One might call the Boston College campus cozy. With just over 9,000 undergraduate students enrolled at the beginning of this year, it would seem that students have plenty of options when it comes to finding friends-but not so many options that they become overwhelmed.
It’s easy enough, then, to find a niche and a core group of friends, and so it’s not too far fetched to think that one can find a husband or wife on campus as well.
In fact, according to the BC Alumni Association, over 7,000 alumni marriages have taken place over the years. They began with chance encounters, introductions by mutual friends, and in some cases, a bold move or two.
Survival Ross, BC ’06, spotted his future fiancee, Anna Abrahamian, BC ’06, in Corcoran Commons in the fall of his senior year.
“You know, your natural beauty is astounding,” he said to her.
“It’s corny!” Abrahamian said in an email. “But it got us talking, and the rest is history.”
The couple will be married in just a few weeks, on Feb. 22.
Michelle St. Martin Pierce and her husband, Teddy Pierce, both BC ’09, met in what one might consider more typical for BC students-a party in Walsh Hall.
“First week of sophomore year, my roommates and I had a birthday party in our suite in Walsh for one of our roommates and invited a group of guy friends,” St. Martin Pierce said in an email. “Teddy was one of their suite mates and came down to the party.”
The two have been married since June 2013 and now live in North Carolina, where they brew their own beer and compete in local tastings.
A combination of mutual friends and a love of basketball led Kaitlin Dunn Lang and Brendan Lang, both BC ’08, to each other.
“We kind of had some mutual friends but we met at the Plex playing basketball,” Kaitlin said. “We started dating spring semester of our freshman year.”
The Langs were both CSOM students, so they often took classes together throughout their college years.
“We both say we were instrumental in passing BC together because he was so smart and I worked really hard,” Kaitlin said.
BC continues to play an important role in their lives. The couple took a photo with all of their BC friends at their October 2012 wedding, and Kaitlin said that the group could hardly fit into the frame because it was so large.
Rebecca LaPlante Burke and Chris Burke, both BC ’07, also consider sports an important part of their relationship, but didn’t meet until after they had both graduated from BC.
“We were the crazy people that showed up hours before football games,” Burke said. “She was in one group of friends that did that and I was in another…we spent a lot of hours probably within 50 feet of each other, but never really met.”
After graduation, Chris worked at a local consulting firm while Rebecca volunteered in the St. Francis Corps for a year.
When she returned in 2009, Chris’s roommate Rory Murphy, who had been friends with Rebecca in college, invited her over to hang out with them and other friends during the weekends. From then on, sports continued to mark milestones in their relationship.
“Our third date was a BC hockey game,” Burke said. “The first time that she showed that it was kind of a long term relationship, that she kind of saw going somewhere, was in April of 2010 when BC football tickets went on sale and she wanted to order tickets together.”
They got married in Rebecca’s hometown of Spokane, Wash. in 2012 and now live in Berkeley, Calif. Chris is working toward his MBA at University of California Berkeley, and Rebecca works at GAP Corporate in inventory management.
“I converted her,” Chris joked, since Rebecca majored in philosophy while at BC.
Even though some have flown far away from the Heights, BC’s influence remains strong for many alumni couples. Abrahamian and Ross will have BC’s a cappella group The Acoustics perform at their wedding. The Langs have a bloodhound named Byron who proudly wears a BC shirt at tailgates throughout the year.
The Pierces were married at St. Ignatius Church, and the Burkes, like many others, had their engagement photos taken on campus.
What, exactly, draws so many BC grads together like this? Perhaps it’s because smart, motivated people are simply drawn to each other, or because Eagles share a special kind of bond from the beginning.
One thing that’s certain is that despite the prevalence of the hookup culture that many students and faculty associate with BC, college dating and romance aren’t totally dead-over 7,000 BC marriages can happily prove that statistic wrong.