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Alumni News

MSUnions: 2020 Edition

Posted in: Alumni News and Events

Alumni couples share a very special bond with each other: Red Hawk Pride. Being graduates of Montclair State – you just know what your partner is talking about when referring to a specific place on campus, a piece of history or tradition, or that professor who made an impact. College is an unforgettable experience that creates lifelong friendships and for some, a romantic partner. Love is in the air at our alma mater: there are more than 2,000 sweetheart couples.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, alumni couples shared how they met and recount their time at Montclair State. Read on to find out more about each of these couples who’ve found true love at Montclair State!

Tiffany Alders ’99 and Eric Alders ’99 met on campus in 1998. The couple first crossed paths during an elevator ride in Blanton Hall where they both lived. They were both active on campus as Eric was a member of Theta Xi Fraternity and captain of the Montclair State University Cheerleading team and Tiffany as a member of Sigma Delta Tau Sorority. After a Homecoming game, they once again crossed paths and officially introduced themselves at a Homecoming party. “We ended up talking for about an hour or more and there was an instant energy,” says Eric. After a few days of dating, the couple made it official on October 21, 1998 and one year later they were engaged. Eric and Tiffany tied the knot on May 26, 2002 and welcomed twin daughters a few years later. “We’ve had an incredible journey for the past 21 years and have grown much stronger as a couple and a family.”

Joyce Liebelt ’77 and Edward Liebelt ’76 met in Chapin Hall in 1975. Joyce had “the biggest crush” on Edward but he had a girlfriend at that time. They remained friends until Edward graduated in 1976. After not seeing each other for the next four years, they crossed paths in 1980. While at the Meadowlands racetracks with her parents, Joyce heard a familiar laugh coming from the rows behind her. To her surprise, it was Edward. “It took me an hour to gather up the courage to say hello,” says Joyce. “But I am forever grateful that I did.” They talked for hours and met for dinner two days later. In December 1981, they were engaged and in October 1982, they were married. The rest, as they say, is history!

Amanda Macchia ’04 and Derek Macchia ’04 met during Move In Day in Freeman Hall. Living at the same residence hall was not the only thing they had in common. They were both freshmen, accounting majors and in the Honors program. They were fast friends. “We spent the next 4 years as inseparable friends, dating other people, and not understanding why everyone thought we would make a great couple,” says Amanda. However, that changed on graduation day when they decided to be more than friends. The couple is now celebrating 10 years of marriage alongside their two children.

Brooke Cooke Poyner ’07 and John Poyner ’08 met during Greek Week in the spring of 2005. Brooke, a sophomore at the time, was watching her Sigma Delta Tau sorority sisters prepare for a talent show when she noticed John, a freshman, showing off his dance moves. He caught her attention. Later that week, they crossed paths once again at a party. They introduced themselves and became friends instantly. After dating for a few months, John asked Brooke to be his girlfriend in June 2005 and their first date involved playing basketball on campus. In 2013, the couple married and welcomed their daughter in 2017. The family of three will soon become a family of four as Brooke is currently expecting their second child. “Thank you Montclair State for introducing me to my sweetheart,” says Brooke.

Nella Veldran ’86 and Steven Veldran ’86 met at a Montclair State football game in the fall of 1984. They were introduced by mutual friends Diane Malloy ’86 and Ron Teicher ’85. The couple decided to meet the following day at the famous Rathskeller, where Steven worked and Nella met up with friends for lunch. “It was a year of chance meetings and a few dates until we officially started dating in 1985,” says Nella. After dating for a few years, the couple married in July of 1989. Thirty years later, with two children and two dogs, they are still going strong.

Are you a sweetheart couple? Send us your story, photos and information at or complete our online survey. To read about more MSUnions, visit our website.