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Wild(cat) Hearts

From “magical” first dates to love at first sight, it all began at Northwestern for these couples.

Christine Schlaug Chen ’18 and Rui Chen ’16 

“Rui and I met in August 2014 at Northwestern’s marching band (NUMB) camp — we both played clarinet. Rui was a junior and I was a freshman. We quickly became friends and enjoyed studying together outside of rehearsals. Our first date was at Chicago’s Navy Pier winter festival, which was magical. Throughout college we enjoyed game day Saturdays, dinner together in the dining halls, walks on the Lakefill and occasional trips down to Chicago. One of my favorite memories is Rui walking me back to my dorm after my evening shift working at the Norris student center. Once Rui graduated in 2016, we continued to date long distance until I graduated in 2018. We then lived and completed grad school in Boston for a couple of years, got engaged in 2020 and married in October 2021 at Northwestern’s Alice Millar Chapel! We now live in Maryland and enjoy attending occasional NU athletics events here on the east coast.

Charles Cheryl

Charles Scott ’74, ’77 MD and Cheryl Wexler Scott ’74 

“Our romance began in the fall of 1972. I was in an intramural wrestling competition for my fraternity at Patton Gym, and Cheryl, who had accompanied a friend to the match, wandered over to the mat after I was declared the winner. We began dating and soon realized that many of our campus activities and interests overlapped: We were both Wildcat Council members, both regularly gave campus tours to prospective students and were both involved in leadership roles within our sorority and fraternity organizations. We got engaged after graduation in 1974. Cheryl pursued a master's degree in teaching English as a second language (ESL) at the University of Illinois, and I continued my studies at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine. We were married in July 1975 in Philadelphia, then returned to Chicago while I finished medical school and Cheryl taught ESL at a Chicago public school. Upon graduation I accepted a residency in pediatrics in Philadelphia and we made our home on the east coast. We have three children, Jonathan, Emily Scott Neider ’03 and Adam Scott ’06 MBA, and eight grandchildren. We both look back and thank Northwestern for starting it all, beginning with that fateful intramural wrestling match and culminating in 48 years of marriage. And still going strong! We hope to see our 1974 classmates at Homecoming 2024 for our 50th Reunion!”

Sidney Celeste

Sidney Stewart ’10 and Celeste Gilyard Stewart ’12 

“Celeste and I are both from Michigan — we grew up about two miles from one another but we had never met. My sister Lia knew of Celeste but they weren’t close friends. Once Lia found out that Celeste was going to Northwestern in the fall of 2008, my sister told Celeste (via Facebook) that the two of us would make a good couple. A year passed and we hadn’t met or spoken. Then my buddies and I threw an off-campus party at our condo and Celeste randomly showed up. She noticed pictures of my family on the wall, and when she spotted my little sister she asked, “Are you Lia’s brother?” The rest is history. It was love at first sight, and we just celebrated our 10-year anniversary!

Isabella Alexander

Isabella Gutierrez ’17 and Alexander Wallerstedt Keller ’18 

“Alex and I were introduced to each other by mutual friends in the spring of 2016 during my junior year and his sophomore year. Alex's fraternity brothers from Phi Delta Theta were members of THUNK a cappella, as was I, and they arranged for the two of us to meet at Tommy Nevin's, a local bar south of campus. We instantly hit it off and followed up with dates including coffee on Central Street, study meetups at University Library, walks on the Lakefill, various NU performances and a 90’s cover band concert at Evanston SPACE. I fell in love with Alex's thoughtfulness and sense of humor, and Alex with my warmth.

John Keller ’88 and Lee Wallerstedt Keller ’88

Alex's parents (class of ’88) also met and fell in love at Northwestern some 30 years earlier. In fact, I was in the same sorority and lived in the same house as Alex's mom, and Alex lived in Willard as a freshman like his dad. After graduation we moved all over the Northeast before settling in New York City together in 2020. We were married in Miami in 2022 surrounded by multiple generations of NU alumni. Alex is a manager on the strategy team at Major League Baseball and I work as a freelance journalist after years as a national correspondent at NBC News. We currently live on the Upper West Side with our dog Pippa, who we rescued in Chicago while still at school, and we are expecting our first child in March!

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Reader Responses

  • Love reading these Wildcat love stories! My fiance, Matt Becker '01, and I met off-campus in Seattle years after graduation. We were playing mini-golf with other young widowed people, many of whom are still raising children at home like we are. Two years after we started dating, and months following our appearance in the Northwestern Magazine Wildcat Encounter column: "Finding Love After Loss," we got engaged. While dating, we enjoyed a trip to Chicago for a Medill classmate's wedding and a tailgate during NU's Homecoming Weekend. Go Wildcats!

    Annie Kuo '08 MS, Shoreline, Wash.

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