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These ’Canes found love at the U!

By Maeve McQueeny

These ’Canes found love at the U!

By Maeve McQueeny
Celebrate Valentine’s Day all month long with these alumni stories of fate, luck, and young love at the University of Miami - then spread the love with our U-themed Valentine e-cards!

Kristen Spillane, B.S.C. ’14, and Matt Millman, B.A. ’13
From the U to ‘I Do!’

Matt and I met in 2013 at UM. We lived up to the hashtag #fromtheUtoido when we tied the knot on Miami Beach in January 2020.

Nothing like a wedding followed by a global pandemic to make you realize you’ve found your true love and partner in life. - Kristen Spillane, B.S.C. ’14, and Matt Millman, B.A. ’13


Mary Anne McAdams (née Stevens), B.A. ’86, M.S.Ed ’01, and Kenneth Adams, B.A. ’83
“I was playing on my clarinet, he joined in on his trombone”

My husband and I met at a ticker tape parade as members of the Band of the Hour. I was playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on my clarinet on the courthouse steps, and he joined in on his trombone. - Mary Anne McAdams (née Stevens), B.A. ’86, M.S.Ed ’02, and Kenneth Adams, B.A. ’83


Patty Kirsch (née Heydet), B.A. ’79, M.S.Ed ’80, Ed.D. ’04, and Andrew Kirsch, B.B.A. ’77, M.B.A. ’81
(Cheerleading) Partners for life

Andrew and I were paired together as cheerleading partners in the fall of ’75. We dated through college, were married, and now we have been together for over 40 years! Most of our UM friends that married after college – at least 15 couples – are still married today! - Patty Kirsch (née Heydet), B.A. ’79, M.S.Ed ’80, Ed.D. ’04, and Andrew Kirsch, B.B.A. ’77, M.B.A. ’81


Lexi Cimmino (née Matiash), B.S.Ed ’08, M.A. ’10, and Michael Cimmino, M.B.A. ’08
“Love at first sight”

It was love at first sight. … Thanks to some mutual grad school friends, we met at the tailgate for the UM-Georgia Tech game in October of 2011—and the rest is history! We’ve been married for five years and are currently expecting our first baby ’Cane in May! – Lexi Cimmino (née Matiash), B.S.Ed ’08, M.A. ’10, and Michael Cimmino, M.B.A. ’08


Lourdes Ermer (née Dergan), B.B.A. ’82, and John Ermer, B.B.A. ’83. ’13
A serendipitous gust of wind…

We met in 1978, during the first semester of my freshman year. I was sitting on the Delta Sigma Pi bench on the second floor of the Memorial Classroom Building, reviewing my notes in between classes as I usually did. He had just sat down on the bench when a heavy breeze suddenly came and blew some of my papers down to the ground level. I asked him to watch over my belongings on the bench while I went down to retrieve the papers that had blown away. While I was gone, he noticed the Time Magazine I subscribed to among my things, which included my name and address. When I returned, we started talking and he mentioned that we lived very close to one another off-campus. We continued to speak that semester, but we didn’t start dating until our second semester. We got married after our sophomore year and had our son two years later, right before graduation. We’ll be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary this year. - Lourdes Ermer (née Dergan), B.B.A. ’82, and John Ermer, B.B.A. ’83


Nerissa Manela, B.M. ’15, and Ryan Rebagay, B.M. ’17 Millman, B.A. ’13
Finding love on Foote Green

We began dating in 2015. After graduation, we started working in Miami which enabled us to stay close to campus. In October 2021, we got engaged on the Foote Green— where we first met back in 2013. - Nerissa Manela, B.M. ’15, and Ryan Rebagay, B.M. ’17


Lokesh Ramamoorthi, M.B.A. ’15, and Krithi Bojja, M.B.A. ’15
“Raised in different cities, with different cultural backgrounds, we found each other at the U” 

I found my love at the U. My wife, Krithi Bojja, was in my M.B.A. class. We were both international students—raised in different cities in India, with different cultural backgrounds – but we found each other and fell in love here at the U. We dated for a year and got married before our graduation. A few friends from our M.B.A. program even traveled all the way to India to join us at our wedding ceremony. - Lokesh Ramamoorthi, M.B.A. ’15, and Krithi Bojja, M.B.A. ’15


Emily Karas, M.H.A. ’21, and Jared Johnson, M.H.A. ’21
Better together

We met on the first day of classes and became inseparable. Pursuing our Master of Health Administration degree together enabled us to grow and learn with each other every day. Loving what you do is important, but doing what you love alongside someone you love is a dream come true. Thanks to the U, we realized that dream and continue to do so every day. - Emily Karas, M.H.A. ’21, and Jared Johnson, M.H.A. ’21


Renee Fuentes (née Reneau), B.Sc. ’16, and Michael Fuentes, B.B.A. ’16
Debate partners become life partners

Our love story began at the U. Our mutual friend Tomas introduced us as we walked across the UM fields on the way to the St. Augustine Catholic Church and Student Center. It was a Sunday, just before the start of the spring semester in 2013. At the time, I was the only girl on the debate team. Michael asked if he could be my debate partner. Three years of friendship followed, filled with countless debate practices, tournaments around the western hemisphere (thank you to the School of Communication!), and Sundays at St. Augustine’s.

Our senior year, Michael asked me to be his girlfriend at a debate tournament in Toronto. After graduation, I moved to Washington, D.C. Michael followed soon after. We were married in Jacksonville on December 12, 2020. So many of our UM friends celebrated with us, including my very first boss and mentor from University Communications, Megan Ondrizek. We took this photo on the [intramural] fields, where we first met, almost nine years later! We are so grateful for our time at the U!” - Renee Fuentes (née Reneau), B.Sc. ’16, and Michael Fuentes, B.B.A. ’16


Maryann Tobin (née Tatum), A.B. ’01, M.F.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’09 and Nathaniel Tobin, J.D. ’06
“18 years later, we still bleed orange and green”

Nate was in the same law school class as my best friend. I had just gotten over a bad breakup and she said, "don't worry, I know this great guy." Of course, this is pre-social media, but she didn't even have his email or phone number! So, we stalked him in the law school courtyard (I ate at that Subway every day for two weeks). 18 years and two beautiful daughters later, we still bleed orange and green. We even entered our wedding reception to "Rock You Like a Hurricane." I'm lucky to work as assistant dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, our two girls and future ’Canes attend summer camp at the U, and we never miss out on a opportunity to give back to the school that brought us together. - Maryann Tobin (née Tatum), A.B. ’01, M.F.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’09 and Nathaniel Tobin, J.D. ’06


Check out our custom U-theme digital Valentine cards, phone and desktop wallpaper, and virtual backgrounds. They're free and available to download here!