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From Campus Life to Man and Wife

By Dana M. Scardigli, Crimson Staff Writer

Love at First Light

The pangs of love were actually quite excruciating for Dana Lawson '01. If a ceiling lamp hadn't fallen on her knee in the midst of a concert at the Tanglewood Summer Music Festival 1995, she may have never met her fiancee, Noble M. Hanson '00.

"After that concert, people were like 'You were the girl the lamp fell on! Oh my God!,'" she says. "Noble came up to be make sure I was okay."

Six summers later, the two Massachusetts natives are now getting married, and Dana still has the knee scar of their first meeting. The wedding will be in Dana's hometown on Cape Cod on June 9 with a church ceremony and backyard reception at Dana's home. They do not have honeymoon plans yet, because Dana will be leaving town the morning after the wedding to attend a music festival in New Mexico for the summer.

In the fall, they will be reunited in New York City, where Dana, who plays the viola, will pursue a master's at Juilliard. Noble, who has given up the clarinet, will be continuing his work in private equity at an investment banking firm.

First Impressions

Admiring her from afar the Church pews, Robert McPhie had a hunch that Megan M. Anderson '02 might just be the right one for him.

"He called to ask me out completely out of the blue," she says. "We never even had a conversation before."

And he was right to follow his hunch. Their first date lasted nine hours, with a dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, and then a romp in the Brookstone Store, where both of them played with the foot and back massagers.

One year later, Robert recreated the sequence of events of this first date to ask Megan for her hand in marriage. "At the end of the night, he took me for a walk around the business school," she says. "It was freezing. I wanted to go inside. But he insisted that we stay out there. Then he asked me."

The wedding will be on June 8 at the Church of Latter Day Saints in Robert's hometown of San Diego. After their honeymoon in southern California, the two will return to Cambridge to finish up their degrees, Megan at Harvard, and Robert at MIT.

All in the Family

Leann Hymas '02 asked Jonathan G. Brinton '99-'01 out because she had a crush on his brother.

"I thought his brother was kind of cute," she says. "Jason seemed nice, so maybe Jon was, I thought to myself. I asked Jon because I needed a date for the Waltz, and I wanted to ask someone in Adams House."

Jon did turn out to be nice. Seven months later, at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, he proposed. "I wanted to ask her parents before. We were at a party at her parents' friends' house. But I couldn't get them alone to talk. So I pulled them into the bathroom and asked them. Her brother was a little suspicious. To make it a little less suspicious, we came out one by one."

The couple will marry on July 18 in Salt Lake City, after they return from a European tour with the Harvard University Choir. In September, the couple will be back in Cambridge so Leann can finish her degree. As for a honeymoon? "I can't say. It's a secret destination. It'll be warm, that's all I'll divulge," Jon hints.

Spur of the Moment Proposal

Michael E. Rich '01 was vacationing with his now-fiancee's parents in North Carolina when he asked their permission to marry their daughter. He wanted to ask her right away--but he had not bought the ring yet.

Deciding that time was of the essence, he asked her anyway--with a ring to boot. When Megan Henry saw the ring, a makeshift wedding band molded from a York Peppermint Patty wrapper, she laughed, "Are you serious...Is this a joke?"

He was serious. The two have just married on Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mike's hometown. They will have a separate reception this coming Saturday in Maclean, Va., Megan's home. After their honeymoon in Hawaii, they will move to San Diego, Calif., where Megan, a Navy ROTC, will be stationed for the U.S. Navy. Mike has tentative plans for medical or law school.

And yes, he did eventually buy her a real ring.

Helping A Lost Girl

Thank goodness Rachel N. Reingold, a Cornell University graduate who spent a semester in Cambridge interning for the National Labor Relations Board, didn't know where she was going. After dining at Harvard Hillel with her sister, Deborah Klapper, the wife of Hillel's Rabbi Robert Klapper, she could not seem to find the way back to her apartment. Ernest I. Mandel '01 came to the gallant rescue and offered a walk home.

"She just moved to Cambridge, so she really didn't know where she was going," Ernest says. "Her apartment was on Harvard Street, and she started walking towards Harvard Square."

Three weeks later, after having dinner with her at the Klappers' house, Ernest decided that he would ask her out. "I walked her home with a bunch of people, and they wouldn't leave to give me any privacy. We hung out till 2:30 a.m. Finally the last person went into the bathroom, and I asked her then."

He asked her the ultimate question on Aug. 31 of last year during a visit to Cornell. The two are marrying in Rachel's home city of Chicago on July 1, to be followed by a honeymoon in Paris. In the fall, they will move to New Haven, where Ernest will attend Yale Medical School and Rachel will commute to the University of Connecticut Law School.

Holy Beginnings

Keren Tamar Fischer and Benjamin Ari Flusberg '01 met in Jerusalem during a year of study abroad before beginning college. The two started dating in the beginning of Benjie's first year at Harvard, while Keren entered Stern College in New York. The two have maintained a long-distance relationship ever since. "We've never spent more than 12 days in a row together," Benjie says.

Perhaps the constant traveling to see each other gave Benjie the idea for his proposal. Keren was flying to Newark, N.J. on a Thursday to meet some friends in New York on Friday. They arranged to meet on Friday, but Benjie had ideas of his own. He found out her flight details and waited at her gate in the Newark airport on Thursday.

After an hour-and-a-half delayed arrival, Keren finally walked off the plane ramp. Benjie hid behind a pillar to let her pass and walk down the corridor. He snuck up behind her, jumped in front of her, and opened the ring box as he politely advised, "Excuse me, miss, I think you dropped this."

Keren jumped and was so stunned that she did not see the ring box. Benjie had to put it on her finger and ask, "Will you marry me?" She replied, "Yeah, but what are you doing here?"

"I wasn't satisfied with that answer. I wanted a real "yes." So I asked her again, and I got it," Benjie explains.

A passerby took a picture, and the two sat down in the airport waiting area, where a police officer asked if everything was okay because he saw the young lady jump as Benjie approached her. Benjie explained that he was proposing, and the cop replied, "Congratulations, but you could have done it in a restaurant." But the excitement didn't end there. In their post-engagement bliss, they drove into the city and parked their car in a no-parking zone, only to find it towed the next morning. While waiting in the car pound for several hours, they made phone calls to friends and family to share the good news.

The wedding will be on June 24 in Keren's home city of Atlanta, GA. They will go to Europe for a few weeks on their way to Israel, where they will spend the next year. Benjie will be doing graduate research at Hebrew University, and Keren will most likely be teaching English.

Pumpkin Prize

Nita Ghosh '01 had met Ben J. Sommers '99 when he was still dating his ex-girlfriend. She sighed to her friend, the girlfriend of Ben's roommate, "I wish he were my boyfriend." A few years later, Nita was wooed by a now-single Ben at a pumpkin-carving party.

After three months of dating, the couple was already discussing marriage. Ben proposed the traditional way, with champagne, flowers and chocolate. "He's a very classical guy," Nita says.

Their wedding will be on June 8 next year, with services at St. Paul's Church in Cambridge. In the meantime, Ben will continue working at a Boston investment bank, and Nita will be working as a computer programmer.

They plan to rent a villa on the coast of Italy for their summer honeymoon.

A Lovely Research Proposal

Aja D. Eyre '01, née Fegert, had firsthand experience with the research material for her senior honors project. The Social Anthropology concentrator was doing fieldwork for her project on Mormon wedding receptions when she married Jonah J. Eyre, an England native now living in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The couple met two and a half years ago when Jonah, a graduate of Ohio State, was a visiting student for a semester at the University of Massachusetts. "I ended up staying in Boston much longer than I expected," he says happily. They built snowmen on the Boston Common on their first date.

Jonah proposed on New Year's Eve 1999 and the two married in March 2000. They took their honeymoon in Maui, Hawaii, and Aja came back to Harvard in the fall to finish her degree. They are expecting a baby girl in September and are getting ready to move to Las Vegas, Aja's home city, where Jonah will work as a custom home developer.

The Best Study Break Ever

Cory L. Costanzo '99 was studying for his Ec10 final in the spring of 1998 when a first-year girl on the cross country team hopelessly distracted him.

"A lot of the freshmen girls who were done with exams came to the room of the male team's captain, a close friend of Cory's. They quickly stopped studying," says Marna Schutte '01, Cory's fiancée.

After seeing each other at a host of cross country events, Cory asked Marna out for dinner, and the two have been dating ever since. After Cory graduated, he began an MBA program at Northeastern University, while Marna was still an undergraduate.

For the proposal last spring, Cory did his own bit of distracting himself. "I had a really tough exam period, so Cory promised to take me out for the entire day on Memorial Day. He took me to where we had our first meal, our first walk. At the end of the night, we sat on Widener Steps to eat ice cream--what we always do. He went to buy the ice cream, and when he returned, I didn't notice that my cup wasn't cold."

Cory had cleaned out an ice cream box, placed the ring inside, and filled it with corn seeds, to give the realistic impression of the weight of ice cream. "I was just so excited about the ice cream, it never crossed my mind," Marna says.

The two will wed in a traditional whitewashed chapel in Pretoria, South Africa, where Marna is from, and then go on two honeymoons--one a safari in a South African game reserve, and the other a two-week Caribbean cruise. They're moving to South Africa for at least four years, where Marna will be competing to run professional track.

A Decent Proposal

Jai L. Nair '99-'01 and Siri K. Kvalvik will not be having a wedding in either of their hometowns. Jai, from Bethesda, Md., and Siri, from Phoenix, Ariz. didn't think it was fair to hold it in one of their hometowns and make one family fly halfway across the country, so they're having it in Belmont on June 30th to make both halves do the legwork.

The couple met in the summer of 1995 in Phoenix, when Jai's uncle introduced the two because they were both going to be first-years at colleges in Boston, Jai at Harvard and Siri at Wellesley College. Siri had spent the 1999-2000 academic year teaching English at a college in China, and while she was back visiting grad schools in April 2000, he proposed.

Jai is also a bit secretive about the honeymoon he is planning, though he admits that it will be "a tropical locale in the Western hemisphere."

They will stay in the Boston area until Siri finishes her master's degree next spring, and then perhaps move to India.

Manners Go A Long Way

Israel Ian Deanda '01 met Hillary B. Barrett through the Church of Latter Day Saints and wrote her a thank you note after they had their first extended conversation.

"Of course, 'thank you' was only half of the note's purpose," he says. "When she wrote back I knew that I could have a chance so I nervously tried the phone."

He asked her to dinner in the North End, and she agreed, adding the stipulation that it would have to be early because she had promised to babysit in the evening. "When she invited me to go with her, I jumped at the chance. We had a suspicion it would all work out when taking care of a sick infant became the best date we could have ever planned," Ian adds. "Both of us wanted to see each other the next day--the debate was only about how early in the morning we could meet. We have seen each other almost every day since."

In the time they spend together, they regularly attend church. One day, as they were just finishing services, they were praying together before leaving. As he finished reciting the prayer, he slipped the ring on her finger, saying, "And please bless me, personally, that as I ask Hillary to marry me she will say 'yes.'" Afterward, I got down on one knee and, fortunately for me, got my wish."

They are marrying on June 28 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Latter Day Saints temple, and will honeymoon in Kauai, Hawaii in July. After the summer, they will spend two years in Boston as Ian pursues his master's degree.

Employee Relations

Trygve V.R. Throntveit '01 and Jasmine A. Tennis sold knives together. They met in the summer of 1998 in St. Paul, Minn., where Jasmine was a sales rep and Trygve was her manager for the Cutco Cutlery Corporation.

"He swears she picked him up!" Trygve assures.

He did the proposing, though. On the day before Thanksgiving, he took Jasmine to the spot of their first date, a bridge in the middle of the woods over the St. Croix River. "There I explained that the 'surprise date' I'd been talking about was going to extend far past dinner that evening, and asked her to marry me. As I was proposing, and building up to the big finish, I was fumbling around in my pocket looking for the ring, and almost dropped it into the icy depths of the St. Croix."

While he didn't quite drop the ring, things didn't go exactly as planned. "It was dark out there in the woods and she couldn't see the ring at first, so her first look at her engagement ring was by the pallid green light of my cell phone," Tyrgve says. "She got to examine it on the way back to her parents' house, however, as she insisted on keeping the dome light of the car on throughout the drive."

The wedding will be held at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul on Aug. 31, and they will remain in St. Paul for the next year and half, before Trygve goes to graduate school.

He says he's looking at Harvard or a university in Australia. "I'm not sure how good the American history programs in Australia are, but apparently the wallaby is delicious," he says.

--Staff writer Dana M. Scardigli can be reached at

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