Years after graduation, these Cornell MBAs are still each other’s Big Red valentines

By: Katelyn Godoy
The Soods laughing and dancing
Rishi and Richa Sood, MBA ’12 met during their time at Johnson

It’s no secret that Johnson MBAs have been known to fall in love. And some MBAs choose to pursue their degrees together. On Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating MBA alumni who are still each other’s perfect case.

Rishi Sood and Richa Sood, both MBA ’12

The Soods smile during a wine tasting event

Richa and Rishi Sood

“We met on the first day of orientation because of our names: Richa Sood and Rishi Sood. Half our MBA class immediately assumed that we were already married. We ignored all the teasing about being a couple because we spent so much time together in Sage Hall; however, the joke is on us since we caught the love bug of 2012. We were one of 12 couples married within our class! Our love of Cornell even helped us convince Rishi’s younger brother to attend Johnson, where he found his wife at Destination Johnson. Now we are a big, happy Cornell family!”

James and Valerie Jennings, both MBA ’91

The Jennings stand in front of a waterfall
The Jennings visited Cornell during their son’s 2018 Family Weekend. They say “Ithaca was as cold and wet as we remember.”

“Valerie and I met in Alan McAdam’s Strategic Consulting Class and Turbo Ops with Larry Robinson. She was an exchange student from UCLouvain in Belgium, and I was a second year, just back from an internship in Budapest. We first talked on a drive back from a field trip to the NCR manufacturing plant in Ithaca and a year later, we got married with some classmates in attendance. After living in Boston for several years, we moved to Vermont where we started a family. Four years ago, we followed Valerie’s job to Switzerland, and last fall, our eldest son started at Cornell in the College of Arts & Sciences. We currently live in Lausanne with our youngest son and Aubry the dog.”

Matt and Kara Trokey, both MBA ’04

Kara and Matt in front of a waterfall
Engagement photos at Cascadilla Falls, 2004
Kara and Matt walk down the stairs headed to convocation
Kara and Matt at their graduation in 2004

“While we actually didn’t meet at Cornell, we were in the same class, dated, and got engaged while we were there. Cornell was a fun place to date—we sailed on the lake together in the fall, snuck off for lunches at Glenwood Pines (our fav!), and went wine tasting on the weekends. (And of course, studied, too!) We got engaged during our second year on New Year’s Eve on Copacabana Beach in Rio, right before the Doing Business in Brazil trip. We have so many fond memories of Cornell and so many great friends!”

Are you an MBA in love? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!


  1. I got married 3 months ago (October 2018) – to my husband who I met at Johnson. We even took our engagement photos on Cornell campus!

  2. I (08) met my husband (07) in the Johnson EMBA program on the first day of class outside Sage Hall. Our wedding was in Sage Chapel in 2009 and we now have two beautiful boys (1 and 8).

  3. Susan Locke and I were part of the love class of 1986. 10 couples ended up marrying fellow classmates. Susan and I are still going strong. Now retired and cruising the east coast and Bahamas.

  4. Don’t forget about inter-school cross-pollination: Sheila Yousefi (JD ’03) & Richard Hartigan (MBA ’03).

  5. Following the love class of 86’ Kit and Steve Antinozzi 87’!

  6. Jose and I, both class of ’82 met in the then computer room where I was stumped over a coding problem and he was the ‘student expert adviser’. He had a fabulous technique of reaching around me to work the keyboard and unravel my errors. Since both of us were work-study students, we courted on campus and then married in Anabel Taylor Hall just prior to spring break of second year, with classmates providing the instrumental music and vocal selections. Many professors and administrators were present as well. Our multi-tiered ice-cream cake barely made it before melting as the delivery driver got lost on campus. Now closing in on 37 years together, we have two married children and both they and their spouses all have MBA’s from a variety of top-notch universities.

  7. I am an AMBA (MD, MBA 13’) who married the love of life David Schnur class of 14’. We met in the atrium of sage hall and now have a almost two year old. All of the stories are so lovely to hear!

  8. And there are Alan Swain (MBA, ’75) and Susan Garry (MBA, ’75) as well.

Comments are closed.