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A Match Made at Northwestern

These Wildcat couples are very much in love — and many are celebrating reunions this year! 

Image: Courtesy of Debbie Petranek Collazo and Tom Collazo; Illustration: Sarina Benoit

Debbie Petranek Collazo ’73 and Tom Collazo ’73

Debbie first spotted Tom at a final exam during winter quarter of their first year on campus. The following spring, Debbie ran into Tom in front of Deering Library and asked if he wanted to walk to class together.

They had their first date on April 15, 1970, at an anti-tax rally in downtown Chicago. Tom was covering the rally for The Daily Northwestern, and Debbie was protesting. The next year, they were downtown again for a parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Chicago Fire. Debbie and Tom were looking at the fire trucks from all over the Midwest when they spotted then-Mayor Richard J. Daley in the stands. After introducing themselves as Northwestern students, Debbie and Tom were invited to sit with the mayor.

Debbie and Tom dated for the next three years and married one week after graduation, on June 23, 1973 (above). They both worked for The Nature Conservancy in Arizona, living at Ramsey Canyon and Aravaipa Canyon. Now retired in Tucson, the couple enjoy travel to distant places such as Japan, India, Turkey and Europe, especially Paris.

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Image: Courtesy of Mondria Jackson Davenport and Stanley Davenport; Illustration: Sarina Benoit

Mondria Jackson Davenport ’88 and Stanley Davenport ’88

During their first year at Northwestern, Mondria met Stanley through a mutual friend, Tangela Diggs ’88, at what is now the Weber Arch on Sheridan Road. In their junior year, Mondria saw Stanley again in Foster-Walker Complex holding The Daily Northwestern. Someone asked if he was reading it, and Mondria blurted out, “No, football players can’t read.”

She apologized, and Stanley called her that night.

Mondria and Stanley have been together ever since and will celebrate 31 years of marriage this year. They have two daughters, Sheridan and Siobhan. Proud Wildcats, Mondria and Stanley love attending Wildcat football games and visiting Evanston and the Northwestern campus.

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Image: Courtesy of Natasha Trostina Mah and Timothy Mah; Illustration: Sarina Benoit

Natasha Trostina Mah ’00, ’03 MMus and Timothy Mah ’98, ’99 MMus

Working as a peer adviser during New Student Week in September 1996, Timothy was on the lawn outside the International Studies Residential College with a group of Northwestern first-year students, including “an attractive Russian girl with a great smile named Nataly Trostina,” Timothy recalls. “Unbeknownst to me, my own version of Boy Meets Girl was about to happen. During various icebreaker activities, Timothy learned that Nataly actually goes by “Natasha,” moved from Latvia to the U.S. with her parents two years prior, and was in the same Northwestern piano studio as he was.

After six months of friendship, four years of dating, a short engagement, a music-filled wedding, eight years of sleeping in on weekends, the birth of their son, Oliver, at Evanston Hospital, Natasha’s postpartum depression, Tim’s emergency brain surgery, two completed marathons, 20-plus years of marriage and “countless beautiful moments big and small,” they are one happy family of Wildcats. “I am eternally grateful to NU for bringing us together!” Timothy says.

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Image: Courtesy of Katie Ruch Terrazas and Carlos Terrazas; Illustration: Sarina Benoit

Katie Ruch Terrazas ’01 and Carlos Terrazas ’98

Carlos and Katie met in 1999 at a gathering of friends on Evanston’s Lincoln Street beach. Carlos was persistent and stayed in contact with Katie after that meeting, but the two lost touch once she graduated and moved to Houston.

Seven years later, Carlos and the same friends from that summer beach day were in New York City and ran into one of Katie's friends from college. That chance encounter reconnected the group — and eventually Carlos and Katie.

In 2009 Carlos proposed to Katie on the Northwestern lakeside campus, and they were married at Alice Millar Chapel a year later, surrounded by family and many Northwestern friends. After working at Northwestern for 13 years, Carlos recently joined an early-stage tech firm, while Katie continues to flourish at Johnson & Johnson. Currently living in Indianapolis with their two daughters, Carlos and Katie return to Chicago and Evanston often.

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Image: Courtesy of Emily Ryles and Emily Bacalao; Illustration: Sarina Benoit

Emily Ryles ’15 and Emily Bacalao ’15

Emily Ryles ’15 and Emily Bacalao ’15 met at a fraternity event at Chicago’s Lincoln Karaoke. They spotted each other across the room and immediately fell for each other.

On New Year’s Day 2022, Ryles and Bacalao were married in a ceremony officiated by Andrew Green ’15 ’22 MBA. Almost half of the 80 wedding guests had attended Northwestern, including Ryles’ parents Marcia Ryles ’81 and Scott Ryles ’81; Ryles’ aunt Lois Therrien Padovani ’83 and uncle Scott Therrien ’85; and godparents Cindy Fuller ’79 and Arnold Sowa ’82.

Ryles and Bacalao have many fond memories of Northwestern, from study dates at Deering Library to riding the “L” one stop for pizza during polar vortexes. They currently live in Denver, where Bacalao is an otolaryngology resident at the University of Colorado, and Ryles works remotely as a senior producer for Digitas, overseeing video and commercials for a variety of clients.

Love may be long, but the list of Northwestern couples is even longer! Share your Northwestern love story in the comments below.

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Reader Responses

  • One good match deserves another

    The family gathering was a large one, held in my parents back yard. My father and youngest sister, Julie, had planned a celebratory picnic on the occasion of our “triple graduation.” My next-younger sister Janet had just graduated from 8th grade (’79 Education), I had graduated from high school, and our mother, after 9 years of part-time study, had completed her bachelor’s degree in education. I had just been accepted to attend Northwestern in the fall.

    During the party, I vividly recall our cousin Bob expounding to the “Sanes girls” that most people meet their future spouse by the time they finish college, citing as example himself and his wife Essie.

    Indeed, in February of my senior year, I attended a Sunday afternoon lecture by Rabbi Graubart at the Northwestern Hillel Foundation building, then located on the corner of Clark Street and Judson (across from the Alumni Association) and was introduced to Elliott Miller by our mutual friend, Jerry Cohen. Eli and I began dating, becoming regulars at the Hillel Israeli dancing group and at campus folk dancing groups in both Evanston and on the U of C campus. We married in August 1977. Appropriately, among the family and friends in attendance were cousins Robert D (’56, ’57 MS Journalism) and Esther Lieberman Manewith (’58 Journalism), our friend and “matchmaker” Jerome C. Cohen (‘79 MD), and Hillel Rabbi Marc Gellman (’81 PhD Philosophy).

    Elliott Miller (U of Chicago, MA Humanities, ’74) and Carol Sanes-Miller (’75 CAS) have 3 sons, live in Highland Park, IL; in August they celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary.

    Carol Sanes-Miller ’75 Highland Park, Ill.

  • My husband, Bill Klupchak ’79 MBA, and I met early in the fall of 1978 through my roommate Peggy Löwenstein '79 MBA, a fellow Kellogg classmate. Although acquainted, it was my involvement in the inaugural Special K Revue in the spring of 1980 that brought us together. (Peggy and Bill were in the audience one of the nights!) We will celebrate 40 years of marriage in May 2023. Thanks, Kellogg! And Go Cats!

    Shirley Hettrich Klupchak ’80 MBA, Naperville, Ill.

  • My wife, Bridgett McCarthy Baron '91, and I met on Oct. 8, 1989, on Long Field — intramural co-ed touch football with her sorority (Kappa Delta) and my fraternity (Kappa Sigma).

    Those first few weeks of the seasons, she'd go off-sides on purpose, to get my attention (we were fellow defensive linepersons), as I'd motion her to move back to avoid a penalty. She certainly got my attention, and we began dating by the third game of the season; my fellow Kappa Sigs were pretty good, but it was the really stellar women athletes on our squad who were instrumental in bringing us to the championship game after an unbeaten season.

    Alas, we suffered an OT loss to a Kellogg crew in the mud. Here's some consolation: Bridgett and I married in August 1994, with several of the same people who were on that co-ed team in attendance.

    Today, nearly 29 years later, we remain happily married and blessed with twin children who are now college sophomores, a son at Indiana University and a daughter who, like me, is a Medill major. Fittingly, she resides this year at Elder Hall, smack-dab next-door to Long Field. (She is also quite the intramural athlete and has played on a few co-ed teams.)

    Full circle!

    Matt Baron ’90 Oak Park, Ill.

  • I met my husband, Joe Liss ’99, our junior year when we were both serving on the Associated Student Government Executive Board. That summer I went to France on a study abroad program, and we didn’t see each other for three months. As soon as we were back on campus in the fall of our senior year, we started dating and have been together ever since. We were married in 2004, have three kids and are back on campus often as basketball season ticket holders and fans of the Clark Street Beach. Northwestern will always be a big part of our lives and our love story.
    Lara Liss ‘99 and current EMBA student at the Kellogg School of Management

    Lara Liss ’99 Park Ridge, Ill., via Northwestern Magazine

  • My husband and I graduated in 2022, and we got married one month ago today! Thirteen of the 19 people in our bridal party all lived and met in Willard our freshman year.
    Riley Mulcahy Blackwell '22 and Elam Blackwell '22

    Riley Mulcahy Blackwell ’22 Madison, Wis., via Northwestern Magazine

  • So happy to see the Mahs here, especially Tim! Love their story and how they continue to represent the best of Northwestern in all they do!

    Tim Dohrer ’95 MA, Mount Prospect, Ill.

  • Bob '76, '77 JD and I met in the summer of 1975. We both worked in the kitchen at Saga Food Service at Abbott Hall's cafeteria and got to know each other as Bob fried hundreds of eggs on the student side while I made roast beef sandwiches on the pay side. We studied together in the hallowed halls of the law school, went walking the beaches of Lake Michigan, which were a hop, skip and jump across the eight lanes of North Lake Shore Drive, and eventually made plans to marry in the summer of 1976. Almost 47 years of marriage later, Bob heads up the tax department at Epic systems. I retired early from PT, then created a series of contemplative creativity workshops, which I teach online. We live in Madison, Wis., and are planning to travel around the world upon retirement in 2024.

    Barbara Fahrenbach ’75 Madison, Wis.

  • We met at NU at Kappa Sigma, where my older brother was a member and Allan was a pledge. Just great friends all through college, we began dating when Allan was in medical school at Washington University in St Louis. Distance must have made our hearts grow fonder. Celebrated 38 years in August at our home in Utah.

    Amy Zadeik Anderson and Allan Anderson, Class of 82

    Amy Anderson ’82 Logan, Utah

  • My sweetheart and I met in engineering analysis when we first got to NU in the fall of 2000. We started dating in late 2001 and have been together ever since! We have so many memories of falling in love on Northwestern’s beautiful campus. Thank you for bringing us together! Billy Davidson ’04 and Jamie Alvis ’04

    Jamie Davidson ’04 St. Louis

  • Celebrating 25 years married after meeting as anatomy lab partners in 1996. Peter Furey ’00 MD & Suzanne Galloway ’00 MD, '22 MS.
    Celebrating 62 years — Warren ’60 MD, '67 GME and Nancy Schriver Furey ’60 MD.
    Eighty-seven years of happiness that started at Northwestern!

    Suzanne Galloway ’00 MD, MS, Hinsdale, Ill.

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