Danna Yoder ’68

Rick Vroman ’67 and Danna Yoder’s ’68 love story began in December 1964 when roommate John Petronis '66 and Rick went on a double date with Danna and her roommate Linda Urban '68. They have both been married for over 53 years! The picture is from their wedding December 23, 1967. Linda and John are in the wedding party and are just to Danna's right. Also, in the wedding party are other alumni of ESU. Jim "Irish" Tiernan '65 and Gary Jones '68.

Lillie Horner ’17 and Francis “Franny” Rhoades ’18

Lille Horner ’17 and Francis “Franny” Rhoades ’18 met at ESU when Lillie was a sophomore transfer student and Rhoades was an incoming freshman. She lived on the fourth floor of Lenape Hall and met a friend named Brian and they became good friends almost instantly. During the next couple of weeks, Brian kept bringing by this guy named Franny who was a friend of his from high school. Franny and Lillie also became the best of friends, hanging out every day.

Franny left for basic training for the U.S. Air Force during summer of 2015. While Franny was away, Lillie wrote every day. When he got home, it was like he never left. They would go to the cafe and hang out all the time. Franny asked Lillie out at a Sam Hunt concert and they have been dating ever since. Now five and a half years later, they are engaged and soon to be married.

Amanda Caviston ’09 and Joe Caviston ’09

Amanda Caviston ’09 and Joe Caviston ’09 met in 2005 when Amanda ran into Joe at the cafeteria where she told him that she liked his Fall Out Boy shirt. Amanda did not know him, but was a new freshman awkwardly trying to make friends. He and his friend had a laugh about it, but no one could predict the next year. They were brought together at a joint Stroud Courier and CAB meeting. Joe was the editor-in-chief of the Courier and Amanda was on the executive board for CAB. This time she had a Spill Canvas shirt on, and Joe told her that he liked her shirt. The Courier, CAB, and their love for music brought them together. As they say, the rest is history! They began dating shortly after with their first date being a “Say Anything show” at Croc Rock in Allentown. Amanda and Joe were married in October 2014 and on Halloween 2019, they had baby boy.

“It has been quite the adventure and we owe it all to a chance meeting at ESU,” explained Amanda. They have gained many life experiences, an education, the opportunity they now have doing something that they love, lifelong friendships, lifelong love, and many memories that they will be sure lasts a lifetime.

Dr. Richard A. Ruck ’17 and Dr. Kerri Ruck ’99

Dr. Richard A. Ruck ’17 and Dr. Kerri Ruck ’99 didn’t meet at ESU, although they are both ESU alumni. Kerri received her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctoral degree at ESU, and Richard received his doctoral degree at ESU where he is also a faculty member. They have two children and a cat. Richard and Kerri’s youngest child, Victoria, is also attending ESU as an education major. They have been married for almost 20 years and have celebrated Valentine’s Day together as a couple for 23 years this year!