Tech Twosomes. What’s Your Story?

Share your story! Tell us your Tech Twosome story in the comments below.

Maybe you met in class or at the dining hall. Maybe you had your first date at the bowling alley or Mt. Ripley. Maybe, like Marie and Tom ’69 Cain, you had your first dance at the SnoBall during Winter Carnival half a century ago.

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Winter Carnival Love Story

We are honored that Tech holds a special place in your hearts, as you do in ours. Celebrate this Valentine’s Day by spreading the love with a gift to Michigan Tech in honor of your special connection. Your gift helps the next generation of students write their stories.

Other Tech Twosome Stories:

Liz ’12 (Cloos) and Patrick ’12 Dreyer
We at the LeaderShape leadership camp in January 2009, the week before the spring semester of our freshman year. We started dating after only 12 days of knowing each other and have been together ever since.

During our senior year, we decided that we wanted to get engaged to get married. Patrick wanted to surprise Liz. His first idea was to “feign car trouble” on our way back to Michigan Tech from Detroit and pull off the road in Alberta where we first met three years prior. However, Patrick realized that the entire family would be VERY upset that they wouldn’t get to see the newly engaged couple for many months. So, Patrick shifted his plans and proposed to Liz in Detroit four days before Christmas.

We’re now happily married for almost eight years.


Alissa ’17 (Alexander) and James ’15 Kanka
James and I met my first semester at Tech in fall of 2011 at Sigma Pi Haunted Haus. I was joining Theta Chi Epsilon sorority and was a tour guide for the charity event. James was a brother of Sigma Pi fraternity and came to help out after he got off work. One of my sisters that knew him introduced us and it was love at first sight. We started dating in January and were inseparable. We were even able to take some classes together during our time at Tech! James graduated in 2015 and was able to stay in the Houghton area with me until I graduated in 2017. We married in July of 2017 and just welcomed our first child, Nash, into the world in January of this year. We look back fondly at our time at Michigan Tech and wouldn’t change a thing about it as it has lead us to where we are now!

11 responses to “Tech Twosomes. What’s Your Story?

  1. Keith (BS EE 97) & Juli (Math BS97 MS02) Nyberg. Juli came to 40’s at the Shipyard Dec 10,1994, we have been together ever since.

  2. Mark (Civil 96) and Vicki (STC and Biology 98) Harrison. Vicki went to an ASCE party on April 13 of 1996 and was steered toward Mark by her roommate. Despite two more years at Tech we stayed continued dating and, after moving around the country, just celebrated 21 years of marriage

  3. Patrick and I attended Tech around the same time but only saw each other is passing at the SDC, in the training room, or at parties. He was on the football team and I was on the volleyball team, so we had many mutual friends but only remember maybe the occasional hello between each other! We met again in 2010 at a reunion event when we both lived in Chicago. We started dating shortly after the reunion, married in 2013, and now have a daughter and son! It’s fun to reminisce on the similar experiences we had and we look forward to bringing our kids to visit hopefully sometime soon! We’re forever thankful for that Chicago alumni event for making our paths cross again.

  4. Kathryn (Keen) Stone, BMSE 2019 and Derek Stone, BSME 2016
    In June of 2015, the summer before I started college, I (Kathryn) went on a European tour with my high school band. We played a handful of concerts over the course of the two week, seven country tour; and on concert days, we wore matching t-shirts with our high school name on the front. I didn’t know at the time, but Derek was studying abroad in Germany the same summer. On the day of the first concert, we were in the German town of Rothenburg and a stranger (guess who) approached my younger sister and asked what the abundance of shirts was for. My sister explained that we were from Michigan and there for our band trip. Derek then got excited and said that he went to school in Michigan, and was studying Mechanical Engineering with an International German minor at Michigan Tech. My sister told him that’s where her I would be starting college in the fall with the same major. When she told me about the run-in later that evening, we both thought it was a cool coincidence but didn’t think much of it. He was three years older, I didn’t know his name, or even what he looked like. There was no chance we would cross paths again, right?

    Fast forward to my second semester of college the following January. I was taking a social dance class for gym credit, and wore the Europe shirt to my second day of class. Imagine my surprise when “Germany Boy” came up to me and said, “Um, I think I met you in Europe…” Shocked, I clarified that it was my sister that he met, and I guess the rest is history. Derek and I became dance partners, then friends, and started dating the following summer after he accepted a full-time job near my hometown!

    In 2018, we got engaged after a motorcycle ride to Redridge Dam, and tied the knot in Houghton the next summer. Blizzard even made an appearance at the reception!

  5. Laura (Custer ’87; ME ) & William J. (Billy Joe; CE) Popp ’86
    We met at the SDC. I played volleyball and Bill played football. We sprained our ankles at the same time and met in the training room the Fall of ’84. We have been together ever since – celebrating 34yrs this summer!! Both of our children (Emily & Joe) will be married this year to their own special sweethearts – looking forward to a happy & healthy 2022! Bill and I were just up at Tech for carnival and had a wonderful time. Hilltop rolls on the way, Ambassador for lunch, shopping downtown, and obviously had to cheer on the Hockey Huskies Fri Night in our new Huskey sweatshirts and hats. We are so proud to be MTU alumni!! GO TECH!!

  6. Fall of 1979: I returned back to MTU five years after dropping out. I had gone off to Alaska to tune pianos and then returned to the U.P. to do motor lodge maintenance. After founding a small theatrical company in my home town, and inspired to work with forming young minds, I planned to finish the last two years of a Bio. Sci. degree that would allow me to apply for high school teaching jobs, eventually focusing on science. I first saw my potential wife after church at Good Shepherd in Houghton. Our interactions were minimal. It was not until the following year when I started a student choir there, along with my organist duties, that our paths would cross again. She was one of the members of this harmonious group. Eventually, we went out for a few weeks but, alas, she dumped me on my birthday. I resolved to remedy the situation. Less than three months later, we were engaged. In early August of 1981, we were married, and still are.
    So we each brought a memento home from Tech: each other.

  7. Suzy (Webster) Betker (ECM ‘01) and Ryan Betker (ECE ‘02).

    He was known to my friends as my “freshman cutie” as I was in my Sophomore year and we were both living in DHH. We had a few mutual friends (Beth & Jane) that allowed us to cross paths but it really came down to Easter weekend as the first big step. I headed down to the basement study room and saw Ryan sitting there and invited myself to join him. We went out on a date that week with me driving my parents car with a trip to Blockbuster to rent a movie.
    We’ve been married almost 20 years with two awesome kids, two dogs, lots of traveling and dreams for our next big thing in the works! We LOVE Tech – many great friends, awesome careers and best of all – LOVE!

  8. Pete Dohms, ’67 & Benigne Pajaczkowski Dohms, ’69 – we met at swords point at Dick Kirkbride’s informal fencing class in the winter of 1965-’66, held at that time in the old ROTC building. At first we built a friendship, based on our mutual interests in fencing and geology. When I arrived back at Tech in September 1966, we ran into each other in the Union and struck up our friendship again. Then I asked her for a date for a movie “tomorrow night” which led to a day and evening long tour of the Keeweenaw the following Saturday. The rest, they say, is history. I proposed after the Homecoming dance, we were married at the end of Spring Break 1967, and moved with all our worldly possessions in a U-Haul trailer to Tucson, Arizona where I had a job waiting. We passed 20,000 days of wedded bliss the day after Christmas, 2021 and will celebrate our 55th anniversary near the end of next month. Thank you, Tech, for giving me my life.

  9. Chrisi Fraki, ‘92 and Marc Simone, ‘91…..we met when I was working the deli counter in the Wads cafeteria one September evening in 1987 and Marc came in for dinner with his housemates even though they were living off campus? Still not sure how they managed that…I thought you needed a dorm key to get in the cafeteria. Hopefully cafeteria security has improved! After a couple of months of being friends we started dating in December and married once we we graduated. We’re happy to be celebrating 35 Valentines Days together and 30 wonderful years of marriage this June. One of our sons graduated from Tech in ‘20 and another is at Tech now so we enjoy visiting campus and the Keweenaw every chance we get!

  10. Ellen (Barrett – ’90 BSEE & ’93 MSEE) and Scott Bauman (’89 BSEE & ’91 MSEE).

    We met as residents of Apathy House in East Co-ed Hall (McNair Hall now). Having both 8am classes and classes later in the evening, we often found ourselves the only ones from Apathy House eating early breakfast in the Wads cafeteria and the ending shift of dinner in the Co-Ed Hall cafeteria. Friday nights were traditionally reserved for Hockey games and games of euchre with friends afterward into the early morning hours. We enjoyed exploring many areas of the Copper Country off the beaten path on the weekends, mixing in some X-C skiing after shoveling out a car from lot 4. Playing on the same co-ed intramural teams (volleyball, broom ball, etc.) was a lot of fun too. As grad students the EERC was sort of our second home on campus. Interestingly enough, while we grew up within 15 miles of each other in the Grand Rapids area, we did not meet until going to Tech some 10+ hours away from home.

    After graduating with master’s degrees in EE, we both found careers at IBM in Rochester, MN, and were married in August 1994 in Grand Rapids. We have been married for 27 years and have 3 awesome kids of ages 24, 21, and 17.

  11. My parents dropped me off early for my Sophomore year, Thursday, September 21, 1967. Classes started on the following Monday and I had to get situated, off campus, in my new apartment at 211 Blanche. That evening we heard there was a Mixer at the Memorial Union, so one of my roommates and I decided to go.

    While at the dance, I was standing by myself, next to one of the large pillars, with a good view of the entrance. In walked this tall gorgeous girl with three other guys. I had never seen anyone so beautiful. I’m quite shy, and I’m not sure where I got the courage, but I walked right up to her, among the other guys, and asked her to dance. She said yes!! We danced and talked the rest of the night.

    Anne Marie Tarbox, of Hancock, was an incoming Freshman and their classes had started on Monday. She told me she had trouble with math, so we agreed to meet at the library on Sunday to see if I could help her. We were inseparable on campus for the next two years.

    On August 30, 1969, we were married at St Al’s. And 10 children and 27 grandchildren later, we are still inseparable.

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