Love Story: Jesse and Kathryn Stanghini

  • Names: Jesse Stanghini ('11 and '13) and Kathryn (Dunn) Stanghini, '13
  • Relationship Status: Married
  • Anniversary Date: Nov. 4, 2017

Do you have children? How many? 


How did you meet? 

First time was in class -- in the HESA Program. We both remember those days clearly as it was the academic advising class in Winter 2012 semester with Professor Allison Friendly. We did not have much group work or projects to collaborate on but we were definitely interested in one another.

Then, when we both were hired as Graduate Assistants in the Student Center later that year, we spent a lot of time together. She was in Campus Life and I was in Student Life so we did some projects and events together. We would always hear comments about how cute we were together, and people in our offices wondered aloud if we were destined to be married. Fast forward years later and here we are now!

Where was your first date?  

On campus! We spent a lot of time talking at our cars in the parking lot before we each went home. We spent more time talking together after class than we spent in class! As our relationship grew (and as time allowed), we went to Sidetracks and that became our spot. We spent a lot of time there. I mean A lot. And now, we still do as we try to stop by to meet our friends from EMU, some still working there as faculty and staff.

During one of our dates at Sidetracks, I lost a $100 bill during one of their busiest nights on the weekend, and when I called to ask about it, the wait staff had already set it aside for me! We were both shocked and amazed about how great Sidetracks truly is. Then last year, I met with Linda French and she was so gracious to donate many items to the HESA Alumni Chapter which we auctioned to raise money.

Any cute memories you have together at Eastern? 

She nominated me for an award which I was recognized by the President during commencement. That was the most touching part of our relationship early on. It was also one of the highlights of my EMU career, and I was totally surprised upon receiving the recognition. Later that day we met some of each other's families and the rest was history.

Many times walking to class after work at the Student Center I would give her my jacket or hold her close as the wind whipped between buildings. Many of our memories we still talk about are all the times spent in the parking lot after class, or work, just talking and talking. I lived two minutes away on St. John, but we always ended up hanging out on campus somewhere.

Since I worked at the Lakehouse for many years, we spent time walking the campus grounds, especially near the gazebo and bridge. We would sit and talk for hours about our families, life, or absolutely nothing and enjoy the time shared together. We still to this day reminisce about our strolls through the picturesque campus.

What are the two of you doing now?

We both work in Higher Education/Student Affairs at U-M for almost five years each now. She works in Ann Arbor as an Assistant Director of Career Development while I am an Academic Advisor in Dearborn. We are also active in the HESA Alumni Chapter and host events to bring together alumni of all different years, near and far. Through our passion to help students, we enjoy both giving back to the EMU community and promoting all the benefits that HESA and other programs have to offer. We both love what we do and will continue to develop students and earn their degrees!

Anything else you would like to share? We've been together for about five years now. I proposed to her on Valentine's Day 2017 thinking it would throw her off but she was onto me. (It must have been the tuxedo I bought for our dog that came in the mail weeks prior). We married in November 2017 just a few months later. Now, we are moving in to our beautiful new first home in Plymouth, minutes from where we are now. We have never been more excited to begin this new chapter in our lives.