Alumni - An AU Love Story
James '98 and Rachel (Kulp) '99 Collins

James '98 and Rachel (Kulp) Collins '99It was a pretty normal day during Rachel's first semester freshman year (Jim's sophomore year). Normal as any can get in Alfred! Rachel goes to Ade Dining Hall to grab some grub before getting to the evening activities. She's headed out with Sarah, her freshman year roommate and soon-to-be life-long friend. Sarah and Rachel are doing the typical evening dinner-time "scoping" of the Alfred Male population - a favorite pastime their freshman year. They laugh together at the actual thought of meeting someone special in the dining hall. Not a half-hour later, Josh, the third floor R.A. in Cannon Hall (where Sarah and Rachel lived), calls Rachel and Sarah over to the table he was sitting at. There with him is this ENORMOUS (6'9", for those who don't know Jim as well) red-haired kid wearing a worn-out Kappa Sigma pledge shirt. This is when Rachel meets Jim for the first time.

They find they have a lot in common, both being from Rochester and having other common interests. Rachel and Jim find themselves meeting often for dinner at the same dining hall, talking on the phone at all hours of the night, and "gabbing" on email (little did Rachel know, she was taking away from Jim's very limited sleeping time during pledging). Unfortunately, Rachel had a boyfriend during this time, so the two kept the relationship strictly plutonic (much to Jim and his brothers' dismay). The two formed a fast friendship. Jim would join Rachel with her friends at home over the holidays and spend as much time with her as he could. Rachel felt the same way about Jim, but she was trying hard to hide it (with the boyfriend, and all...). Eventually (actually second semester of that year), Rachel and Jim finally became the cute couple everyone but them knew they would finally be. They say that their official anniversary is March 16, 1996.

Jim and I were married on September 22, 2001 (yes, 11 days after 9/11). We had about 55 Alfred University alumni at our wedding.