Longhorn Love Stories 2016
With team projects, group meetings, and other day-to-day activities at the McCombs School of Business, some romantic relationships are bound to form along the way. From a marketing network meeting to toughing it out long-distance, these Longhorn love stories are all about couples who met at McCombs, at one point or another, fell for each other, and later sealed the deal.
Roshan Gummattira, MBA '08, and Rachel Callahan Gummattira, MBA '08
How they met: Roshan and Rachel were friends for seven years before they started dating. They met at the start of their graduate program in 2006, often seeing each other in a larger circle of friends through the business school. After running into each other at weddings, football games, and meetups in their hometown of Houston, the couple finally started dating in early 2013. At the time, Roshan was working in San Francisco and Rachel was in Houston.
The proposal: In the first week of February 2015, the pair planned an early Valentine's Day weekend getaway since they wouldn’t be together for the holiday. When the couple arrived at Hotel Ella in Austin, Rachel says the room was decorated with rose petals. Roshan proposed to her on the big, open balcony. But this wasn’t the biggest surprise in store for the weekend. "The next day, we went out for brunch at the Four Seasons," Rachel says. "When we walked in, they told us 'Your room is ready' and when they opened the door to this big wine room, all of our family was there. His parents, my parents, and our brothers and sisters had all driven from Houston to come surprise me. It was great."
Making it official: The couple married in October 2015 with a two-day ceremony that encompassed Roshan's Indian heritage and Rachel’s Catholic traditions. The Indian-style wedding was held on a Friday and on Saturday the couple held a ceremony at Rachel's childhood Catholic Church and a reception at a hotel in Houston.
Today: Since their wedding, Roshan and Rachel are settling into their first home together in Houston. Rachel works for her family's investment advisory company, Callahan Advisors, and Roshan works as a managing director for investment banking company GulfStar Group.
Lou Mabley, MBA '96, and Kathleen Lewis Mabley, MBA '96
How they met: Lou and Kathleen met how many McCombs School of Business students do — in a marketing network they both joined the first year of their graduate program. Both were dating other people at the time and just saw each other as friends.
Dating: They hung out with mutual friends often and went out to see Robert Earl Keen and other live music shows when they weren't busy with schoolwork. When the pair first started dating, each of them had job offers and had to pursue a long-distance relationship. "He was working in Chicago and I was in Indianapolis, but we hung out almost every weekend," Kathleen says.
The proposal: In 1997, the pair was on vacation at a fishing club in Vermont with all of their parents and siblings. Kathleen says they were tired from all of the activities, but Lou insisted they take a hike up a mountain path. When they got to the top, Lou proposed and they celebrated with a cooler of champagne that Lou's father had strategically placed earlier that day at the spot.
Making it official: In 1998, the pair married in Kathleen's hometown, Shaker Heights, Ohio. They spent five years living in Chicago and moved back to Austin in 2002.
Today: Since then, Kathleen says the couple has kept busy with their three boys, ages 15, 11, and 8. Kathleen works as a marketing director for The University of Texas at Austin and Lou works for Dell as an executive director and general manager in the company's service renewal business.
Jeff Stevens, BBA '13, and Michelle Moon, BBA '14
How they met: When Michelle and Jeff met through the Business Honors Program, she was a freshman, he was a sophomore, and they were both "kind of nerdy," Michelle says. They both were members of the university's Senate of College Councils; Michelle was interested in joining the Undergraduate Business Council, where Jeff was a representative. When Michelle asked Jeff for help "describing herself without words" for the application, he gave her some advice.
"Jeff said that he turned in his most prized possession to describe himself, which was his periodic table of elements sock," Michelle says. She couldn’t believe it. "My most prized possession was my chemistry sweatshirt from high school, and so we had that chemistry bond."
Michelle says they were inseparable since that day. "Jeff and I have literally done everything together since the moment we met. We really were two peas in a pod all throughout college."
The proposal: After graduation, the couple moved to Houston, where they are both from. In May 2015, Jeff proposed to Michelle through a series of creative gestures: Jeff had friends take Michelle to places around the city that were either significant to their relation or representative of activities they’d enjoyed together in Austin. "I had some of our friends meet us at each of these locations and act out little skits that told the story of our relationship," Jeff says.
At the last stop, some of Michelle's friends dropped her off at a decorated gazebo where Jeff was waiting and proposed. The couple plans to marry in October in Houston, followed by a three-week honeymoon in New Zealand.
Today: Michelle and Jeff work as a project analyst and financial analyst, respectively, at Exxon Mobil Corp.
Emily Benigno, BBA '11, and Will Benter, BBA '11
How they met: Though Emily and Will didn't start dating until their senior year at McCombs, they met freshman year and Emily started noticing Will more and more. "I had a sneaking suspicion that Will might like me," Emily says. "I was involved in the Make-A-Mark scholarship program and I planned a series of events throughout the year, and I always noticed that Will was keen to attend the events. So I thought he was either really excited about scholarships or maybe that he might just like me as well."
"She was right," Will says. "I just remember always being in awe of Emily. She was always one of the smartest people in class and I was just trying to catch up. She had my attention for a while."
When the two started dating during their senior year, they were excited to find out that they had both accepted jobs in Dallas. After living there for three years, Emily and Will moved in 2014 to pursue MBAs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where they will both graduate in June.
The proposal: In August 2015, the couple made a special trip back to Austin, where Will had a surprise in store. "One of our first dates was to the Zilker Botanical Garden, and that's the spot where Will proposed," Emily says. "It was really special to be back in Austin and back where our relationship started."
Later that day, the couple took a drive through the UT campus and by McCombs to reminisce about their "undergrad days" and where they first met. The next day, Emily was in for another happy surprise when both of their families met the couple for brunch.
Today: Emily and Will plan to marry in October in Houston, their hometown, where they have accepted jobs and plan to move after graduation.