We’re halfway through our unofficial Valentine’s Extension Week! We’ve shared so many great stories with you already, and we have plenty more to go. We hope you’re feeling the love as much as we are.
Megan Smell Tarver ’04, psychology, remembers meeting her husband Curtis Tarver ’03, psychology, in their experimental psych class during her sophomore and his junior year. Curtis, on the other hand, remembers her from their sociology class the semester before, and from seeing her around Patapsco, where he worked at the desk.
“We didn’t actually become a couple until the waning days of my undergraduate career – just in time for me to head off to Florida for graduate school a few months later,” Curtis writes.
They decided to break up due to the distance, but, as Curtis puts it, that didn’t take. At their 2010 wedding, held in Baltimore County, they walked down the aisle to the UMBC alma mater, surrounded by friends and family, many of whom are also alumni. Today, the Tarvers live in Greensboro, North Carolina, with their two children, four-year-old Anastasia and two-year-old Austin. (Photo by Jason Putsché ’01, information systems, courtesy of Curtis Tarver.)
In the spring of 1996, Matthew Koenigsberg ’98, English, was a transfer student from Catonsville Community College when he first sat behind his now-wife, Jessica Koenigsberg ’97, English, in an Early American Literature class. They got to know each other through the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on campus, and by the end of that year, they were close friends.
When the semester ended, Jess went back to her parents’ house in Cecil County, and one day in June, Matt drove up to see her. They went to the waterside, watched the ducks, and had dinner with her family. That was their first official date, and they continued their relationship into the next school year.
Jess graduated in May of 1997, and with a year left to go in school, Matt knew it was time to “paint or get off the ladder,” as his father would say. In early February 1998, he asked her parents for their blessing, and on Valentine’s Day, after dinner at Nacho Mama’s and a screening of The Wedding Singer, Matt proposed to Jessie. “[It] was pretty ironic that I was watching that movie with an engagement ring in my pocket,” Matt says now.
Matt graduated a few months later, and they were married on November 7, 1998. (Photo courtesy of Matt Koenigsberg.)
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Well, really just the best of times,” write Taylor Gaines ’13, biochemistry and molecular biology, and Taylor Westhoff ’13, modern languages and linguistics.
Taylor 1 and Taylor 2 met as sophomores in the Social Justice Lounge of the Commons, and a friendship blossomed over burritos. For two years, they ran in the same circle of friends, sharing laughs at Late Night, Homecoming, and talent shows. Their group prided itself on being strictly platonic, but that was bound to change.
At the end of fall semester senior year, Taylor asked Taylor to go on a date at a local Indian restaurant, and Taylor agreed. From then on, they were inseparable, known affectionately by their friends as “Double T”. They helped each other through finals, job searches, and graduate school applications. Now, as Taylor is set to finish her graduate degree in speech pathology and Taylor passes the halfway mark in veterinary school, plans are underway for a summer 2017 wedding, kicked off by a proposal last summer in Mexico.
“Thanks, UMBC, for bringing us together,” says Double T. (Photo courtesy of Taylor Gaines, pictured on the right.)
Sameeha Azeez Bricklemyer ’09, visual arts, was introduced to her husband Ryan Bricklemyer ’04, information systems, and M.S. ’06, information systems, at Quadmania 2009 by Jen Dress, UMBC’s Assistant Director of Student Life. Sameeha was a senior about to graduate, while Ryan was helping out as an alumni volunteer.
The following October, with the help of Dress and the UMBC’s Mama’s Boys, Ryan proposed to Sameeha with a Commons serenade. Their 2011 wedding was officiated by Dress, and the wedding party included friends from UMBC and Greek Life brothers and sisters from Pi Kappa Phi and Delta Phi Epsilon.
The Bricklemyers welcomed baby Esme on November 19, 2015, and Sameeha says that given the family’s deep roots in the University System of Maryland, “it was only fitting” that she was born at a University of Maryland hospital. (Photo courtesy of Sameeha Bricklemyer.)