Penn in Love

For Valentine's Day, we asked some College couples how they met.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

For some alums, their College experience includes meeting their spouse-to-be. From borrowing ink in the library to student orientation at the LGBT Center to fraternity parties, each meeting is purely Penn. For Valentine’s Day, we asked some alums for their stories. 

James Siegel, W’56, and Patricia Stefany Siegel, CW’57

James: She was the Campus Queen in 1954, and I was on the football team. She used to notice me, so she claims now. One day, I was at the old library and my fountain pen ran out, and my paper was due at 1:00. This was at 12:15. I got up to go to the bookstore to buy some ink, but I saw this gal with an inkwell. I gestured to her that I was out of ink, and she slid her inkwell across the table. The very next day, at the same time, I went to the library, and she was sitting in the same chair. I thanked her and told her I got an A on the paper. Of course, only 24 hours later, I didn’t have my grade yet, but she fell for the line.

Patricia: I knew better all along!

James: She invited me to sit down, and I asked her if I could buy her an ice cream cone. A year later we were married, in our senior year.

Patricia: We’ve been married 66 years now, and that’s how it all started.



Jeanette Melendez, C’95, and Valeriani R. Bead, C’94

Valeriani: We met at an audition for The Inspiration a capella singing group! We had our first official date at Zanzibar Blue restaurant and the proposal was in Rittenhouse Square. Other special places are W.E.B. DuBois House and Billy Bob’s.


Lisa Tretler, C’94, G’99, WG’99, PAR’24, and Jonathan Tretler, C’93, WG’97, PAR’24

Jonathan: We met Lisa’s first week of her freshman year (1990) when I was a sophomore. We actually met at a fraternity party (Sammy) and not my own fraternity. We were introduced by a fraternity brother of mine who was also there and who went to high school with Lisa. Turns out we grew up about 15 minutes apart from one another, but never met until Penn! I actually proposed to Lisa in front of the button just before winter break in 1997 so we will always remember the button. 

Jamie Easton, C’00, and Loren Easton, C’01, WG’07

Jamie: Loren and I met in a Political Science class in Meyerson Hall.  Perhaps since I took amazingly neat notes, he wanted to study for the final exam together.  Nevertheless, we starting dating from that point forward.  We used to meet before any classes we took together in front of the button. After we got married, we were back at Penn for Loren's Wharton Grad School!

Alvin Ong, C’90, and Sulin Yao Ong, C’90

Sulin: We met in junior year high school in NYC. Alvin asked to carry my books and that was it. We were so excited when we both got into Penn! We lived in the quad our freshman and sophomore year, so the quad was especially memorable for us. Our favorite memory is probably playing video games in Houston Hall to de-stress and biking on campus. We also both took a sculpture class at Penn. That was so memorable because it’s something we were unfamiliar with and was so tactile and interactive.

Amanda Cohen Lewis, C’99, and P.J. Lewis, C’99

We met at an off-campus party, early freshmen year. We were fast friends but didn’t date until sophomore year. The Quad will always have a special place in our hearts, as we spent a lot of hours sitting on the benches outside getting to know each other. Of course, it would be difficult not to mention extensive time spent at both Beijing and Smokes.  And our first official date was downtown at D’Angelos—it is still there! 

Marianne Mondt, C’08, and Katherine Atkinson, C’10

We met at a new student orientation at the Penn LGBT Center in September 2006. We spent a lot of our time together as friends and then as a couple. We’ve continued to come back to campus for events, such as alumni weekends and homecomings. We live in Philly and any chance we get we like to go to Bui’s Lunch Truck on 38th and Spruce and also grab some Wawa coffee. We’ll eat our breakfast sandwiches on the green in front of Harrison College House where we both spent several years. 

Ronald Silikovitz, C’62, and Arlene Silikovitz, CW’65

Arelene: I signed up for the Psych Society at a booth at orientation, and then we met at a Pysch Society mixer the following weekend.

Ronald: We then went to Pagano’s for pizza, and we were so enthralled with each other that nobody ate anything. When I got home that night, I am told that I said to my family “I met the girl tonight that I am going to marry!”

Arlene: And the rest is history! 

Lance Stier, C’04, and Rachel Kreinces Stier, C’05

Lance: We met via a dear friend, Michael Givner [C'05]. Rachel was a "pre-frosh" spending the weekend at Penn. We met one Friday afternoon when I was on the way to give a presentation outside Upper Quad. Rachel commented to her friend that it seemed like I paid no attention to her but years later, she found out (quite accurately), that I told my mom right after we met that I had met this very pretty, smart friend of Michael Givner's. 21 years later, here we are :) I took Rogers Smith's Constitutional Law Class to be with Rachel. Professor Smith remembered me as “the boy who sat next to her,” when she shared we got married. We sat in Drexel University's press box for one of our first dates, while I was covering the women's basketball game for the DP. And we spent our first days as a married couple where it all began, staying at the Inn at Penn.