By Sara Haney
Phung Pham has to come up with creative ways to incorporate the alumni into the community. Recently, Pham, the Assistant Director for Annual Giving, found out that ten percent of the alumni from St. Michael’s College ended up getting married, and she thought what a better a time to celebrate love than on Valentine’s Day. The webpage is called “St. Mike’s Love Stories.”
“To me, Valentine’s day is really just about showing the journey of love” Pham said. “That’s how the idea came to her. Initially, the webpage started off with stories of romantic relationships that comes from St. Michael’s, however it quickly expanded to include the friendships formed as well. “People form lifelong friendships from St. Mike’s,” Pham said. “We expanded it to really honor and show you the bonds and the friendships that really happen here.”
One of the stories submitted to the page was Riley Stefano’s, ’16. She and her boyfriend, Logan David, had interacted here and there throughout their four years of college, but only met officially during their senior year. “I knew who he was—it’s such a small school, pretty much everyone knows everyone,” she said. “But we had never had a real conversation.” However, their first semester of senior year changed that. After being paired together in Will Marquess’s writing class the two of them bonded over creative writing and a common love for basketball. By the end of the class, David had asked her for her phone number, texting her later that afternoon seeing if she would be willing to go down to Burlington with him to finish their conversation. Stefano agreed and they spent four hours talking on the fishing pier. “It was the most perfectly awkward night I had ever had, and it became the start of our story.”
The two of them are continuing their love story in the “real world” while David is attending graduate school and Stefano is working her first nine to five job. In the ten months since graduation their relationship has changed. “[our relationship] has grown a lot as we have become even closer, especially now that we both live in Boston… living out in the ‘real’ world and supporting each other.” Stefano was really happy to have not only shared her story, but to read the stories of others on the page.
Another story on the page, was that of Paula Rosado, ’79, and Maureen Kinne, ’78, who met their freshman year at St. Michael’s on fourth floor of Ryan Hall, was of a deep friendship. Despite not seeing each other much after graduation, and whilst they got married and had children, Kinne helped Rosado at one of her worst times. On July 1st, 2014, Rosado was hit by a car, almost dying, putting her in a coma.
“Mo went out of her way to help my family in my absence,” Rosado wrote. Kinne was with Rosado after she came out of the coma when she was in a rehab center. The two friends have remained in touch since. “It is because of friends like Maureen Kinne that I feel loved and so fortunate to be alive and to have had a second chance at life.”
Although this was only the first year putting a page like this together, it certainly won’t be the last. “The content was driven by the great stories,” Pham said. “All the great stories came from the alumni’s themselves.” Pham is interested in adding more stories next year due to how big of a success it was and all the positive feedback they received. “All the stories really provide a great snapshot into St. Mike’s, and the lives of St. Mike’s, and what St. Mike’s is all about.”
The St. Mike’s Love Page can be found at lovestories.smcvt.io/.