SFU Love Stories | 2024

SFU wasn’t just a place where our alumni studied, participated in fun activities and graduated. For many of them, SFU was also the place where they met their significant other. It’s where they fell in love! Below, please check out some of the stories that were submitted to us.

SFU Love Stories

Alex (BBA '18) & Alison (BBA '18)

Alex: "In the heart of SFU’s academic corridors, my life took an unexpected turn when I met Alison. Our initial rivalry in a business class blossomed into a profound connection, transforming competition into companionship. Despite our initial reluctance to pursue a relationship, our shared experiences, courses, projects and passions drew us closer, laying the foundation for a bond that would defy the odds.

Our journey was marked by intellectual pursuits and shared laughter, with each moment spent together reinforcing our connection. It was our mutual love for family and the values we cherished that deepened our relationship, making it clear that what we had was extraordinary. The arrival of Dante, our spirited puppy, only solidified our bond, turning our house into a home filled with love and joy.

5 years later, I took Alison to Tofino. During a magical moment on Long Beach, under a clearing storm and a soaring eagle, I asked Alison to marry me.  

As we look forward to our wedding later this year, it's not just a celebration of our love but a testament to the journey we've embarked on together. From rivals to soulmates, our story is a reminder of the unexpected paths love can take us on."

Alison (BA '23) & Rolan (BA '21)

Alison: "Rolan and I met through SFU cultural clubs. We were both executives at our clubs and we met through a club collaboration. Rolan was at SFU Taiwanese Association (SFUTA) as a marketing director, and I was at K.Storm as a marketing executive. We started to get to know each other more when Rolan reached out to me and asked for helping with new banner designs.

Since we met during Covid times, we were not able to meet in person. However, I won an SFUTA giveaway, and Rolan and I were finally able to meet each other in person. After we became a couple, we often spent time together late at night at SFU, walking around the campus. Our favourite memories on campus were being a part of a student club. If we didn’t join any student clubs, we would not have met at all. Moreover, our most enjoyable times together were during our convocations. We got to be on campus together, celebrating each other’s achievements and milestones. Until this day, we still miss being a student at SFU."

Ashley (BGS ’14, BEd ’17) & Reilly (BA ’15)

"She always knew what she wanted to do. He had to bolster a dwindling GPA. EDUC 100 was the perfect storm. Their memories aren’t perfect, but it’s incredible to think back and realize that their relationship—as friends—began within the first couple weeks of the 2012 Fall semester: in-class ice breakers pulling their weight.

Their feelings for each other bloomed over the course of several months: evenings having breakfast for dinner at Mackenzie Café, naming the mountains across Indian Arm, watching raccoons prepare their meals in the pond outside Robert C Brown Hall. In the beginning, they arrived earlier to campus and left later than necessary. They made excuses as to why they needed to come up the mountain on their days off. They sheepishly introduced each other to classmates as “friend.” Until they were more than friends.

Several semesters later (more for him than her), convocations, part-time jobs, a return to SFU to get her BEd, treachery on his part to get his, burgeoning careers: Ashley and Reilly were married 8 years after they met at SFU, at the height of a global pandemic. Their wedding was attended by the people who they valued the most, several of whom they met at SFU. They now work at the same elementary school in Surrey. They still eat breakfast for dinner. They enjoy learning the names of local landmasses. Their backyard is home to raccoons and more. They’re in love: with each other and with their son. And SFU is responsible for it all."

Cassy (BA '12) & Tanner (BA '14)

Cassy: "We met in 2011 during residence orientation week when we were both teenagers fresh out of high school. We kept catching each other's attention during different events throughout the week and it turned out that we lived on different floors of Barbara Rae House. One day we ended up hanging out in the fourth floor common room and pretty much the rest is history.

We were officially dating by the time classes had started. From late nights studying in each other's dorm rooms, to sharing notes from mutual classes, to dates in the various cafes and restaurants in UniverCity; SFU was definitely the backdrop to the beginning of our love story. Now thirteen years later we are married with two beautiful daughters. If we hadn't both chosen to move away from home and attend SFU we never would have even met!"

Dianne (PDP '68, BGS '88) & Bob (BSc '68)

Dianne: "My husband, Bob, and I met at SFU as Charter Students. That means we were enrolled in September 1965. Bob came as a “mature” student at 21. I came via scholarships and bursaries from Gr. 12 in Burnaby.

The joys and trials of an “instant” university made friendships vital. I was a tour guide for SFU and at SFU’s 50th anniversary, I donated my Guide Blazer. It was still in pretty good shape. Bob was enrolled in Science and I was in Arts. There was not too much spare time for us, as we each took a full load of 5 courses per semester. Bob utilized the tri-semesters and completed his BSc in 1968. He then did PDP with the West Vancouver Outdoor Science Programme. I began my teaching in September 1968 and worked through to complete my BGeneral studies in 1982.

Memories are many: Snow days at SFU. My first lecture —English with Dr. S. Cooperman, who ran down the stairs in a flowing caftan. Foggy days on campus were many —one especially was in early January 1966 when a piper stood in the quad and played the lament for Dr. Nelson who died while teaching at SFU. Such a ghostly feeling, with the heavy mists swirling around us.

Bob and I loved all aspects of the campus. We especially enjoyed sitting in the rotunda. We had our wedding reception at the Pavillon on Burnaby Mountain on July 26, 1969. We are both proud to be alumni of SFU."

Eric (BSc ’15) & Kendra (BSc ’15)

"Kendra and Eric met in their organic chemistry II lab, when Eric transferred into the class after the second week and was assigned to be Kendra’s lab partner, and the chemistry was definitely organic from there! Kendra wooed Eric with her generous sharing of her meticulous notes while Eric was traveling with the football team.

The two shared a long courtship that included only a few shared classes, but lots of time spent on the hill together going to lots of athletic events (Go Clan Go!). Memorably, Kendra hid with excellence from Eric's parents in the stands at Fox Field at the first SFU football game that she watched him in as a couple. Conversely Eric displayed his affection for Kendra by refusing to walk her home from his townhouse to her residence because the fog on the Burnaby campus at night was scary to walk in alone.

Since then Eric and Kendra have lived across Canada. From a blossoming love in Burnaby, going the (long) distance relationship while Kendra became a nurse and Eric finished his studies to become a Medical Laboratory Technologist, to moving to and falling in love with Cape Breton, and finally ending up in their current arrangement both working at the UofA hospital in Edmonton.

The love this pair of lovebirds shares grows each day and continually surprises them. They are both extremely fortunate they were able to have that chance meeting on the hill all those years ago and would never change a thing about their lives since."

Gayatri (MSc '21) & Abhishek (MSc '21)

"In the hustle and bustle of SFU, amidst the daily grind of lectures and assignments, a simple yet beautiful love story quietly unfolded—one that found its beginnings in the shared pursuit of knowledge and a mutual love for good food. 

For us, it all started in the Big Data Lab and ML Project class. We randomly paired up, but little did we know that this project would be the beginning of something truly special. Bonding over lines of code and debugging sessions, we soon realized we made an unbeatable team. 

Our study sessions were never complete without a snack break, and our go-to spots were Renaissance Coffee for a quick bite of samosas or Uncle Fatih's for a slice of pizza. These simple moments of sharing food and laughter became the highlight of our days. 

As we worked together on project after project, our relationship blossomed. From the excitement of presenting our ML project at the Fairmont hotel to the late-night walks around campus, every moment spent together was a cherished memory. 

Despite the challenges we faced, including the shift to remote learning during the pandemic, our love remained strong. We found comfort in each other's company, even if it meant virtual study sessions and Zoom dates. 

Reflecting on our time at SFU, we are grateful for the supportive community that surrounded us. Whether it was classmates cheering us on during presentations or professors offering guidance and encouragement, we felt like we were part of something bigger than ourselves. 

Today, as we look back on our university days with fondness, we are excited for the future that lies ahead. Our love story is a testament to the beauty of finding love in unexpected places and the joy of sharing life's moments, big and small, with someone special."

Jennifer (BSc '09) & Sean (BSc '15)

Jennifer: "In Fall 2005 Sean and I both took second year mineralogy in the Earth Sciences department but despite it being a small class we didn’t talk to each other (although I noticed him with his red hair). Over the next few years, through mutual friends and Earth Science socials we knew of each other but still didn’t start dating. I finished my BSc in Earth Sciences and Biology in 2009 and we met again at a barbecue that summer.

We started talking and began dating shortly after a night out at the Mountain Shadow pub just down the hill. At the time, Sean had taken a break from school but eventually returned to SFU and finished his BSc in Earth Sciences in 2015. In December 2016, Sean proposed on a beach in San Fransisco and we got married in October 2018. We now live in Pitt Meadows with our 8 year old rescue greyhound and 7 month old twin boys - one of who has the middle name Fraser since we met at SFU!"

Jessica (BA ’16) & Michael (BA ’16, BEd ’18)

"We met while working together as Community Advisors in Shadbolt house. We were technically not supposed to date as coworkers, but 11 years, 3 degrees, a wedding, and a baby later we are very glad we bent the rules!"

Jocelle (BSc ’22) & Wesley (BSc ’22)

"Jocelle and Wesley started at SFU in Fall 2017 and took similar first-year classes, but they did not meet until Clubs Day in the Spring 2018 semester at the SFU Hip Hop Club booth. Jocelle was the President of the club and Wesley was interested in getting involved since dancing was a big part of his life. Soon enough, Wesley became a club executive and taught dance classes, and the two became friends. During the Summer 2019 semester, Jocelle wanted to expand the club leadership and asked Wesley to be her Co-President.

In spending time together planning club activities and dancing weekly, the unexpected happened and the two eventually became a couple that summer. As a power couple leading SFU Hip Hop Club, the two continued to build SFU’s dancing community until they graduated in 2022.

Their favourite memories on campus are really with the hours spent dancing and laughing with their friends at SFU Hip Hop Club! A notable moment for them was choreographing a dance piece together to “Just a Friend” by Mario and teaching it for one of their workshops. 

Currently Wesley is completing his Registered Massage Therapy program and Jocelle is pursuing her Masters in Public Health."

John (BA ’02) & Grace (BA ’03)

John: "Grace and I met when at SFU Piper's Gym in the fall of 1999. I first saw her in a summer class in an AQ lecture hall. I was in entering third year and she was in her second year. It took some courage to approach a stranger at the gym but with the support of my friends, I went for it and she was pretty friendly. We found out that we had a lot in common being originally from SE Asia and continued our conversations at Piper's over several workouts.

One day she agreed to go out for a lunch date and the rest is history. We continued to workout together at Piper's gym until graduation. The exercises and routine we developed during this time has served us well into our 40s as we continue to stay fit with regular exercise. We also spent a lot our time on campus outside Simon C's and the White spot with friends during and after classes.

I graduated in 2001 with a BA in Communications with a minor in Asia Canada Studies. Grace graduated in 2003 with BA in Communications.

We purchased our first home in 2006 and then married in 2009. We have two boys (ages 13 and 9) together. I am a business owner (A Step Ahead Footwear) and Grace works with Canada Revenue agency (Co-op program through SFU).

This year we'll be celebrating our 25th year together. We will always fondly remember our time at SFU. The place I met my best friend and life partner."

Jordan (BBA '20) & Dana (BA '21)

Jordan: "Dana and I met in our second year at SFU in Fall 2016. During the first week of class, we met each other outside of our 10:30am German language class (GERM 102), and then again, the same day at our late scheduled 7:30pm Organizational Behavior tutorial (BUS 272). We decided to spend our long 6-hour breaks on Wednesdays “studying”, which mostly consisted of getting renaissance coffee (only Rocket fuel or Irish Cream!), sharing cute and humorous dog photos on couches in the AQ, and getting to know each other better. I sometimes drove Dana home after school, telling her that her house in North Vancouver was on my way home. She would later find out that I live in Port Coquitlam, but I was eager to spend any time I could with her. 

We became close friends and eventually I decided to do an exchange term in Germany. While in Germany, Dana and I kept in contact and decided to be more than friends when I returned home. Shortly after, while lying in some grass outside of the Applied Science Building on a sunny first day of classes, we decided to make it official. Fast forward to now and we have been dating for 5.5 years, survived Covid, lived downtown together, and have even travelled back to Germany for a vacation! While my language skills were not too helpful, Dana maintained hers with a 698-day (and counting) Duolingo streak! 

We’re now both graduated, Dana with a BA in Communications and myself with a BBA in Accounting. Dana currently works in property management with her family and is a director on the Manufactured Home Park Owners Association of B.C. I started a career in tax consulting and recently shifted gears to complete my Masters in Counselling Psychology while I work at SFU as an Academic Advisor. We spend most of our time exploring new cafes and bars, challenging ourselves with culinary endeavors, and watching horror/thriller movies. Our couple’s song is “Lovers in a dangerous time” by Bruce Cockburn (The Barenaked Ladies version is great too), in reference to not being able to see each other for a while during Covid. It also always seems to play on shuffle when we’re together. We still spend time at the Starbucks and new pub on campus when Dana visits me at work, and reminisce of our time here during our undergrad. 

We’ve all had our gripes with the enrollment system at SFU from time to time, but I have it to thank for scheduling a 6 hour gap for both of us to get to know each other. I love you Dana!"

Judy (MBA ’82) & Ken (MBA ’80)

"The MBA entering class of '78 lays claim to being the most productive! Eileen S. and Richard R. produced their son Jason in 1981, and Judy G. and Ken S. produced son Wylie in 1984.

All 4 parents met at SFU and remained great friends after graduating. Both "boys" inherited the business gene: Jason obtained his MBA and Wylie his B. Comm. from UBC. Sadly, Richard and Ken have passed away."

Laura (BSc ’20) & Paul (BSc ’19)

"We both were studying Computing Science at SFU and just by chance we met in 2017 during the first ever CSSS (Computing Science Student Society) Silicon valley trip. The trip was meant to help students network with alumni in the industry and tour Tech companies to see what it is like to work there. We had an instant connection and started spending a lot of time together after we got back. We became great friends and began dating.

We lived in Burnaby Mountain for many years. We have great memories of grabbing dinner at Steve’s Poke Bar and lunches at Guadalupe in between classes. We still reminisce about the amazing view from our apartment in UniverCity.

After graduating we moved to the U.S. to work at the same Tech company, which funnily enough it was one of the companies we toured during the Silicon Valley trip.

These past seven years have been crazy and life changing. We got married last year and most of our friends that attended were also SFU students. We are grateful to SFU for our careers, for making it possible for us to meet, and for all the life-long friendships we made along the way."

Lindsay (BA '21) & Nicholas (BA '20)

Lindsay: "I met my partner Nic in 2019 at Club Illia on campus on Valentine's Day! I was in the communications department, and he was in the Health Sciences department. Once we met, we would meet up to study on the 6th floor of the AQ until he finally asked me out on a date! We were even lucky enough to have the same postponed covid graduation ceremony, sharing that moment was so special and we are so grateful we got to end our SFU time together. We have been now dating for 5 years and are about to buy our first home!"

Michelle (BA ’91) & Michael 

Michelle: "We met in 1990 at the Diamond University Club (DUC) where I had been working part time as a waitress and he was the sous-chef. Working at the DUC was fun and most of all convenient as all the service staff were students and we could schedule shifts around classes. We married in 1993 and had our wedding reception where it all began - at the DUC.

Fast forward 10+ years and our boys went to daycare at the SFU Child Care Society and in the early 2000’s Michael was asked to set up the kitchen and lunch program at the Child Care Society. He is originally from Vienna and since our first date, we have gone on to visit Austria and other places around the world together. We’ve been married over 30 years now and our two sons are now adults and we also have a beautiful granddaughter. Our youngest son, Alex, is currently at SFU at the Beedie School of Business and we look forward to when we can visit the campus again when he graduates!"

Nadia (BSc ’21) & Adam (BSc ’20)

Adam: "Nadia and I met at CSSS Frosh week in September 2015, after a photo scavenger hunt. From then on we have been inseparable. We were both Computing Science majors, and for the first three years of our degrees we took all of our classes together. One of my earliest memories of Nadia is when she taught me to use Leibniz's notation for calculus instead of Lagrange’s.

Every December, we looked forward to getting holiday lattes at the Cornerstone Starbucks to warm our hands as we adventured around campus. We spent countless hours walking the Burnaby Mountain trails, talking about life, poking fun at the idiosyncrasies of our professors, and imagining our future together.

Since then, we’ve built that future. We braved the California desert for Coachella and ran through the pouring rain at Park Güell. She taught me to ski in Whistler. I introduced her to the Shameful Tiki Room. We’ve amassed a trove of inside jokes and developed a shared sense of humour. We’re as in love as we always have been.

In 2015, shortly after we met, we joked that we’d both end up working at Google (we still have the text!). Now, it is so. In 2022, we moved to Mountain View, California, where we both work as software engineers at Google."

Nicola (BA '14) & Scott (BA '14)

"We both attended SFU’s SIAT program but we didn’t formally meet each other until a co-op term in Waterloo, Ontario in 2011. Our co-op terms overlapped for four brief months, but we braved the cold Ontario weather to get $2 shots at Phil's and stuffed ourselves on Taco Tuesdays at Ethel's. Scott finished his term and returned to school while Nicola stayed in Waterloo for another eight months. We kept in contact, messaged often, and remained good friends for the next two years. We saw each other frequently on SFU Surrey campus and hung out with all of our other SIAT friends.

Scott confessed his feelings during a trip to Seattle for a convention in 2013. We had our first official date at Cats Socialhouse on Granville Island. We discovered our mutual love for great Italian and Japanese food, graduated from SFU, and learned to make our own pasta and sourdough bread at home. We have been together for 10+ years and are excited to tie the knot this May 2024."

Rick (BA '70) & Cathy (BA '72)

"It was the 10th of September – a Friday – in 1976. I was sitting in the main caf with the late Ida Curtis, then SFUAA Executive Secretary, no doubt to discuss future issues of Afterthoughts, the Alumni quarterly magazine I had been editing for a few years. 

We were just finishing lunch and I looked up and noticed a tall, slender woman with tousled red hair was paying her lunch bill. She picked up her tray and walked towards us, turning left when she got to our table. She flashed Ida a big smile and said Hi, and gave me a sort of inquisitive glance, and walked on to sit with at a group of people a few tables over. She was very attractive.

“Who was that?” I asked Ida.

“That’s Cathy Johnston… she works in the SFU art gallery.”

We wandered back to the Alumni offices, and I gave Ida perhaps as too perfunctory thanks, gotta run dine and dash good-bye, and took giant steps from the Rotunda back to the caf. They were still there and I walked up to the foot of the table and said “Cathy Johnston?” in my most innocent voice. 

She raised her hand and I introduced myself, referenced Afterthoughts (the name drew blank stares) and suggested it might be a good idea to run a story on the Art Gallery. She replied good idea and pointed across the table to a bearded guy and said, “Here’s my boss… he can tell you all about it.”

This was not going to plan.

I sensed some odd disappointment from the onlookers, but they were finished lunch and the group broke up. I found myself wandering back along the concourse with Cathy and her boss who, as we approached a bank of elevators, said he had office work to do and Cathy, as his assistant, would fill me in and I could contact him for some quotes later.

Thank you, Friday afternoons… or, as we call them in Vancouver, “early Saturday.”

Cathy gave me a knowing smile. We got to the gallery, I got a tour of the current show, a rundown on the loaner program, and slowly but surely started to lose my nerve. A beauty like this must have at least one serious boyfriend… its rejection slip time for this story… what the hell was I thinking?

I’m sure she must have sensed my diminishing confidence, and she, for some reason, uttered the words that would change both our lives.

 “My Mom always told me it’s never a good idea to turn down a free lunch.”

“I like your Mom already,” I replied. “Let’s do lunch.” 

She went to her desk, opened a datebook, and announced that next Friday was her first open day. Yeah, a week to wait, but Friday lunch goes until 4pm. I survived that first date, then the next, and next… and on for the next 46 years.

Thank you, SFU, SFUAA, and the Art Gallery!"

Ryan (BBA '00) & Elaine (BBA '00)

Ryan: "Thirty years ago, in the fall of 1994, Elaine and I started at SFU as aspiring business administration students (now Beedie School of Business).

You are always nervous that first week and looking for a friendly face in your class. We met on our first day, in our first tutorial class, Psychology: Critical Thinking 101. Elaine was directly across from me in the classroom, she smiled, and after some “critical thought” by the following week were sitting next to one another. Despite receiving the worst marks we would ever receive in our entire university careers (psychology was not for us), it turned out to be the best and most important class we ever took.

Over the next year we hung out together on campus spending many hours in the AQ studying and having fun. It was a “long-distance relationship” – in the 90’s it was still a long-distance charge to call the North Shore from Delta – but we talked regularly and became wonderful friends.

At the start of our second year, Elaine asked me out to a Canucks game, and being taken to a Canuck game on your first date meant buying a wedding ring was inevitable!  We have supported each other ever since, graduating together in 2000, Elaine with a BBA (Human Resources and a joint major in Political Science), me with a BBA - Accounting and a History minor.

The year following graduation we were married and have lived in the Lower Mainland ever since. In 2023, we were proud to have our daughter start at SFU in the Faculty of Environment and we can’t wait to see where her adventure at SFU leads her."

Stacey (BSc '02) & Jon (BA '00)

Stacey: "Jon and I met working at Safeway in 1997, and we connected because of our common student status at SFU. We were both in our first two years of undergrad studies. Our romance started with an innocent kind offer to drive me from the far G and H parking lots to West Mall for a class I was taking, to save me the long, cold walk across campus. 

Shortly after these car ride flirts, it landed us both on Academic Probation in our first year of dating as we were hanging out in the AQ together instead of focusing on our studies. 

Jon was a romantic and enlisted the help of SFU Peak newspaper to surprise me periodically with love messages (see photo) and win me over. We dated for 9 years, and after Jon's 2000 B.Econ. graduation and my 2002 B.Sc. graduation, we both went on to pursue post-graduate studies and married in Sept 2006. 

Jon is now a Director of Finance (CPA) and I a pediatric occupational therapist (M.O.T.) and we have 3 beautiful daughters, who we hope will also attend SFU (our oldest has already started wearing my SFU hoodie and Kinesiology alumni sweats). Every time we are on campus, we show the girls where we shared fun SFU memories together - the start of our professional careers and our family life together! 

Thanks for the memories SFU, Peak paper, AQ and G/H lot parking!!!"

Teresa (BA '90) & Tim (BA '90)

Teresa: "Tim and I met in the SFU called studying, but really checking out people. Haha.

We were introduced by a mutual friend and felt some sparks flying. We convocated on June 8, 1990 and married on June 9, 1990. Since our families were attending the convocation, why not extend the party?

We have been married 24 years now and have 3 children. Our youngest Clare is in 3rd year SFU Computer Sciences. University is definitely a fantastic place for young people to meet their significant other. Just like we did!"