Faculty Spotlight

Plenty of love to go around at Brandman

February 12, 2015

We asked the staff and faculty to send us their stories about love in honor of Valentine’s Day. Here’s what they sent:

Lynn and Paul Larsen

Lynn and Paul Larsen

Lynn Larsen, associate dean, School of Education: My husband Paul and I met during college on a blind date at a planetarium. I had just broken up with a boyfriend, and our mutual friends set us up by taking me to a planetarium show that Paul was running at the local museum. It was love at first sight under the stars! We’ll celebrate our 25th anniversary this May. We’ve had many adventures in the last 25 years, and we still have stars in our eyes for each other.

Pat White, associate dean, School of Education:  My fun Valentine love story begins with a phone call on Valentine’s Day years ago telling me a baby girl had been born and was waiting for me to come see her.  We had been on a private adoption list for two years and our little daughter was born on Feb. 14.  I was so excited I could hardly drive to the hospital. It was love at first sight. Best Valentine’s Day present ever! She’s all grown up now but Valentine’s Day still has special meaning in our family.

Maria Cesario and John Snodgrass

Maria Cesario and John Snodgrass

Maria Cesario, associate vice chancellor, Academic Administration: John Snodgrass (associate vice chancellor, Student Services) and I met 2001 when we worked at Chapman University.  John was the registrar for Chapman and I was serving as the interim dean for University College, which was one of the schools and colleges of Chapman University – the predecessor to Brandman University.  The programs for adult learners were undergoing transition and John and I sat on many committees to initiate these changes.  After the new structure was in place, we sat on the Academic Standards Committee for at least a year before realizing that we were both “available.”    We had lunch in November 2002, a dinner in January 2003, and started dating in March 2003.

We married in April 2004.  We would have married a few months earlier but we were undergoing a WASC visitation in March 2004 and delayed until the visit was over.  It was a great Chapman event. We were married at the Chapman Chapel (the old one) and our celebration was on the Chapman campus in Orange.  We are now both at Brandman University in Irvine.

John had moved from Portland to Southern California in 2000 and I had transferred from the Denver campus in 1999 (yes, we had a Denver location). We both missed the mountains and fresh air.  After our marriage we built a home in the mountains of Colorado and plan to retire there someday.

Laura Hoff, enrollment coach at Brandman’s Enrollment Coaching Center:  After two years of dating, my boyfriend asked I would be willing to follow him to Hong Kong for a year of working and living abroad. Although my mom’s first question was, “Well is he going to propose first?” I decided to leap at the opportunity to go on a grand adventure with the man I knew to be the love of my life.  We arrived August 2013. He made toys, I taught English.

Suddenly Christmas was around the corner and we decided to head to a small island in the Philippines to lounge in the sun.

On the evening of Dec. 23, we sat in our little beach hut and I attempted to light a candle. After failing to light about five matches in a row (apparently you’re not supposed to light it into the wind?), he told me to come sit next to him. He said, “It is a good thing that you have me because I’ll always be here for things like this.” I thought to myself, “OK fine – just light the darn candle!” He then asked for my hand, I gave him my right, and he said, “no the other one.” He asked me to share the rest of our lives together and I immediately said yes!

Then he told me he had a ring – I was shocked because I was pretty sure this proposal was NOT planned. He then pulled out a gold ring – made out of the safety seal from a bottle of rum. He slid the sharp jagged piece of…trash… onto my hand and we have been blissfully engaged ever since.

We will be married this coming Fourth of July!

More views on Valentine’s Day can be found in Brandman Voices:

  • Make Valentine’s Day about giving back to the community by Sarah Shinn Campbell
  • Why do we need Valentine’s Day by Catherine Pearlman

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