Alumni submitted their own photos and stories last week, and we’ve compiled them here.
Boris Shurslep, BSBA ’97, and Jacqueline (Vernick) Shurslep, BSBA ’97
“We lived on the same freshman floor, Koenig 2. We got married in 2002, just celebrated our 22nd anniversary. Our son is a freshman at WashU currently.”
Matthew Mayfield, BSBA ’17, and Annalise Wagner, AB ’18
“Matt and I met in 2015 when we were set up for a WashU date party! In college, we explored St. Louis, Matt cheered me on at countless WashU track meets, and I visited him during his semester abroad in Maastricht. Almost 8 years after our first date, we got married in Graham Chapel, about 500 feet from where we first met!”
Paul Benedict, BS ’94, MS ’95 and Heather (Field) Benedict, BS ’96
“We met in Thermodynamics but didn’t start dating until December 1994.”
Jason Hollander, AB ’96, and Debra (Mayers) Hollander, AB ’96
“We started dating our sophomore year at WashU and have been together ever since. First semester of our sophomore year we were both taking a statistics class and although neither one of us liked the class, we both stayed in it because we liked each other! Our first date was at Café Manhattan in Clayton (which is still there!) in the fall of 1993. We have such fond memories of Wash U and St. Louis – concerts at WILD, fraternity and sorority parties, trips to Schnucks, visiting the Ozarks, and of course lots of studying.
We moved back to Debra’s hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio after college and were married in the summer of 1999. There were over 35 WashU grads at our wedding and since Debra’s parents also met at WashU, there were multiple generations of WashU grads there to celebrate! We are the proud parents of three children — Maya (22), Adam (19) and Noa (15) — and will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in September.
Last fall our middle child, Adam Hollander, started his own WashU journey and it’s been so wonderful to be able to watch him enjoy the magic of our amazing university! We go back at every opportunity and continue to be amazed at the growth and beauty of campus. When Adam graduates in May 2026, we will be celebrating our 30th reunion. Thank you WashU for all the friends and family you’ve given us!”
Richard Harmon, AB ’05, and Helen Rhee, AB ’07
“I met my husband, Richard Harmon, during my freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis. He was a close friend of my Resident Advisor at Rubelmann Hall. Our first official date took us to the Hi-Pointe Theatre near Forest Park, where we watched the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” While Rich pursued a BA degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences, I earned my BA in Political Science and History. WashU holds a special place in our hearts as the site of our meeting. Rich is a third-generation WashU graduate; both his grandfather and father graduated from WashU, with his father having been a Clifford W. Professor at the School of Engineering. We married in 2010 and have since settled in South San Francisco. Our family has grown to include two little boys, aged 3 and 8, who bring endless happiness and chaos to our lives.”
Sushil Keswani, BS ’89, and Photine Liakos, AB ’88, MD ’92
“I was a referee during Panhel Plunge and had to blow the whistle on him a few times—didn’t realise he was breaking rules to get my attention! A few weeks later his roommate set us up for Sigma Chi’s Valentine’s event. We’ve been together ever since. 37 years together, 32 married.”
Greg Perlstein, AB ’08, and Lauren Statman, AB ’09
“Lauren and I met when we both signed up to lead teams for Dance Marathon in fall 2005. I vividly remember meeting Lauren at one of our team captain meetings. She vaguely remembers that I might have been there. We both later joined the Dance Marathon executive board and became good friends.
We started dating after I had already graduated. A few years later, we got engaged in Forest Park during a surprise trip back to St. Louis. We got married in 2015 with many of our closest friends from WashU there to help us celebrate. We continue to love spending time with our WashU community near and far and we’ve been back to visit campus many times — most recently with our two young kids in tow.”
Joel Groves, BS ’06, and Megan (Swider) Groves, AB ’07
“I may have earned an engineering degree, but I always tell people that the best thing that WashU “gave” me was an amazing friend and partner: Megan. We met through mutual friends when I was a Sophomore and she was a Freshman. I still remember the moment I met her in the common area of Mudd Hall, and the many moments I spent contemplating the “right time” to ask her out on a date. I sang A Capella and she was into art. We both loved serving others while at WashU, and after graduation we found ways to serve military families as we navigated my time of active duty service as an Army Engineer Officer. We are now back in the St. Louis area with kids of our own and love returning to campus each year for the Mosaic Whispers’ Splash of Color concert every spring!”
Eric Wolfish, AB ’06, and Jessica (Prince) Wolfish, AB ’05
“Summer 2005, in an off campus apartment dinner party, I met Eric! I couldn’t believe I knew everyone in the room except him and we were about to be entering our senior year of college! July 1, 2005, was our first date and we have been together ever since! Going on 14 years of marriage and two kids later, in addition to finding our better halves we were lucky enough to also find our best friends and memories from WashU. And what’s best is my parents met at WashU too!”
Chris Sanderson, BSBA ’16, and Mallory (Minster) Sanderson, AB ’16
“We met during welcome week of our sophomore year; with so many friends in common we couldn’t believe it took that long. Chris was a pitcher on the baseball team and I quickly became his #1 fan. Our early dates spanned from fraternity formals to a day at Grant’s Farm meeting the Budweiser Clydesdales.
Ten years later, we look back on our time in St. Louis with immense gratitude — we would have never found each other if it weren’t for WashU!”
Michal Cook, AB ’17, MSW ’18, and Shrey Aggarwal, BSBA ’17
“We met first week of freshman year on the South 40, not having a clue we’d just been introduced to our future life partner. For the next few years, we were always “a friend of a friend,” our social circles overlapping just enough for the occasional friendly wave across the DUC or small talk at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner. It wasn’t until fall of senior year that Shrey finally confided in his Carnival tango partner (Michal’s best friend), that he’d been harboring a crush. And wouldn’t you know it – she had too! A few awkward texts later, we ventured out on our last-ever-first-date at City Coffeehouse in Clayton. The days that followed quickly turned to months and then years. Together, we tackled graduation, long-distance, first jobs, grad school, moving, getting the sweetest dog ever, and finally sealing the deal on June 25, 2022. Looking down the aisle that day, we were so struck by all the WashU faces filling those seats and standing by our side. Without those friendships, we’d never have gotten to see how much a boy from New Delhi and a girl from Memphis could actually have in common (a whole life, it turns out).
Married for just over 1.5 years now, we’re so thankful for all the experiences we’ve shared, places we’ve traveled, and friends and family who’ve loved us along the way. At the end of the day, when we count our blessings, that fateful introduction on the South 40 in 2013 is #1.”
Phillip Ruff, AB ’87, and Sandra (Bohan) Ruff, BSOT ’88, MHS ’92
“We were in a class together called Childhood and Society (probably helpful for two people who would raise three girls together!) and our friend introduced us outside class. We did not start dating until my senior year, and we have been together through grad school, kids, and multiple moves. We will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this May!”
Fredric Gross, AB ’82, MD ’86, and Laura (Geringer) Gross, AB ’81
“We started as friends. I arrived at WashU in August 1977 and quickly got involved in activities on the South 40. Fred arrived in August 1978 and he, too, got involved in South 40 activities. However, we barely knew each other until September 1979, when we agreed to a “date” at Hillel for the Jewish Holidays before heading to the Rat afterward. Nothing much happened thereafter till the start of spring semester. I knew many of Fred’s Sammy fraternity brothers and would meet them at the pool for a swim, partly to fill my PE credit. Fred, who was on the swim team, (I did a couple of seasons of track — Go Bears!), started to also show up. Then it was Ft. Lauderdale for spring break, where I traveled to the Biltmore hotel with WashU friends. Fred went to high school in Ft. Lauderdale and next I knew, he invited one of the guys I was with (who he grew up with in Brooklyn) and me to his house for dinner. The ball was rolling. After we returned to St. Louis we started to date. Together, we were active in student government; he “moved into” my RA rooms first in Eliot, then Shepley; had great times at Thurtene Carnival, especially when Fred was a member of Thurtene; and enjoyed formals, Walk-In-Lay-Down theatre, intramural sports, including inner tube water polo, and lots more.
I graduated and went to Georgetown Law. Fred graduated and went to WashU Med, and I returned to St. Louis after graduation.
We married in 1985, moved to Manhattan in 1987, Boston in 1990, and Norfolk/Virginia Beach, where we remain, in 1991. We had a son in 1987, a daughter in 1989, and a second daughter, Rachel, WashU Class of 2014, in 1992.
We also stay in touch with WashU friends and love seeing the close friendships our daughter has with her WashU friends.”
John Lee, MBA ’99, and Laura (Spreck) Lee, MBA ’99
“There were at least six marriages to come out of our Olin MBA Class of 1999. It was not that big of a class. It was quite amazing. I met my husband at orientation, we were good friends through first semester, and got engaged at graduation. We moved to L.A. after graduation.”
Camp Williams, AB ’06, and Vanessa (Lewis) Williams, AB ’06, MD ’10
“This is two love stories — of best friends marrying best friends. Vanessa, Camp and Stacie met freshman year on Liggett 2 in 2002. Dave and Camp had met at pre-O. The four of us became fast friends. Dave and Stacie married in 2009, Vanessa and Camp in 2010 after completing medical school in STL. 22 years later and four kids between us — we are married and still best friends about to celebrate our 40th birthdays in Italy this June. The photo at right was taken at the Sigma Nu formal in 2005.”
Allen Mattison, AB ’96, and Cara (Pollock) Mattison, AB ’96
“The summer after high school graduation, in the days before email or Instagram groups for incoming freshman, our mutual friend Meredith Nagel, BA ’96, wrote to Cara and said, “There’s a cute boy coming to WashU with us, and I think you’ll like him.” We started dating fall of freshman year, just as Meredith predicted.
Two years after graduation, we got engaged on the roof of Brookings, as the sun was setting, thanks to help from Assistant to the Chancellor Sara Johnson and Father Gary Braun (who remains proud of the role he played, leaving a bottle of celebratory champagne on the roof of Brookings for two Jewish students).
Now, married for a quarter-century, we’ve got two kids, Rachel and Ben. And the best part is that Rachel’s now a first-year student at WashU!”
Marvin Williams, AB ’88, and Kimberly (Anderson) Williams, AB ’87
“Kimberly (Anderson) and I met at WashU in 1984, which is when my life changed forever. The best way I can explain the start of my blessing is as follows:
Remember when we both first met,
And I gazed into your dreamy eyes;
The blessing that the good Lord gave me
Was far beyond anything that I could surmise.
Remember when we’d go take breaks
At Fat’s Down Under for a scoop of ice cream;
Your gorgeous face and charming smile
Made me feel like it was all just a dream.
Remember when we spent Spring break
With no cares in the world, all alone;
The love that we shared really lifted me up,
I felt like a king on a throne.
Remember when we went out swinging
On campus in the snow on a winter’s night;
The frigid air had no effect on the mood,
As we kissed and held each other tight.
Remember when we put down a blanket,
Then had a picnic in Forest Park;
We listened to Sting at the Muny,
Until the dusk faded into the dark.
Remember when we said “I do” at Graham Chapel,
And you became my lovely wife;
I knew right then that this dream was real,
When you vowed to share your love in my life.
We’ve shared special moments in our past
Full of laughter, smiles, and grins;
This happiness continues everyday I’m with you,
Because I’m experiencing my future “remember when(s).”
Rahi Shah, AB ’18, and Ruby Arora, AB ’18
“Ruby and I first met when we both participated in the Diwali Fashion Show during our first year at WashU! Over the rest of our first year, we would occasionally run into each other on campus and wave “hi” to each other. Coincidentally, we then both happened to be working in St. Louis the summer after our first year, and I got to know Ruby better through our mutual friends. On August 8, 2015, I finally mustered up the courage to ask Ruby on a picnic date at Art Hill in Forest Park listening to Imagine Dragons and eating sandwiches. From that moment on — through graduating from WashU, through the pandemic, through now as we both finish up medical school —the love we have for each other has never faded. We will always reminisce about all our memories at WashU and can’t wait to celebrate our 9th anniversary this year!”
Xiaopeng Dai, MArch ’12, and Anna Jia, MArch ’12
We both came from China, we met each other in the new student orientation and worked together as a team for a pre-semester tasks. That is how we know each other . We got married in 2015 and now we have 2 little girls and living in Chicago.