Long Courtships and Meet-Cutes in Jello — Couples Who Met At Michigan Ross Share Their Love Stories


With more than 50,000 living alumni all around the world, it’s no surprise that Michigan Ross has been the catalyst for many long-lasting, life-changing relationships.

As the world prepares to celebrate their love this Valentine’s Day, we reached out to couples who met at Ross and asked them to recount their courtship.

The stories range from the unexpected, to the downright cute.

Whether or not you observe Valentine’s Day, you and your partner choose to skip, or you’re #foreversingle, these stories of love blossoming at Michigan Ross are sure to make you swoon.


Julie and Jay Lichtenstein
BBA ‘95, BBA ‘93

Julie and Jay are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this year, having met when both were BBA students in 1992. Julie told us the whole, messy story of how they met during Greek Week:

“Jay was a junior and I was a freshman. We were paired together for an event outside the business school called the ‘Jello Jump.’ We had to jump into a large vat of green jello and pull out as many golf balls as possible in one minute. When we jumped in, I looked at Jay and said ‘I don’t jump into jello with just anyone!’”

Jay had to leave immediately after the event to interview for a summer internship position.

“He later told me he still had green jello stuck in his ears!” - Julie Lichtenstein

When Jay proposed to Julie four years later, the engagement ring was suspended inside a green jello mold.

Congratulations on 20 years of marriage!


Irene Chang and Michael Cho
MBAs ‘15

Irene and Michael met on the last day of their Michigan Ross orientation when they were both soaking wet.

It was a rainy day, and as they were both trying to dry off before the next orientation session began, they found themselves at the same table, sharing their backgrounds and what brought them to Ross.

But in true rom-com fashion, their instant connection was short-lived when Irene was pulled away to accept a furniture delivery.

They wouldn’t cross paths again for the rest of the semester. They attended classes, passed exams, worked on cases, prepped for interviews, lived their lives separately.

And then, Mike went to India for MAP, on a team with Irene’s close friend.

The close friend set them up, and after a few dates they found out they’d both be interning in Chicago together over the summer.

“That summer, we bonded over a love of good food and strong coffee,” Irene said.

“The rest is history!”

They’ll celebrate their second wedding anniversary on July 9.


Lynne and Robert Hessler
BBAs ‘76

Lynne and Robert had known each other for the entirety of their BBA education, having many of the same classes, and they considered each other friends.

When Bob started working the front desk of the business school library, where Lynne could often be found studying, things started to look a little different.

As Lynne describes it, they both may have had some ulterior motives behind their friendly dispositions.

“Secretly I think we each had other ideas,” she said.

The two eventually ended up going to the Spring Formal hosted by Lynne’s sorority, but their courtship was cut short by graduation and jobs in separate parts of the country.

“Sitting together at graduation, we thought we might never see each other again,” Lynne recounts. “But, Bob wrote me a letter (there was no internet then, can you imagine!?), I replied, and we continued a long distance romance until our marriage in the early 80s.”

Lynne and Bob have been married for 37 years and have three children, including Alexander Hessler, who graduated with his Michigan Ross BBA degree in 2015.

Go Blue!

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