Drew University Celebrates Valentine’s Day with Five Love Stories

Love in The Forest sprung from the diner, to Harvard, to El Salvador

February 2021 – We are once again celebrating Valentine’s Day by highlighting Drew University love stories. From the Nautilus Diner in Madison to a trip to El Salvador, this year’s stories cast a wide net.

Tina Mancuso C’93 and Ray Semiraglio C’93

Neither Tina Mancuso nor Ray Semiraglio remember exactly when they first met. It was sometime during their first year when there were many new faces to get to know.

Throughout their time at Drew, they were friendly while both working at Drew’s Computer Center, but were not particularly close.

Fast forward to two years after graduating; they both attended the wedding of Neil Clarke C’89 and Lisa Rodriguez C’93, held on Drew’s campus.

Enlarge feature image

Tina And Ray Spent Most Of Their Friends
An all-Drew hands on deck wedding photo.

Tina and Ray spent most of their friends’ reception catching up in Mead Hall, which led to them spending more time together over the next few years.

In the summer of 1998, Ray surprised Tina with an engagement ring at the top of the Wildwood Giant Wheel.

They got married the next summer on a cruise ship in New York Harbor, with Drew friends making up half of their guest list.

Bhavna (Raval) Williams C’90 and Khürt Williams C’91

Enlarge feature image

Khürt Williams Met During Their First Year
Bhavna and Khurt, far right.

Bhavna (Raval) Williams and Khürt Williams met during their first year at Drew when, as international students from the Commonwealth Caribbean, he joined the International Students Association, which Bhavna, a sophomore, was already a member of.

The two didn’t get to know each other better until the next year when the International Students Association was given permission to create an international house on campus.

Fate would have it that the two would be next door neighbors.

Enlarge feature image

Graduate Engineering Degree
Bhavna, second from left, and Khurt, on right.

They eventually became close friends and maintained contact via letters and AOL when Khürt went to Georgia Tech for an undergraduate engineering degree.

When Khürt was pursuing his graduate engineering degree at the University of Michigan, the light turned on for Bhavna.

“She finally opened her eyes and realized that I was the catch of the century,” said Khürt (with a wink).

The two have been married since 1996 and have two children.

Lisa (Lemery) Chiariello C’86, P’22 and Dan Chiariello C’86, P’22

Lisa and Dan Chiariello met in the spring semester of their first year in The Forest in 1983.

The two began dating as sophomores. They had their first date over a 2 a.m. breakfast at the Nautilus Diner in downtown Madison.

As undergrads, they enjoyed many hours walking around campus together.

“We doubt there is any place on the grounds we haven’t explored,” says Dan of Drew’s 186-acre campus.

Dan and Lisa got married in 1989, several years after they both graduated in 1986.

They live nearby in Sparta, New Jersey, and have two sons, David and Jared. Jared is currently a junior at Drew.

The couple still stops by the Nautilus for a commemorative breakfast of corned beef hash and omelets.

Summer Kemp-Schlemmer T’11 and Brian Schlemmer T’10

Summer Kemp-Sclhemmer and Brian Schlemmer fell in love in 2009 on a class trip to El Salvador to study liberation theology and Oscar Romero.

“It was some time before that love was actualized,” notes Summer.

The two, along with a pair of fellow Drew Theological School students, became classmates, choirmates, roommates, and pubmates as a part of the Intentional Community at Green Villa.

It took a year before the two formally began dating after Brian returned to campus, where Summer was still studying, for the wedding of their friends Laura Goldenbaum-Yang T’10 and Dae Won Goldenbaum-Yang T’09.

“It was the first time in our relationship that we had been single at the same time and I would not be caught snoozing,” remembers Summer.

They disagree over who actually made the first move.

Summer and Brian married a year later and moved to Arizona where Summer chaplained and Brian launched the City Square Church in Phoenix.

They have since moved to Omaha, Nebraska, and have two daughters, Josie and Gladly.

Enlarge feature image

Harvard Divinity School Student After Winter Break
Ketchum (left) and Fox (right) with Drew Theological School's Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre.

Arminta Fox T’15 and Matthew Ketchum T’15

Newly single Matthew Ketchum finally agreed to get that cup of coffee with his then-friend and fellow Harvard Divinity School student Arminta Fox after winter break.

Neither of them realized the day they scheduled to meet was Valentine’s Day. They talked for hours.

They’d been dating for more than a year when it came time to apply to PhD programs. Matthew was confident in his applications, while Arminta was on the fence about when and whether to apply.

They both, individually, decided that Drew Theological School was the choice for them based on “excellent faculty and the small campus feel,” according to Arminta.

“It was always fun to see how long it took for classmates and professors to realize we were a couple,” she added.

They got married in the fall of their fourth year of their PhD programs and submitted and defended their dissertations within days of one another.

They still bond over their morning coffees.

Want to be included next year? Email sdezenhall@drew.edu.

The Latest at Drew

Related Posts