Cleveland State University

Alumni & Friends

Love Stories (told by the alumni themselves)

Marybeth (BBA '78) and John (BBA '79) Primeau
We often tell people we met at CSU in October 1975 in art class, where my future husband, John, was the nude model and I couldn't help but notice his obvious attributes! We really did meet in art class, but it was an art history class and our first date was an assignment to visit the Salvador Dali Museum, then in Beachwood. The rest is our personal family history. We married after graduation, raised three beautiful children and continue to live and work happily together.

Merrilee (BA '70) and John (BME '70) Kralik
It was winter quarter 1967, and we met in an economics night course in Fenn Tower. He was co-op student at Ford; I was taking a year off day classes to work at Fisher Fazio's main offices to earn enough money to return to full time day classes. I was one of three girls in the class with about 20 fellows. He and his roommate (who became one of our best wedding ushers) sat behind me. Our first date was eight weeks into the quarter. I got a C, he an A. Forty-three years later, I am a hospital chaplain, and he is an engineer in telecommunications, wearing CSU colors proudly for the last 31 years in Texas.

Liz (BBA '02, MBA '05) and Will (BSEE '02) Olexa
We met in English 102. I showed up one class late because I thought the quarter started later. When I walked in I saw Liz's blue eyes and parked next to her. She had the great idea to exchange phone numbers in case one of us missed class (sneaky). The rest is history.

Jane (BSEE '88) and Thomas (BCE '70, JD '77) Hilston
My husband and I met while he was in his first year at CSU. After he graduated in 1970, we were married, he got a law degree from CSU and I got my Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. Our son John received his Master of Arts in Economics in 1998. My sister, Candy Hilston Paskan, got her Bachelor of Civil Engineering in 1978 and her husband, Steve, received his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in the same year. My brother Ted received his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in 1991 and his wife received her Bachelor of Business Administration in 1982. My neice Jenny Bender Basiger also received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. CSU is a family affair for the Hilstons.

Dennis John (MBA '89) and Laura Lynn (BBA '82, MBA '89) O’Neill
This couple went to high school together and then to different colleges. Mrs. O’Neill came to Cleveland State University for graduate classes. She had been in class for about a month and a half when she realized that the Dennis O’Neill the teacher had been calling in the roll was the same Dennis O she knew in high school. He also didn’t connect that the Laura Berry was the same woman as Laura B. Mrs. O’Neill didn’t even realize he was in school.

Mrs. O’Neill approached him and said, “What are you doing here?” Mr. O’Neill responded, “I’m doing the same thing you’re doing.” After class they went out and began dating. Nine months later they were engaged and nine months after they were married.

Becky Mauger and Chris Dolezal (current students)
The very first day that Chris and I moved into Fenn Tower for our Freshman year he came to my door with his roommates to invite us over for a movie. My roommates went over to his room that night and I knew there was something special about Chris that night.

We didn't hang out again until the end of the Fall semester. When we came back from winter break we started spending a lot of time together. In April of 2008 we started officially dating and have been together ever since! I'm preparing for graduation and Chris is well on his way tirades earning a mechanical engineering degree!

Mary Jo and Rick (BS '73) Williamson
May 7, 1971. I met my future wife, Mary Jo Baker at Fat Glen's.

The CSU baseball team had won a doubleheader, and we were celebrating at the then college lounge on campus. I returned to my table to find Mary Jo sitting in my seat. I asked her... to move. She did, but she came back later and we talked. She gave me her phone number on the back of a Juicy Fruit gum wrapper, that we still have today.

We were engaged on June 5 and married December 11, the same year. Two years later we had our first daughter and another in 18 months. Here we are 39 years later happily married and living in Chandler, AZ. I am still thankful for CSU baseball, Fat Glen's, and Juicy Fruit gum!

Tom (BBA '73) and Donna (BBA '73) Bernazzoli

One afternoon in the spring of 1971, I was in statistics class in the main classroom.  Class ended, and I was walking out of the classroom with my friends and a really cute blond girl met me at the door holding my coat.  I guess I was stunned, because all I could do was thank her. We walked together a bit but didn't say much.  Not that I'm all that quick off the mark now, but I must have really been slow, because I didn't even get her name or phone number.  I decided overnight that I was going to change all that after the next class and, sure enough, she was there, and I stopped her after class and introduced myself  and found out her name: Donna. 

That was the start of the best time of my life.  From that point forward, we met every morning in the old cafeteria that was on the first floor of  Stilwell Hall, and I suppose our public shows of affection made a lot of the folks there a bit queasy at breakfast.  We spent the weekends together at Fat Glenn's or the Ramp or the Down Under or one of the other college bars that were such an important part of campus life at that time. 

One Friday evening I knew my cousins were planning on being at Fat Glenns, so I thought that this was an opportune time to introduce them to Donna.  When we waded through the dark and got to the table, my wife realized that she had grown up with my cousins in the Harvard Avenue area and one of them, in fact, was her best friend.  They hadn't seen each other in years, because Donna's family had moved to Brecksville, and they lost touch after that.  At that point it was obvious that this was destiny.  We both graduated in 1973, and were married the same year, even over the concerns of her parents. 

We've been married for 37 years going on 38 and have known each other for 40 and have two wonderful daughters.  Even though it's hard to imagine, I love her even more today than I did that first year we were together.  I will always be eternally grateful to CSU, not only for the great opportunity to achieve an undergraduate degree, but because it was the place that I found the greatest girl, the greatest wife and the greatest friend a man could ever want.

William (BBA '83) and Kelly (BBA '84) Baddour
My husband and I attended CSU during the same years, but never crossed paths We only had a mutual friend. He finally introduced us at the May CPA exam held at the Masonic Temple. Several weeks later, our paths crossed again. We began dating and married 17 months later!

David Michael Hamman (BChE '85) and Rosemary O'Toole-Hamman (BS '83)
Dave was an Ohio State University student who was transferring back to Bay Village to save money and attend college locally. I was a CSU student looking to transfer to OSU. WE met the week before classes started and I offered to help him register for classes. We took several classes together and began dating. We married in 1984 and have 3 children: Mike, Dan and Bridget. For a number of years, we both worked in the coatings industry, but in 1998, I switched gears and began teaching science while Dave switched to sales. We have a common interest in raising English Bulldogs and getting the last two offspring through college!

Steve (BSEE '78) and Lucia (M.Ed '80) Dominak
Steve was a co-op student and received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in June of 1978 from Fenn College of Engineering. We met in January of 1978 at Boston Mills Ski Resort on the ski lift. I recieved my Master's in Education from CSU in August of 1980. We were married in December of 1980 and went on a skiing honeymoon. Our son started skiing when he was three!

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