Babson Magazine

Winter 2016

Love Stories

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we share some of the ways that Babson bonds have brought couples together.


Illustration: Dermot Flynn

Illustration: Dermot Flynn

Tina Armentano and Sam Bowlby, both MBA’11

Tina and I met at Babson, although we were not in the same MBA section. We met over multiple Natty Light beers at Roger’s Pub. While I was attracted from day one, Tina had a pesky boyfriend in New York City. I was attracted to Tina’s very “profesh” blazers and 7-inch-high heels. I think Tina was attracted to my vintage L.L. Bean attire and unrelenting wit. Eventually, she succumbed to my dance moves at the old An Tua Nua, a favorite Boston bar of our class (sadly, now closed), and agreed to a date. Classy guy that I am, I conducted our first date at the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse sports bar. I’m sure Tina was impressed by the 12 packs of complimentary garlic breadsticks that I ate.

I knew Tina was the one when she wasn’t immediately repelled by any of my sophomoric antics. Tina says she knew I was the one when I started closing the bathroom door. I proposed to Tina at her grandfather’s country home in New York. The night before, I put the ring, a 5-pound weight, and a chemical light in a plastic bag and then threw it into a pond on the property. The next day, Tina joined me for a walk and noticed the glowing light in the pond. Feigning ignorance, I bravely offered to jump into the pond (in March!) to retrieve the goods and returned with the ring. We were married in September 2013.—Sam

Curran Leahy and Dennis Lonigro, both ’00

We had mutual friends, spent four years “together” in the same graduating class, and our individual pictures appeared on the same page of the yearbook. Yet it took a chance meeting online 14 years later for Curran and me to make each other’s acquaintance. Despite an immediate connection, I was a bit jaded with the dating scene. Curran literally had to drag me out on our first date at The Cottage, a restaurant down the street from Babson. I’ll never forget the feeling of knowing that this was something special, and I nearly blew it. It has been a blast learning about our shared connections and experiences from our Babson years.

On this past Halloween, after a year of fun and adventures (including our 15th class reunion), we got engaged at the Roger Williams Zoo Pumpkin Spectacular, which features hundreds of professionally carved pumpkins. To Curran’s complete surprise, the last pumpkin on the trail was carved with “Will you marry me, Curran?” She said yes, and Babson friends were among the first to know and to share happy congratulations.

We didn’t meet at Babson, but our shared affection for Babson certainly contributed to our affection for one another. We’re planning our wedding and are so excited to continue our fun, love-filled life together.—Dennis

Rashida Malcolm-Bradley and Chris Bradley, both ’08

Both originally from New York City, Chris and I met at the Babson Multicultural Overnight Experience for prospective high school seniors in spring 2004. I had already accepted my offer to attend Babson via early decision as a Posse Foundation scholar. He was still contemplating whether to attend but already had earned a scholarship. Years later when we tell the story to friends, I credit our great interactions over the weekend (and of course my winning personality, LOL) as helping to finalize his decision.

When we started Babson that fall, we both were in relationships from home. But we quickly bonded over long study breaks and our plans for the future. We were basically inseparable on campus and even spent most of our Thanksgiving break together in New York. I remember being stressed leading up to finals week when he asked me to be his girlfriend on the walk from Trim to Forest. Can you imagine having your anniversary during finals week for the next three years!

We have been together ever since. In spring 2012, Chris proposed. If you know anything about Chris, he loves a good steak. So it wasn’t out of the ordinary for him to ask me to join him for dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. After a romantic and private proposal, 30 of our closest friends and family joined us on our blissful evening. In August 2013, we were married and currently live in Geneva after moving for a career opportunity. We’ve had an amazing first few years of marriage living and traveling around Europe.—Rashida

Diane (Belesca) ’85 and Jim Gardner ’84

Jim and I met in Fort Lauderdale on spring break when I was a sophomore and he was a junior. I traveled with a group of girlfriends, and Jim was with a bunch of Theta Chi friends. Although we hadn’t gone on break together, we recognized enough people in both groups to know we were all from Babson. I was attracted to Jim right away. If you know anything about crazy spring breaks, Jim stood out because he was fun and a real gentleman. One night we spotted each other at a bar off the beach. Jim was counting his pennies but offered to buy me a drink. I ordered something fancy and too expensive.

Back on campus, we continued dating. Parents Weekend was in late April then, and my parents came. Jim met them at Casino Night in his seersucker suit and white bucks just a month after we had started dating. They liked him immediately. During my senior year, Jim came to Babson, often visiting me while I managed the then-Beaver Brau Pub or for one of my field hockey games.

He proposed to me in November 1985, and we got married in September 1986. Many Babson friends celebrated with us on Chebeague Island in Maine. And, 30 years and three children later, we’re still in love, still really good friends, and now we work together as well.—Diane