A Follies Performance and a Handwritten Note — Couples Who Met at Michigan Ross Share their Love Stories
With more than 51,000 living alumni around the world, it’s no surprise that many students have met their partners at the Ross School of Business and went on to form loving, long-lasting relationships.
As couples celebrated their love on Valentine’s Day last week, we reached out to Ross alumni who met their significant other while here at business school and asked them to share their own unique love stories.
Whether you celebrated Valentine’s Day, you and your partner skip out on “corny Hallmark holidays”, or you’re #stillsingle, these Michigan Ross love stories are sure to make you smile.
FOLLIES TO FOREVER
Juliet and Donald Byrd
Juliet and Donald are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this year, having met as MBA students in 1994. Juliet told us their love story began at an orientation barbeque for incoming students.
When Juliet and her roommate went to purchase textbooks, Don and his roommate approached them asking if they could help carry the heavy books. After a little game of matchmaking, the couple felt a spark of romance during a recruiting trip they both attended.
Fast forward to Juliet’s 1994 Follies performance – a big night for the popular Ross vocal club – where Don ‘set the stage’ for the rest of their lives.
“With the help of our classmates, Don planned an onstage proposal during my vocal performance,” Juliet explained.
“I was singing a B-School lyric arrangement of Aretha Franklin’s Natural Woman and he asked if he could be my B-School man forever. I was totally surprised, but of course you know how it ended.”
Congratulations on a quarter-century of marriage!
MICHIGAN ROSS MEET-CUTE
Carol Lu and Nick Danoff
Carol and Nick had a “classic Ross meet-cute.” The two met at Good Time Charley’s on South University during orientation through a new mutual friend and fellow Ross classmate.
Their flirtation did not translate into anything serious then because their summer internships were taking them to different cities. It wasn’t until “Dis-orientation Week” that they decided to go to the Ross Formal and Michigan Stadium together.
Although they had been dating, Carol had been exclusively recruiting for jobs in the Bay Area, while Nick planned to move to Chicago.
In a strange twist of fate, Carol’s company changed her offer location from the Bay Area to Chicago.
The two decided to continue dating after that, and as the story goes, they were married three years later.
Carol said one of their favorite memories from their time at Ross was when they graduated, but still had their apartments through the summer.
“We were finally able to fully enjoy a beautiful Ann Arbor summer, hanging out at places like Zingerman’s, the arboretum, and food trucks in Kerrytown like ‘real adults’,” she explained. “It was magical.”
The couple’s life has now come full circle as they moved to the Bay Area in 2018. They are parents to 5-month-old Jason and 3-year-old Jordan who has already learned to recognize the Block M and say “Go Michigan!”
Elizabeth Commes and Michael Faremouth
Elizabeth and Michael met on their first day of classes in the BBA program at Ross. They had lectures across the hall from each other, and their mutual friend Stacey introduced them as they waited to enter their classrooms.
Intrigued, Mike asked Stacey for more information about Elizabeth. Her unexpected response was all he needed to hear:
“Oh you would love her, she is the only girl in our sorority who subscribes to Sports Illustrated.”
Michael decided to put a handwritten note in Elizabeth’s business school mailbox (believe it or not, there was no email, yet). Elizabeth was unaware that she even had a mailbox, so after a week of no response, Mike asked Stacey to take Elizabeth to her to her box after class.
After sorting through weeks of club flyers and announcements, Elizabeth was surprised to find a lovely card from Mike. She responded with a note containing her number, and the rest was history.
Two children, three dogs (Maize, Blue, and Brady), and 23 years of marriage later, they are thankful that the hallways of Ross birthed their love story.
Laura Frey and Erico Franco Gomes
MBA/MS (Erb) ‘11, MBA ‘10
Laura and Erico met before their MBA classes started during a team-building volunteer activity in Detroit. Erico told us the story of how language and culture brought them closer:
“We met gardening and getting our hands dirty. I was speaking Portunhol to be able to talk to – and maybe impress – Laura who had just moved back from Costa Rica. We were in the same section, which made us see each other quite a lot during the MBA, but we were just friends for more than a year. Even still, Laura came to my hometown in Brazil and met my entire family.”
Erico said that they loved to run and walk around Ann Arbor together. Some of their favorite spots were the river, the Nichols Arboretum, Kerrytown, and Zingerman’s.
Since graduating, they have experienced the world as a couple. They lived in Chile, were engaged in the Philippines, married in Brazil, and took a sabbatical to travel for an entire year.
“We even got to wear our Michigan gear to Mount Everest,” Erico said.
Finally, the couple moved to San Francisco with their chocolate lab, and Erico became an American citizen.
Congratulations on 10 years of incredible adventures together!