Michigan Ross Couples Share Their Love Stories
At the Ross School of Business, students are bound to meet plenty of important connections — professors, lifelong friends, and networking contacts. However, some lucky students even meet their significant other while learning at Michigan Ross.
As a part of our annual Valentine’s Day tradition, we asked a handful of Ross alums to share their stories of finding love while attending business school. From lunch dates to Halloween party meet-cutes, these alums detail some of their favorite memories they shared with their partners at Ross.
Betting on love
Erica and Todd LeBlanc
Erica and Todd first met at an admitted student event at Duke University, where Todd recognized Erica from the Michigan Ross UpClose weekend the fall before. Erica said their first encounter was a little awkward, with Todd calling her “Erica from California” when she was really Erica from Kansas.
Luckily, she forgave the blunder and the two hit it off as friends, exchanging emails, and keeping in touch over the summer. After they both decided to attend Michigan Ross, Erica and Todd reunited at a welcome event. Erica said Todd ran up to her when he saw her and gave her a big bear hug. From then on, they became inseparable.
Erica said one of her favorite memories with Todd at Ross was when he first asked her on a date.
“We were at a Consortium bowling event and before we played he proposed a bet: If he won I had to take him to dinner and a movie, and if I won, he had to take me to dinner and a movie. I was thinking ‘this dude wins either way,’ but I played along. I ended up winning by one point and the rest is history.”
After graduation, the two moved to Chicago, where they live today. They were married in October 2008 and welcomed their two sons, Grant and Davis, in 2010 and 2012. This year will be their 15th wedding anniversary.
If you play your cards right...
Katie and Jun Takayasu
BBA '04, BA '03/MAcc '04
In 2001, Katie and Jun both happened to attend Monte Carlo night at the Michigan League. They sat next to each other to play blackjack and both felt a spark. They may not have known it at the time, but that moment was the start of their future together.
While Katie worked through her exams for pre-med, she remembers Jun helping with her Accounting 171 homework. She says she wouldn’t have made it through that class or Managerial Accounting without Jun’s patient explanations.
After three years of weekly lunch dates and happy memories together, Jun proposed under the West Hall Engineering Arch at midnight. Katie said yes — and today, they’ve been married for almost 17 years. The pair are also proud parents to twin 10-year-old boys.
A romantic recruitment
David and Terri Lasoff
MBA '04, MBA '05
When David met Terri, he knew he had to convince her to come to Michigan Ross.
The two ran into each other at UpClose weekend in 2002, where David had been enlisted to talk to prospective MBA students about the program.
“Once I was introduced to this one particular applicant who was funny and smart — not to mention beautiful — it became my sole mission to convince her to choose Michigan Ross from among her many B-school options,” David said.
Terri and David stayed in touch after the event and Terri did end up choosing Ross to pursue her MBA. David said her decision was “due in no small part, I’m sure, to my unheralded skills of subtle persuasion.”
The two fell in love during their time on campus together, sharing many happy memories — from attending football games to their first “official” date at Cedar Point.
Terri and David celebrated 16 years of marriage last October and say they have been extremely lucky to share their personal and professional successes over the years with the support of one another. They now have three children, Taylor, Dylan, and Carter, who they hope will one day choose to become Wolverines themselves.
Making a difference together
Charles and Phyllis Goodman
On the very first day of their MBA program, Charles and Phyllis sat next to each other in the front row of their first class.
“We’ve not been far apart since that day 55 years ago,” Charles said.
The two quickly bonded and fell in love during their time together in business school. Phyllis and Charles both earned their MBAs in 1972. The pair’s graduation was a particularly special moment that they both cherish to this day.
“At graduation, after having asked the graduates to stand for recognition and applause, the emcee went on to acknowledge the wives of the graduates by asking them to stand,” Charles shared. “My wife stood up in her cap and gown. The emcee kind of stumbled around and then asked the husbands to stand up. I stood. I believe we may have been the first married couple to simultaneously receive MBA degrees from Michigan Ross.”
After their time in business school, Phyllis and Charles went on to become teachers. The pair both found joy and fulfillment in working with students for decades. They said that, as two people who came of age in the 1960s, making a positive difference in the world has been their mission. They are proud to do so together.
The recipe for love
Laurel Chamberlain and Chris Williams
BBA '13, BBA '11/MAcc '12
During her sophomore year, Laurel attended a Halloween party dressed as Twiggy. She met Chris, who was dressed as Abraham Lincoln for the fifth year in a row — and it was love at first sight.
The two went on countless dates during their time at Michigan, frequenting Silvio’s Pizza and the movie theaters near campus. They bonded over many things, an important one being food. Chris was not the greatest cook, a problem that Laurel was luckily able to help him with.
“I made it a priority to teach him some basic kitchen skills and master a few recipes. One of our favorites was shrimp scampi that we made on our first Valentine's Day together, a tradition that we still do to this day,” Laurel said.
Since graduating, the two have moved to Chicago where they now live and work. They were thrilled to finally tie the knot last year and enjoyed an intimate wedding celebration with family and friends in Paris.
From one generation to the next
Jim and Suzy Royce
BBA '84/MBA '06, BBA '84
Suzy Latimer and Jim Royce first met as sophomores when they were both assigned to the same room to take an accounting exam. Since they finished the test in the evening, Jim offered to give Suzy a ride home to her dorm in Mary Markley Hall, which she accepted.
The two crossed paths during their junior year but didn’t reconnect until their senior year, when they, by chance, had four of their classes together in the winter term. This time, Jim and Suzy studied together and quickly became great friends, spending much of their time together. After weeks of friendship, they eventually decided to make it official and have been together ever since.
“Like any couple who's been married for 37 years, we've achieved a lot together,” Jim said. The two of them are most proud of their two sons, Nik and Ben, who also attended Ross and earned their MBAs in 2020 and 2022 respectively.
“Between the four of us, we now hold seven degrees from the University of Michigan,” Jim proudly shared.
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