University of York: Alumni Love Stories

For this Valentine’s Day, we want to help spread the love and share some alumni love stories. Since the University of York opened in 1963 students have been meeting friends, best friends and partners. Relationships which have continued far beyond Central Hall and York.

Nicole and Calum

“My now-husband was in my house in first-year (House K, Ingram Court, Halifax College 2010). We have been inseparable since. Except for one year where he stayed at the University of York after graduation as he won the Graham Moody award for his dissertation and was offered a Masters course.

I went back home to Cambridge to study law that year and then we both moved back in together in Yorkshire after our postgraduate studies. We got married in York in 2018. The University of York and the city will always have a really special place in our hearts and we can’t seem to tear ourselves away. We really do hope to visit campus again.”

Jeff and Jovita

“I met my fiancé, Jeff at York. We moved to London for our master’s after we graduated, started our career, bought our first home, and stayed together ever since! Jeff proposed in May 2019 and we will be coming back to York for our engagement photo shoot in a few weeks time!”

Jeff and Jovita did return to Campus for their engagement photoshoot. York Psychology alumna, Terry Li, took the photos and she too met her husband during her time at York! 

Claire and Giorgia

A Medieval Studies alum, Claire, met her girlfriend, Giorgia in Alcuin College.

“I met Giorgia in a first-year kitchen in Alcuin College but it wasn’t until we were housemates in second-year that we finally got together. Now, two undergraduate degrees and two MAs later we still live together in York.”

Kenneth and Jean

“I met my then-girlfriend, now wife at the University of York. She was in Goodricke and I was in James. She was studying computer science and I was studying politics. We met at the international night at Heslington Hall and got to know each other at functions organised by OSA (now International Students Association (ISA). In 2002 we got married in York after we both graduated. We now have a 16-year-old son whom we were proud to bring to the University of York to see our former stomping ground!”

Beth and Andy

“I met my husband in the first week of our master’s degrees. We both lived in the brand new Constantine College and were studying similar subjects. Last week we came back to York to get married! Despite the challenging year, we finally managed to tie the knot in a very small ceremony at the registry office and hope to make back to York someday soon!”

Barbara and Daniel

“We met at the University of York, on the first day of the welcome week. My roommate who is also from Mexico introduced her to me. The academic component was important since the beginning of our relationship as friends. I’m a lawyer and Barbara asked me questions about law and violence against women, which was part of her masters. She is a psychologist and researcher, so I asked her about methodology a lot. We quickly became best friends.”

Alicia and Tim

“My fiancé and I met at the University of York in a History seminar in January of 2015. It was called ‘From Rome to Renaissance’ and we remember the seminar teacher fondly! In August of 2020, we visited York for a weekend getaway during the bank holiday, and Tim proposed to me on campus, on the bridge where we first spoke. I have included a picture from the day. We then picked out the engagement ring from an antique shop on the Shambles. We both love York; it holds a very special place in our hearts!”

Read more about our University of York Alumni with more Alumni Voices.

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  1. Jennie and Stephen Martin

    I think we are one of the longest-lasting York romance stories. Jennie (then Lock) and I (Stephen Martin) met on day 1 of our York sojourn in 1973 (October 10th to be precise) – both joining the Social Sciences BA. Jennie was sitting at the end of the set of steps to the right of the Vanbrugh porters lodge (they are still there) and I introduced myself with the immortal words ‘Excuse me; do you know where the dining hall is?’. What a line. Anyway, it worked, and following various sit-ins in economics and Hes Hall we became a couple and 47.5 years later we are still together. We married in 1977, the year after graduation, and one of our three offspring is at York, having completed his Masters a few years ago and last week submitted his PhD thesis (I won’t embarrass him by naming…). We loved it when he was awarded his Masters on the same Central Hall stage we received our BAs all those years ago – and presented by Greg Dyke, who was a contemporary of ours when we were undergrads.
    We still visit York (covid allowing) as we have an apartment just off Parliament Square (see CityLets website for Almanna – happy to do a York grad’s discount!). Shout-out too for another couple from our obviously very romantic year – Andy Howarth (my best-man) and Fran Bottoms – now residing in Milton Keynes after a good few years in Papua New Guinea!
    Happy days….

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your love story with us 🙂 And it’s good to hear York still means so much to you both.

  2. I met my future husband, Mervyn Thomas on the train coming to York in 1971. We were both in Vanbrugh. He was Biology and I was English/History, but I shared a room with a beautiful biologist Sally Wincraft (Tveit) who did beautiful notes. Mervyn was one of several students who borrowed her notes instead of going to lectures, but he, unlike many, was only interested in her notes! Mervyn and I did not become a couple until after graduation. He went on to do a D. Phil in Biology and Computing Science still at York and start a career ending up running his own bioinformatics consultancy company in Brisbane, Australia before retiring. He also became a non-stipendiary Anglican priest. I became a social worker with The Family Fund (still in York), but retrained as a Librarian when I came to Australia and realised the agencies I worked for did not exist here. I still work part-time as a theological librarian. Our 3 children live in Australia, USA and England so we have grandchildren on three continents. We married in 1975 at St Paul’s Heslington (my brother married us). Our best man, Rob Verity also came from York, but he had to wait for the law to change to marry Colin with whom he has been almost as long as we have been together. York is a very special place for us.

    1. Thank you for sharing with us – what a lovely and far-reaching love story.

  3. I met my wife, Margaret, playing bar billiards in Derwent bar in 1967. We married in York Registry Office (now the Tourist Information Office), and had the first wedding reception in Derwent. 55 years, two sons, nine homes and an Emeritus Chair later we are comfortably retired in Norfolk.

  4. My wife Patsy James was at York in the early seventies at roughly the same time as me but we didn’t actually meet until 1988 in Edinburgh. So York has a strong connection for both of us.

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