In honor of Valentine’s Day 2011, the Office of Development & Alumni Relations presented the fifth annual installment of “Stern Sweethearts”- a profile of couples who met during their time here at Stern.

Matthew Guimbarda (MBA '06) and Carolyn Ude Guimbarda (MBA '06)

Stern Sweethearts 2011 - Guimbarda 240 x 300

As told by Carolyn: Matt and I first met in Los Angeles, in May 2004, at a bar called Brennan's, located in Venice (home of the Thursday-night-under-the-lights back patio turtle racing). The first meeting came before either of us had started our illustrious NYU Stern experience but Stern had everything to do with the chance encounter. NYU Stern was hosting a happy hour get-together at Brennan's for Class of 2006 admitted students the summer before classes began. It was a chance to meet fellow prospective classmates in a comfortable setting. Matt claims it was love at first sight, but for me the flame took a bit longer to ignite. However, there was undeniable chemistry, even from that first brief introduction, and we stayed in touch throughout the summer before moving out to NY (we had even coordinated to be on the same flight out). We arrived at NYU already friends, and many of our classmates wrongly (or perhaps correctly) assumed we were hiding a far deeper connection. As fate would have it, we were placed in the same block, Block 2, and destiny seemed on our side. We were inseparable during Pre-Term and spent the first part of the semester exploring the city together. The first few weeks were tense, the romantic tension was palpable and our friendship was tossed on its head one night when Matt saw an opening and jumped in for a goodnight kiss after another long study session.

Our first date took place on a rainy fall evening at a charming French bistro in Soho named Raoul's. Everything was going so well …until, in the blink of an eye, one night it wasn't. I blamed the timing of the relationship amongst all the other madness of that first semester, but, regardless of the rationale, I ended the relationship before it really ever got started. At that point, we went our separate ways, Matt to Australia for a semester (he will tell you to get as far away from me as possible) and I to various international destinations on Stern sponsored trips. Our remaining time together at Stern was amicable but far more distant, as we turned our attention to our respective upcoming post-graduate careers. I was destined for a management consulting career and Matt had dedicated his life to Wall Street. Yet despite the cooling off of our relationship, and despite the demanding requirements of our respective occupations, we still found excuses to see each other every now and again, a restaurant week dinner here, a fellow Sternie birthday there. I think we both were holding out hope that there was still something more, at least I know I was.

As time went on, I began to realize how strongly I felt for Matt, and I feared I wouldn't get a second chance. I worked hard to transition our friendship back into something more romantic for months, but apparently I was too subtle. He wasn't about to respond to subtlety after round one of our brief attempt at dating years before. He was guarded, and it wasn't easy to convince him that I was fully committed this time around. Finally, in September 2007, I managed to break through his last lines of defense and, after attending a mutual friend's birthday party one night, we shared a second first kiss, three years after the original. Matt was understandably cautious in the beginning but eventually his guard dropped and we rediscovered the initial chemistry that brought us together back in 2004. We've spoke every day since that second first kiss, and the rest, as they say, is history. Matt proposed on Christmas afternoon 2009, making it the best Christmas a girl could ask for, and we got hitched in late September of 2010 at a stunning venue in Santa Barbara, CA. We are finally getting settled after our move back to the west coast late last year, now living no more than 10 minutes from that bar where we first met. However, we will always look forward to our next visit to the Big Apple, for another dinner at Raouls, a coffee from Grey Dog and $2 happy hour beers from Bravest.

Ken Ng (BS '84, MBA '90) and Lucy Wang (BS '84)

Stern Sweethearts 2011 - Ng

As told by Ken (and under protest by Lucy): Since sharing a case-study-heavy Marketing Management class with Lucy as seniors at Stern, I've embellished this story through many tellings over the years. My version of the story goes this way… Lucy and I met in class and she jockeyed to be in the same project group as me. After working well together and receiving a pleasing grade for the project, I slacked off due to over commitments as a graduating student. Well, the missed classes caught up to me and before I knew it, final cases and exams were upon us. Marking the beginning of a life-long practice, I turned to Lucy for help. With her borrowed notes, I claimed to have returned with a better grade in the class than her. At least, this is how I will continue to tell the story.

We didn't meet again until two years later while both returning home on the subway, she from her buying job at Bloomingdales and I from my sales job at IBM. Lunches, dinners, and concerts in the park soon blossomed into a serious romance. I proposed to Lucy on Cadillac Mountain, Maine, and we were the first to see the sun rise that day. Lucy has been a blessing to me and has shone a light on my life ever since that day.

In 1993, we moved to Asia and have lived in five countries since. I am the President of American Standard Asia Pacific and led the Asia sale of the Bain Capital-owned company last year to a strategic investor. Lucy is a super do-all mom (and she makes an awesome cheesecake). She works part time as a relocation consultant and also substitutes at Shanghai American School. We raise three beautiful children while living as expats in Shanghai.

Bill Rudin (BS '79) and Ophelia Rudin (BS '78)

Stern Sweethearts 2011 - Rudin 475 x 356

As told by Bill and Ophelia: Bill and Ophelia met in 1977 in a Finance 101 class. Ophelia was sitting in the classroom with a group of her girlfriends when Bill walked through the door. A dashingly handsome man, he immediately caught the eye of Ophelia's best friend, who turned to Ophelia and said “that is the man for you!”

Bill's interest in Ophelia was evident and he quickly became a part of her circle of friends, hoping to win her over. The girls were happy to oblige, as they thought Bill was a great catch. He charmed them all and could have gone on dates with many of them, but his heart was set on Ophelia.

At the time, Bill was going to school and working for his family's company. Ophelia was focused on academics, taking both day and night classes. Bill continued to look for new ways to catch Ophelia's eye. One evening, as he was walking his dog, Smitty, he decided to head towards School, to see if Ophelia might be on campus. As fate would have it, she was, and when Bill spotted her, he acted suave and nonchalant, saying he “happened to be in the neighborhood,” and asked her to join him for a drink at a café in the village. From that first date, the two were inseparable.

Ophelia went on to go Columbia Graduate School, Bill continued his work at the family company, and the rest is history. Not only did NYU bring Bill and Ophelia together, it has provided an educational foundation for three generations of Rudins: Bill's father, Lewis Rudin (BS '49), Bill (BS '79), and Bill and Ophelia's daughter, Samantha (TSOA '06).

Now, thirty-five years and two beautiful children later (Samantha, 26, and Michael, 25), Bill and Ophelia find themselves still very much in love!

Albert Scheer (BS '07) and Elizabeth Parker (BS '06)

Stern Sweethearts 2011 - Scheer

As told by Albert: Elizabeth and I both transferred to NYU Stern starting in the fall semester of 2004. We first met on the subway to a Yankees game as part of the NYU Stern transfer orientation program. We got along instantly and I knew we would be friends at school.
A few days later, I walked into my first Stern class and interestingly enough, when I arrived, Elizabeth was in that class as well. We worked together on a few team projects that semester and spent time getting to know one another better. It was not until the spring semester of 2006 that Elizabeth and I started dating. Elizabeth graduated after that semester and moved on to working full time. I had one year left to go and graduated in spring 2007.

I proposed to Elizabeth on December 28, 2010, after almost five years of dating, at the top of the Reservoir in Central Park, the day after a fairly large snowstorm. Both being avid runners, I encouraged her to run with me in the Park. I claimed that the streets in Central Park would be cleared and perfectly suitable for running. Needless to say, they were not. We trekked through over a foot of snow in nothing but our running shoes and running clothes to get to the north side of the Reservoir. It was clear that she was confused as to what I was doing. However, it ended up being a perfect spot - the park was quiet, covered in snow, and we overlooked the Midtown Manhattan skyline.

We are planning to get married in Ridgewood, NJ on September 17, 2011.

Miguel Viramontes (MBA '04) and Claudia Vallejo (MBA '04)

Stern Sweethearts 2011 - Vallejo

As told by Claudia: Miguel and I met during MBA Pre-Term, the first days of our two amazing years at Stern. We had chatted before getting into Stern as part of the admitted Latin American students group, but it was really during Pre-Term and the first boat cruise that we started to get to know each other. Dating started almost as soon as classes did, after a guided visit to the Metropolitan Opera where we saw the dress rehearsal of Turandot's third act. Walks around Central Park, some food, some drinks and many laughs were the only things we needed to fall in love with each other.

Our time together at Stern was incredible. We enjoyed so many places in NYC - picnics in Central Park, the opera, Broadway, and skating on Wollman's Rink during winter. We now do a trip to the City at least once a year to revisit all of our favorite places.

A few months after graduation, we decided to get married. Since we are both from different
countries, we thought why not have two weddings? We had one in Peru and one in Mexico and were delighted that all our friends could attend. After these amazing weddings we went on to enjoy a honeymoon in Greece and Turkey.

Two years ago, our first baby girl, Andrea, was born and we are now expecting our second, Sophia. These two baby girls make our lives even more special.

Since our first meeting at Stern, our lives have definitely changed, and we are grateful for every great experience and memory!