We met at UM-Dearborn

February 12, 2024

Move aside red and pink, it’s a maize and blue Valentine’s Day this year as we celebrate love stories that started right here on campus.

A collage graphic showing a dozen photos of couples who met at UM-Dearborn
Graphic by Kathryn Bourlier

We asked couples who met at UM-Dearborn to tell us their love story and their responses will warm your heart. From newfound love to college sweethearts with 47 years together, hear from 10 couples who have a special reason to love being Dearborn Wolverines. Quotes have been edited for length and clarity.

Dennis and Lorna Kurtjian

Dennis and Lorna Kurtjian pose for a family portrait on a fall day“Forty seven years ago I met my husband at UM-Dearborn. He fell asleep in front of me in a music theory class. Love at first snore? We dated for four years and during that time we graduated (psychology and sociology degree for him, early childhood degree for me). I began teaching at the Child Development Center on campus (at the cute cottages). We had three daughters, two of them went to preschool at those cottages and also graduated from UM-Dearborn. All three girls went into teaching and at one time, all three were working at the new Early Childhood Education Center. Our oldest is currently the director of their program. I guess you could say that music theory at UM-Dearborn was the beginning of our family — now 43 years of marriage, three children and almost five grandchildren!” – Lorna Kurtjian 

Owen Hamilton and Miles Wright

Owen Hamilton and Miles Wright take a selfie on a winter day“We met in BIO 130. It was a tough class and we both did terribly on the first exam. Outside of quick glances and smiles, we didn’t speak to each other much the first few weeks — but unknowingly, we had huge crushes on the other. One day, we both walked to the UC. My appointment took longer than usual and I was expecting to walk back to the Union alone — but when I finished my unexpectedly long appointment, Miles was sitting there waiting for me. I started sitting next to him in class every day and he started coming over to my apartment consistently. We passed every exam and eventually the class with the support of each other. After an unbearable (but worth the outcome) six months in which we both refused to confront our feelings for each other, I began to open up to him and we started dating each other around New Year's.” – Owen Hamilton 

Foo Hung and Rima Berry-Hung

Foo Hung and Rima Berry-Hung take a selfie on a summer day“Foo and I met during our undergraduate years at UM-Dearborn. I worked in CECS as a student assistant and I’d see him walking the hallways going to class (and I thought he was so cute! 🤣🥰). Luckily, my younger sister introduced us and we have been together ever since. We celebrated 24 years of marriage this year. We are both immensely grateful to UM-Dearborn for our amazing education but also for bringing us together. Go Blue. Go Dearborn. Forever. 💙💛” – Rima Berry-Hung 

Jessica Carreras and Daniel Smith 

Jessica Carreras and Daniel Smith and their child pose for a photo on Santa's sleigh during the holiday season“In January 2007, I walked into my journalism class at UM-Dearborn and saw the cutest guy. Later that day, I was sitting in another class and telling my friend about this ‘cute guy with a hat’ when who should walk in but ‘hat boy’ himself. The next day, we had a third class together and I knew it must be fate. We started working on the Michigan Journal together (I was editor-in-chief that year) and then started dating. We married on September 20, 2014, and our son was born in 2019. We'll be celebrating 10 years of marriage and 16 years together this fall!” – Jessica Carreras 

Cadence Pero and Colin Garner

Cadence Pero and Colin Garner pose for a photo at a U-M athletic facility“I moved to UM-Dearborn from Canada last year, and on the first day of move-in, I met Colin. He helped move my stuff into my room and right from then we hit it off. He asked for my number and we planned to go out the next day. Being from Canada, I had not seen much of Dearborn yet, so he took me around downtown and we went to pick up some groceries. I learned he played for both the lacrosse and hockey teams, which we bonded over as I also play for the women’s hockey team. He took me out on the ice a few times and we tried some food places around the school. After that we were inseparable!” – Cadence Pero

Kalaia Jackson and Noah Christian

Kalaia Jackson and Noah Christian pose for a photo, with Noah flashing a peace sign“Noah and I met in our honors class through a mutual friend. I remember seeing him for the first time on the first day of class and instantly falling for him. Fast forward to the second week of the Fall 2023 semester and I see Noah playing Roblox in the office we both work for. I sat down, started chatting with him about his summer and when I asked if I could join him in playing games, he happily accepted. On October 1, we went on our first date. Then on October 14, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Since then we have been such good influences on each other.” – Kalaia Jackson

Emily Hutfloetz and Jesse Brady

Emily Hutfloetz and Jesse Brady and their two kids pose for a family portrait wearing U-M gearJesse and I met at UM-Dearborn through the student organization Intervarsity Christian Fellowship when I went along on their annual Habitat for Humanity service project over spring break one year. On the trip, I got to know the members of the UM-Dearborn chapter and what the organization was about. It was a great time making new friends and helping those in need. It was during the trip to Beattyville, Kentucky that Jesse and I met and started a very basic friendship. After the trip was over, I started attending Intervarsity events and meetings. The more time we spent together at Intervarsity, the more we wanted to be together outside of IV. Even after we started dating, we continued attending the Habitat for Humanity trips each spring. Jesse proposed to me at The Henry Ford Estate, Fair Lane. We have been happily married for 13.5 years and are so blessed to have two amazing children. We continue to reside in Dearborn and both work in humanitarian fields locally.” – Emily Hutfloetz 

Kayden Pickles and Allie Federlein

Two photos of couple Kayden Pickles and Allie Federlein. In one shot, Kayden is wearning his UM-Dearborn goal pads and uniform; in the other, Allie is wearing her athletics uniform.

“I first noticed Allie during one of her volleyball games while I was working. We spent a good few months spending time together and talking before I surprised her on the return of the volleyball team from their team trip by making things official September 5, 2022. The rest is history and we have spent all the time since then growing our love.” – Kayden Pickles

Allyssa Kerby and Nick McCutcheon

Allyssa Kerby and Nick McCutcheon kiss at center ice of a hockey area“Nick is an alum of UM-Dearborn for his bachelor’s degree and was a club lacrosse player. I am an alum of UM-Dearborn for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and was a club cheerleader. We didn’t meet during our college days, but it led us to meet in the future after both coming back to work at the university. Although we have moved away from UM-Dearborn due to career changes, we have made it a point to attend games and visit our alma mater and the coaches we have formed friendships with. Without the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Nick and I would’ve never met and we never would've had the chance to have our love story. We are forever grateful for UM-Dearborn bringing us together and the times we cherished there together. GO BLUE!” – Allyssa Kerby

Gabrielle Weil and Alexander Cupps

Gabrielle Weil and Alexander Cupps pose for a photo with Gabrielle wearing a cap and gown“We were first-year students at UM-Dearborn in 2017 and Alex and I had both registered for COMP 105, which was an 8 a.m. class during fall semester. We both had arrived on campus early in the morning on the first day and we literally crossed paths, almost bumping into each other on the way to class. I ended up sitting behind Alex until two weeks in, when he and I were put into the same group for our project. We quickly became friends and discovered we had a massive gap between classes at the same time. Alex asked me out on a date to Buddy’s Pizza down the road from the university and the rest is history! In 2021, Alex proposed to me and we are getting married April 13, 2024. We have been together for six years and we always tell people that we are college sweethearts and it all started in COMP 105 at UM-Dearborn. Go Blue!” – Gabrielle Weil


Story compiled by Kathryn Bourlier and Cris Frendo