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From campus to forever: Love stories of BW

On this Valentine's Day 2024, we celebrate BW's more than 2,000 alumni couples with another round of their love connections. Happy Valentine's Day!


Friend Zone To End Zone

Gabe & Lauren Adams

Gabriel (Gabe) Adams '14 and Lauren Nanni '13 met in econ class but made their first connection during track. When Lauren asked to borrow a phone charger at a meet, it was a simple request to her but not so much for Gabe; he was intrigued.

They shared classes and had mutual friends who studied together. "She likes to say she was helping me … not sure I remember it the same way, but I'll leave that alone!" says Gabe. While they became friends in 2010, they didn't start dating until 2017. They married in 2020 with the wedding hashtag #FriendZoneToEndZone!

The couple added that their relationship would never have happened without BW. They are grateful for everything that led them to where they are now, and BW played a huge role in that. "From our interest in travel, sports, our businesses, and now as parents to our daughter, Ava, all have BW's fingerprints on it," they said.

BW was even a part of Gabe and Lauren's proposal at the BW Reverse Raffle in 2019. Gabe continued his commitment to the university in various roles on the Brown and Gold Club Board and served three years on the Board of Trustees.

"We will continue to support BW in return for all it's done for us and raise our own little jacket, Ava, to know what it means to represent the brown and gold!" they noted.

From Student Leaders to Life Partners

Adny & Aru Henthorn

Andrew (Andy) Henthorn '19 and Aru (Gupta) Henthorn '21 were very involved at Baldwin Wallace and met through a common group of friends. Andy was the 2018-19 student body president at the time, and Aru decided to join as a student senator. She would eventually go on to serve as the 2019-20 student body vice president and the 2020-21 student body president. Little did they know how special being a part of the same organization would be for them.

They were simply friends at first, and it wasn't until November 2019, after Andy graduated and moved to Virginia, that they started dating. After Aru graduated in December 2021, she moved to Virginia to join Andy. BW has always been such a special place for them. They visit BW friends, staff and faculty members often.

After almost three years of dating, they attended BW's Homecoming in 2022 and took a walk down memory lane. They visited the place where Andy asked Aru to be his girlfriend, and he proposed! In September 2023, they married in Cleveland, surrounded by many people from their BW family.

"BW means so much to us because it led us to each other — growing up in India, what are the chances that I would end up marrying somebody who grew up almost exactly halfway around the world from me, but BW did that for us! BW helped us both grow so much as individuals and also put us on a path to growing together as a couple — which is why we love staying involved with the University community.

"We are involved in alumni activities here in Virginia, stay up to date with the student organizations we were involved in while at BW, and visit every chance we get, especially for Homecoming and other big events throughout the year. We choose to continue supporting BW philanthropically because we want other people to have the same kind of BW experience that we were so fortunate to have. So much of our success can be attributed to the experiences BW made possible for us, and we just want to be able to give back," said Aru.

From Leadership to Love

Kevin & Clare Kaufhold wedding party

Kevin Kaufhold '18 and Clare (Helmer) Kaufhold '21 originally met through Student Government. Kevin was the 2017-18 student body president, while Clare's circle of friends was actively involved in the same organization. They have been inseparable ever since. Kevin gladly supported Clare as she became the 2020-21 student body vice president, which made them even closer.

Clare and Kevin refer to BW as their family. Their journey at BW was not only defined by academic pursuits but also enriched by the deep and lasting friendships they shaped. Their friends became their family, who stood beside them through thick and thin and eventually stood beside them on their wedding day.

"We love to attend BW events such as Homecoming, Holiday Gala, musical productions, and more! We love connecting with alumni near and far and attending alumni events. We choose to financially support Baldwin Wallace in hopes of giving current and future students the amazing opportunities that we have received and hopefully to meet their lifelong friends who will no doubt become like family to them," the Kaufholds said.

Their photo is a cherished memento — a snapshot captured on their wedding day — set against the backdrop of BW, a testament to its profound impact on their lives.

Intertwined Destinies: A Love Story from 1981 to Legacy

George and Andrea HorneAmid the vibrant campus life of Baldwin Wallace in 1981, fate wove its threads to bring together George Horne '84 and Andrea (Sullivan) Horne '83, two souls destined for each other in a love story that defied convention, where opposites not only attracted but became inseparable.

Their story started when George and Andrea shared the same class. Punctual Andrea always took the same seat while George, in a calculated move, planned his tardiness to ensure his path would cross hers. Though perhaps initially annoying to Andrea, his deliberate actions were fueled by an unyielding desire to remain within her eye. As the quarter drew to a close before Thanksgiving break, George gathered the courage to extend an invitation, which Andrea graciously accepted. Their initial date proved successful, and their romance started. By the next quarter, they were "boo'd up."

Never too far apart, they both lived in North Hall and spent time studying and going out, not just learning from each other but loving each other as well. For George, BW has a sentimental value because this is where he met the love of his life and a sacred brotherhood that made him feel loved and supported while away from home — Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

Their connection to Baldwin Wallace endures through their daughter, Amaree, and their continued involvement with the Black Alumni Network. They are also committed to supporting BW, recognizing the invaluable seeds of knowledge and fellowship planted during their time on campus and endeavoring to pay it forward for future generations.

Moreover, they take immense pride in their daughter's accomplishments, marveling at the legacy she continues to build — a testament to their enduring love and the indelible mark they've left on Baldwin Wallace University. As they reflect on their journey spanning over four decades, they are amazed by the serendipitous twists of fate that led them to their daughter, who now follows in their footsteps, set to carve her own impactful legacy upon the same beloved campus where their love story began.

Enduring Love from Lifelong Friendships

Katie Kratt Fort & Ronald Fleming

Katie Kratt Fort '55 and Ronald Fleming '54 exchanged vows on October 6, 2012, at the ages of 80 and 79. Yet, their journey together traces back 62 years to their days as freshmen at BW.

Neil Fort '53, Katie's future husband, arrived on BW's campus from New Jersey in 1949. A standout backstroker on BW's swimming team, he also pledged Alpha Sigma Phi. Meanwhile, Ron's future wife, Nancy Hartup, enrolled at BW in September 1950 on an academic scholarship, hailing from Wapakoneta, Ohio.

Nancy and Ron entered BW at the same time. Five months into their freshman year, Ron joined the swim team and pledged Alpha Sigma Phi, becoming Neil's "little brother" in the fraternity. While Ron began navigating college life, Katie completed her high school education in Lorain, Ohio. She started her BW journey in the spring quarter of 1951 and became Nancy's roommate in Hewlett Hall, setting the stage for their intertwined destinies.

The Korean War was raging during this time, and Neil enlisted in the Navy Reserve. He trained on Tuesday nights and asked Ron to substitute for him in the Merner-Pfeiffer dining room. This is where Ron and Nancy crossed paths amid a sea of dirty dishes. Their friendship blossomed, and they soon introduced Katie to Neil, setting off a chain of events that would forever alter their lives.

In February of their senior year, Nancy and Ron became engaged, sealing their commitment with marriage before Ron embarked on his medical school journey. Meanwhile, Neil graduated in 1953 and began his career as a high school educator. In 1955, Katie and Neil exchanged vows, solidifying their union.

Throughout the decades, their bond remained steadfast despite never living in the same community. They celebrated each other's weddings, nurtured their friendships and watched each other's families grow. As the years passed and retirement beckoned, Neil and Nancy faced health challenges, eventually departing from this world in 2007 and 2008.

Yet, the connections forged at BW endured. Attending university functions kept Katie and Ron in touch, eventually sparking a romance that led them to sell their homes and embark on a new chapter together at the Renaissance senior retirement campus in 2012. Thus, their story comes full circle — a testament to enduring love, lifelong friendships and the continuing mark left by their alma mater.

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