6 more Creighton love stories

Jun 06, 2023

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Featured Testimonial About Creighton University

Images of couples who met at Creighton

Creighton helped us grow in our values and faith as a couple and provided a very strong foundation for our love.

The Jay we met

By Micah Mertes

We’re not going to waste any time with throat-clearing. We know you like to read stories about couples who found love at Creighton. (We know this because this story and this story are among our most popular ever.)

With wedding season upon us, we’ve got a fresh batch of swoon-inducing love stories for you. Enjoy.

(We’ve heard from so many alumni couples that we’re going to make this a regular feature. Stay tuned for future Creighton love story roundups. Want your story to be featured? Share it with micahmertes@creighton.edu.)

A note about the punny headlines: I'm sorry.

* * *

Payton and Matt
Payton and Matt

Mall-ing in love

Payton Markvicka, BSBA'21, and Matt McCartney, BSBA'20

“Creighton is a great place to meet your significant because you always keep running into them on the Mall,” Payton says.

Payton met Matt at an ugly sweater party in the fall semester of 2019. After that, she couldn’t avoid him. There he was giving tours to prospective students. There he was hanging around the Heider College of Business in the Harper Center. They kept running into each other in greater Omaha, too. Why argue with fate? Their first date was at the Henry Doorly Zoo.

The spring of 2020 was … well, it was The Spring of 2020™. COVID cut Payton’s study abroad trip to Rome short, she reunited with Matt and now, three years later, they’re together in Kansas City.

They say the things they like most about each other are the same things Creighton brings out in its students.

“When you go to Creighton,” Payton says, “you’re not just a student; you’re truly a member of a community. What’s great about this community is even though we’re all different, people at Creighton have great qualities that are hard not to like. They’re driven, inspiring, motivated, loving, caring people.”

Sounds like a great place to meet someone.

* * *

Every little thing you do is magis

Drew and Anna
Drew and Anna

Anna (Weirick) Wilson, BA'16, MED'18; and Drew Wilson, BA'16, MED'18

They lived in Kiewit Hall their freshman year, one floor apart. They don’t recall the first time they met, but it probably had something to do with their compatible interests in baked goods. Anna often made cookies for people to eat in the common kitchen of the fourth and fifth floors. Drew often ate those cookies.

They were in the same class together the following year. Anna thought he was “cool frat guy.” Drew thought she was cute. Nothing came of it.

After graduation, they both enrolled in Creighton’s Magis Catholic Teacher Corps. She taught in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, while he taught in Milwaukee. They were both dating other people at the time.

Then, finally, they connected the following summer, when they returned to Omaha for the Magis corps. This time they were both single.

Early in their courting, they got up early to run together every morning. “Both of us felt this could be the start of something special,” Drew says, “in spite of our sore joints.”

Key dates in Anna and Drew’s Creighton history

First class together: Jan. 15, 2014, in Dowling Hall

First date: July 3, 2017, at Kenefick Hall

Engaged: Nov. 8, 2019 (in Milwaukee)

Married: May 29, 2021, at St. John’s Church

First child: Dec. 13, 2022

Anna and Drew
Anna and Drew

* * *

Let's Jay together

Joy Donlan-Daly, BSN’98, and Michael Daly, BS’97, PharmD
Justin Malone, BSCHM'98, MD'02, and Melissa Maerz-Malone, BSN’98, MS’02

Two couples. Four best friends.

Twenty-five years since their undergraduate years, Joy, Michael, Justin and Melissa remain as close as ever. They meet up whenever they can and take a lake trip together every year. Each couple’s respective children are great friends, too, Joy says.

From left: Justin, Melissa, Joy and Mike
From left: Justin, Melissa, Joy and Mike now
From left: Justin, Melissa, Joy and Mike then
From left: Justin, Melissa, Joy and Mike then

* * *

Going the distance

Kieth and Tara
Kieth and Tara

Kieth McGovern, BSBA’05, and Tara Fitzgerald McGovern, DPT’06, BSHS’06

Kieth and Tara’s Creighton love story, like so many others, started in Kiewit Hall. They quite possibly owe it all to the student who pulled the fire alarm at 1:30 in the morning.

The dizzy and discombobulated scene proved to be the perfect moment for Kieth to make his move and ask Tara out.

Dating involved a lot of Creighton things — long talks in the Jesuit Gardens, intramural sports, school dances. But Kieth says their love story really got going when they had to spend four months apart.

Kieth was taking a semester abroad in the Dominican Republic, and it was the first real test of their relationship. To keep the flame burning while they were 3,500 miles apart, before he left Omaha, Kieth put into motion a series of 16 romantic gestures (one for every week he was gone).

Each week, one of Kieth and Tara’s friends would find Tara on campus and give her a gift and a love note from Kieth. Flowers, a pair of mittens in January, a poem read by their friend Paddy Gilger, SJ, BA’02, PhD.

The Creighton community literally came together to help make sure Kieth and Tara stayed together (even, inadvertently, the student who pulled the fire alarm at 1:30 a.m.).

“We made it through the experience and were both better for each other after,” Kieth says. “I am so thankful to everyone who helped give Tara a special moment on campus.”

Nearly 20 years since they met, Kieth and Tara are making a return visit to the Dominican Republic this summer, this time together and with their four children.

* * *

Hearts and sciences

Morgan and Manny. Photo on right by Karlie Dru Photography
Morgan and Manny. Photo on right by Karlie Dru Photography

Morgan Dobersek, BS'19, JD'22, and Manny Oñate, BFA’19

“Creighton truly brought us together as a couple, and we are so grateful it did,” says Morgan.  “We feel very lucky to have met each other at Creighton because we knew we shared similar values.”

Manny and Morgan met their freshman year because of their mutual love of musical theater. They got to know each other during a performance of Antigone. They were just friends that first year, but when they became an item, no one was surprised. The site of their first date is a topic of debate, but it was either a musical at the Omaha Community Playhouse or seeing Hocus Pocus at a drive-in movie.

Their shared passions didn’t stop at musical theater. Their courtship was very Creighton. They spent time together going to Creighton basketball games, attending St. John’s Mass, taking long walks on the Mall, shaking a leg at dance classes in the Lied Education Center for the Arts, attending the Creighton law school’s Barristers Ball, and advocating for compassionate immigration and prison reform at the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice’s Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice.

“One aspect of Creighton that we love is its commitment to social justice,” Morgan says. “Not only did we receive an amazing education; Creighton helped us foster a stronger commitment to social justice as a couple. We participated in many service opportunities and other leadership activities throughout the various groups and clubs on campus, and through our volunteering and advocating together, social justice became an extremely important part of our relationship.”

 “Creighton also helped us grow in our values and faith as a couple and provided a very strong foundation for our love.”

Morgan and Manny now live in Chicago, where Manny is a second-year law student at the Chicago-Kent School of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology. They'll be getting married in Milwaukee this December.

* * *

Pat and Amanda in 2002.
Pat and Amanda in 2002.

Chair we first met

Amanda Bouc Kelsey, BA'01, PHARMD'05; and Pat Kelsey, BS'02, DDS'06

Both the first time they met and the day he proposed seven years later revolved around a formal living room chair.

The first event was in 1998 outside Swanson Hall. Amanda was a sophomore helping with freshman move-in and was assigned to Pat’s car.

“He made the classic freshman mistake of bringing way too much stuff for the little dorm room,” Amanda says.

Most memorable was the too-big formal living room chair that Amanda lugged up to Swanson room 741. But it wasn’t just the chair that made an impression on her that day. Amanda told a friend that she didn’t know what it was about Pat, but she knew someday their paths would cross again. And so they did.

They became friends her senior year, started dating the summer before his senior year and stayed together through their years in dental and pharmacy school.

Amanda, Pat and their four daughters.
Amanda, Pat and their four daughters.

In 2005, Pat told Amanda he needed to run an errand at Creighton. As they drove by Swanson Hall, they saw Pat's old living room chair lying by the dumpster, the same one Amanda had carried to the seventh floor seven years earlier.

“Someone's finally getting rid of my old chair,” Pat said, acting surprised. (The chair was actually a plant. Pat had been keeping it in his parents’ basement all those years for this very occasion.)

They got out of the car and went to take a picture of the chair. Then Pat proposed (clinching what almost certainly has to be the only wedding engagement ever made while standing next to a Creighton residence hall dumpster).

They got married the following year at St. John’s.

“We now have four bright and beautiful girls, and our whole family loves cheering on the Creighton basketball, volleyball and soccer teams,” Amanda says. “When we bring the girls to campus, it brings such a smile to my face. It’s where we all began!”

* * *

We’ve heard from so many alumni couples that we’re going to make this a regular feature. Stay tuned for future Creighton love story roundups. Want your story to be featured? Share it with micahmertes@creighton.edu.

See past Creighton love story entries:

Valentine’s Day 2023: 14 Creighton love stories

Valentine’s Day 2022: 12 Creighton love stories