black and white photo wedding party on memorial hall steps

Seasons of Love: Chapman Alumni Sweethearts Share Inspiring Stories 

Being a Chapman University alum means belonging to a family for life. For some Panthers, though, that promise becomes just a little more literal when a Chapman romance turns to a lifelong commitment between alumni. Today, we celebrate just a few of the Chapman Sweethearts whose love stories began thanks to Chapman.

 Love in the ‘70s: Peggy and Kent Grier 

kent and petty grierPeggy ’73 and Kent ’73 Grier met in sociology class on the first day of their freshman year and married the week after graduation. Chapman alumni in their wedding party included Jerry DeGroot ’73 and Patty Medler Liles ’73. 

 Having recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, the Griers shared these words with other alumni: “You made a wonderful decision to attend Chapman, and as you may have discovered, it is not always easy. College and life can be that way, so discover the depth of partnership and joy, even when challenged.” 

 90’s Sweethearts: Jason and Nicole Hernandez 

jason and nicole hernandezJason ’98 and Nicole ’98 Hernandez met in the fall of 1995 at a Pi Kappa Alpha/Alpha Phi social event and married in 2002. Although they were both living in Tennessee then, they wanted to get married in California and decided there was no better place than the place that brought them together: Chapman.  

The couple were married in the old Chapman Chapel (before the Fish Interfaith Chapel was built), surrounded by many college friends. Chapman alumni in their wedding party included Laura Bosworth Greenwood ’98, Michelle Pulfrey ’98, Jim Ahern ’98, Bryan Hagen ’00, Robert Diaz ’97 and John Silberstein ’88. 

The Hernandezes have this advice to share with Chapman alumni: “Love and accept your partner for who they are. Encourage and support one another. Be sure to communicate clearly and express what you need — hoping the other person can read your mind will lead to disappointment. Find reasons to laugh together.”  

Chapman provided a strong foundation for the duo. As such, they pledged a legacy gift to Chapman to establish the Nicole and Jason Hernandez Endowed Scholarship Fund to benefit the University Honors Program. 

“We hope to give future students the same opportunities we had,” Nicole said.  

Chappy Hour Connection: Leika and Christopher Bishop 

lelika and cj bishopLeika ’05 and Christopher ’05 (MBA ’08, Ph.D. ’19) Bishop met at officially the first-ever Alumni Chappy Hour event and unofficially at a Greek Presidents’ meeting while undergrads. Though they don’t remember knowing each other in college, their shared friends and Greek life involvement said otherwise.  

After being re-introduced years later, the couple married in 2015. Alumni in the wedding party included Kelsey (Smith) Flewellen ’05, Jessica (Cho) Johnston ’05, Melissa (Mendez) Cuervorst ’05, Breana Arrieta ’17 and Chris Becerra ’05 (MA ’08).  

The Bishop’s have this advice to share with other Chapman couples: “Continue to support one another as you grow and evolve. Prioritizing engaging with one another and working on your relationship is key, but also being there as your partner’s number one supporter as they explore their life journey. You will celebrate wins and losses, but knowing you have someone who builds you up regardless of where you are on your current path helps you both grow and understand supportive empathy in new ways.” 

Together and individually, Leika and Christopher have given back to Chapman over the years with financial contributions and through their time and talent. 

The Bishop’s shared: “Chapman continues to surprise us in how they strengthen their academic community and the community at large. We’ve had the privilege to closely engage with Schmid College in their Grand Challenges Initiative, supporting students in workforce preparation and finding new ways to support success in inclusive ways. Working with truly dedicated educators such as Gregory Goldsmith, Dean Michael Ibba, and the other Schmid faculty and staff has shown us the true sense of lifelong learning, the benefits of giving back to the Chapman community — whether it is in time or treasure — and witnessing Chapman students’ experience further enhanced by their dedication.” 

New Love: Amy and Chris Hosch 

amy and chris hoschNewlyweds Amy ’14 (MBA ’20) and Chris ’10 Hosch never overlapped as undergraduates but met for the first time at the 2016 Alumni Summer Bash hosted on the Musco Center for the Arts lawn. They were married in 2023 at a venue down the street from Chapman, which was the perfect location in the heart of the Orange Circle. The Hosches loved the City of Orange as students and even incorporated a few symbolic details into their wedding, such as dried orange slices at each person’s place setting. 

There were many Chapman alumni in their wedding party, including officiant Garrett Addison ’13, speaker Leah (Fontenette) Roney ’10, four bridesmaids — Maid of Honor Megan Forell ’14, Sarah Buckley ’14, Elena (Granadino) Occident ’14 and Sadie Reeves ’15 — and three groomsmen — Tony Cueseo ’10, Tyler Cherman ’10 and Brent Williams ’10 — plus another bridesmaid who worked with Amy as an admission counselor. On top of that, their wedding coordinator, whom they were referred to by the venue, was also a Chapman alum!   

What the Hosches appreciate about their ties to Chapman is that they each have independent college experiences but they can easily relate to and empathize with one other’s stories. They carry that into their relationship today by pursuing some interests solely for themselves and finding things they enjoy doing together.  

Amy and Chris have this advice to share with Chapman alumni: “Communicate your needs with your partner, create shared goals you can work towards together and always assume positive intent.” 

As Peggy and Kent, Jason and Nicole, Leika and Christopher and Amy and Chris share their inspiring stories, one common thread emerges — the enduring impact of Chapman on their lives and relationships. Through the seasons of love, they found a lifelong connection to Chapman that nurtured not only their education, but also their hearts.  

Share your Chapman Sweetheart story and other alumni news with us! 

 

Lauren Kane