SIPA Love Stories: Not even walking pneumonia could prevent this love connection

Here’s our second love story of the week. We’re proud to share our alumni’s unedited stories, and hope that you enjoy reading them as much as we did. And don’t forget to visit the blog on Saturday, February 14—yes, Valentine’s Day—to discover new connections Seeple are currently making! Dana_Dennis

Dana and Dennis’s SIPA love story:

“Two years after graduation from Columbia (CC’84), my sister Danielle was at SIPA, my classmate Mark was taking some graduate courses, and I was pounding the pavement, mostly in and around NYC, having just returned from a sales tour around the world, on behalf of our family business, Berklay Cargo. One day, we decided to meet for lunch, and when we got there, Mark suggested we invite his sister Jen, a Barnard grad and Teachers College graduate student working and living at Barnard as a Resident Counselor. (Today, Jen is Barnard’s Dean of Admissions) We dropped by Jen’s suite at Centennial Hall, and I was introduced to her suitemate, Dana. Bowled over by this beautiful blond haired, blue eyed princess, I did what any red blooded salesman would do: I gave her my card! Of course, she never called, but I managed to get her number, and made a date. Even though Dana was called onto emergency duty and could only go as far as Amsterdam, and despite almost cancelling due to a diagnosis that date of walking pneumonia, we were BOTH determined to meet on that cold and rainy night: so we managed to have dessert at the Hungarian Pastry Shop. Our next date was literally the evening Columbia’s football team broke the streak ,which I witnessed at Baker Field, and on 116th and Broadway as a great number of students marched around with the goal posts they carried from 215th Street! Columbia was, as we might say in Yiddish, a Mazel-dike connection….so 2 years later, I took Dana to Low Library steps where, in front of Alma Mater, I proposed on one knee… and coincidentally, College Dean Jack Greenberg (whom I had met two times off campus, only a few weeks before!) was just passing by, making him the first to congratulate us. However, unbeknownst to my betrothed, standing single file behind one of the columns at the Delacorte gates on College Walk leading onto Amsterdam, were 30 members of the Columbia U. Marching Band! As a former Head Manager of Cleverest Band in the World, I wrote the words of a special song for the the occasion, which the band graciously performed: “Roar, Dana , Roar”. With the police beckoning us to get out of the street as a little traffic jam developed,the band “ran away” as is their wont, and we walked briskly to make our 6:30 dinner reservation at Columbia’s Butler Terrace. Blessed with loving parents and siblings, our four children, a dog, and a wonderful home in Manhasset, Long Island, we are eternally grateful, and faithful, to Columbia.”



Find the entire Love Stories collection in Columbia Alumni Association’s Facebook album.