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A Terp Valentine: 10 “How We Met” Stories

From Football Games to Dining Meetups, Let Us Count Some Ways That Terps Have Found Love

By Maryland Today Staff

Valentine's Day gif

Valentines by Jason Keisling, gif by Stephanie S. Cordle; photos, below, submitted by alumni

Valentines by Jason Keisling, gif by Stephanie S. Cordle; photos, below, submitted by alumni

Terp love stories are as varied as a box of Valentine’s chocolates—over dinner at Plato’s Dinner, sprawled on LaPlata Beach or while exam-cramming in Anne Arundel Hall. The University of Maryland Alumni Association is feasting on them all during this holiday of romance.

It’s been collecting alumni “how we met” stories for its spring membership drive, “Fall in Love for Life,” and some of the more than 15,000 known Terp couples stepped forward to share theirs.

Tell your own Terp love story, or your love for Maryland story, on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page using #TerpLove4Life by Feb. 28 for a chance to win a prize package, including a series of Valentine’s Day cards (above). Those who join by then can save up to $250. Learn more at

Here are some of our favorites so far:

Patrice and Richard ParsonOur Terp love story started on Homecoming day in College Park in 2003. I was a member of the Terps football team playing the Clemson Tigers. Our quarterback, Scott McBrien, threw a perfect pass, hitting me in the end zone for a touchdown. After celebrating with teammates, I looked up at the Jumbotron for the instant replay. Instead, though, I noticed a beautiful girl on the screen with Special K (a Terps superfan). I quickly got my head back in the game, which became a Homecoming victory. That night I walked into my dorm room, and as I turned to close the door, the same beautiful girl from the Jumbotron was walking past. As my heart raced, I said, “Excuse me,” and she came back. We became friends and are still not sure when the “just friends” became love. Together for 15 years, married for 12 in July, with two wonderful children, and I can’t think of the University of Maryland without Patrice Parson ’06. —Richard Parson ’05

Gregory Mack and Kristina (Moyer) Mack

Not only did I receive an incredible experience and education at the University of Maryland (as did my parents and currently my sister!), but I also met the love of my life. Gregory Mack ’11 and I met in 2011 were theatre majors working the same backstage shift at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Last year we tied the knot, and are excited to spend the rest of our lives together and continue supporting UMD. —Kristina (Moyer) Mack ’14


I met my wife, Stephanie Galanie ’10, before either of us were officially Terps. We both came to campus for Banneker-Key scholarships interviews in Spring 2006, then enrolled at Maryland. I joined the Honors College group on Facebook and saw her picture, but I couldn’t place where I recognized her. So I messaged her on AIM to smoothly ask, “How do I know you?” She forgave that awkward opener, and we messaged each other all summer.

Ryan Salvador and Stephanie GalanieOn move-in day, my friend and I had an extra ticket to a concert. Once again I messaged her, and it just so happened that it was two of her favorite bands. Five minutes later, we met again in person. We both graduated in 2010 and were married in 2013. We'll never forget late-night snacks at the North Campus Dining Hall, Honors ice cream socials in Anne Arundel and tango lessons in the Denton Hall basement. —Ryan Salvador ’10

(Above is a photo of our first meeting at the Banneker-Key interviews.)

John Rogel ’89, ’92 and I met while both music majors at Maryland in 1985. He (a singer) and I (a pianist) were in the same baroque and classical music history class with Dr. Suzanne Beicken in the spring. That fall, John asked me to be his accompanist. Our 30-minute rehearsals stretched into 60, then 90, when we realized we had a lot more in common than just music! We got married in 1990. The two of us will always remember our Tawes Hall courtship with fondness and are grateful for the outstanding musical education that we gained at UMD. —Susan Ricci Rogel ’87, M.M. ’89

My husband and I met because I was taking Psych 101 with his roommate, and he asked him if there were any attractive women in the class. He told him there were two, but one was weird. It turns out I was the weird one. But I guess it worked out because here we are 12 years later.—Milan Paseda ’10

Mariah Getty and OkeWhen I moved to Maryland in Fall 2015, I knew I wanted to start my life over, but I had no idea just how many things would change! One day when I was studying at a Panera in Baltimore County, a man also working diligently on his laptop asked me if I was in school. His name was Oke, and we talked for hours. Oke tried to hang out with me after that, but I was in school, job-searching, driving for Uber, and still getting used to the Baltimore area, so I often declined. But he was persistent! When we went out to dinner, we were the couple that sat next to each other in the booth and laughed at each other’s jokes all night. I believe I fell in love with Oke the night he described his doctoral research to me. He is so intelligent and humble. Oke found out his doctoral research was approved on the morning of March 24, 2018. That evening, he proposed to me. In two months, we will be married! Neither of us is from Maryland, but we feel this state still has much to offer us and aren’t ready to leave yet!—Mariah Getty M.P.H. ’18

We met in the dining hall near my Elkton dorm. I was eating lunch. He sat down and tried to get me to talk. I wasn't having it. But the love of my life didn't give up. We ended up working together at the Elkton desk, back-to-back late-night shifts. It took him an entire three-hour shift to get up the nerve to kiss me. It was magical, even if it made him late for his early-morning engineering class. We both graduated from Maryland in 1984, married in 1991 and are as in love now as we were then. It's never lost on either of us that our love began at our beloved Maryland. This is one of the reasons the university holds a special place in our hearts. It’s why we became lifetime members of the University of Maryland Alumni Association.—Michelle Singletary ’84

Robin Chiddo and husband

Driving back from Ocean City 19 years ago, I look over at this cute guy driving a Mustang, we wave at each other, pull over and stop for a drink. He’s a Terp. I grew up a Terp in College Park, my mom worked at Maryland, my whole family went to Maryland, I retired from Maryland. We got married three years ago on the beach and still come back to Maryland events.—Robin Chiddo ’06



Kyle Parrott and Maria SzczesnyKyle Parrott ’17 was the first guy I met on my first day on campus. He lived on the other side of La Plata Hall. He offered to help me move in, met my parents, and got nicknamed “The Cute Kid From Maine” by my mom. We decided to start dating one late night a couple of weeks later while sitting on La Plata Beach. We exchanged our first “I love yous” a month later on the second tier of the fountain on McKeldin Mall. We helped each other through classes, study abroad, and graduation. Five and a half years later, we’re living in D.C., co-own a dog and are still supporting each other as we figure it all out.—Maria Szczesny ’17


Greg Adelsberger and Rachel Blair

Rachel Blair ’10 and I met when we were freshmen in 2006 in the Denton dorm. We disregarded our RA’s advice to avoid dating others on the same floor, and it all worked out! In 2017, we tied the knot at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center!—Greg Adelsberger ’10





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