Osprey Love Stories

Stephanie & Brandon

Stephanie and Brandon

Stephanie Collins Cugini, B.B.A. '08

Brandon J. Cugini, B.B.A. '08


Brandon and Stephanie met through a mutual friend during high school, and what began as a friendship turned into something more. Although Stephanie began college at the University of Florida, they quickly realized how much they meant to each other, and after a year, Stephanie transferred to UNF to be with Brandon.

They both became involved on campus, Stephanie joining Kappa Delta Sorority, and both serving as Presidential Envoys. After graduating with BBAs in the spring of 2009, Brandon proposed to Stephanie in her favorite city, Charleston. They were married May 22, 2009 at the Ribault Club, live in Jacksonville, and are looking forward to continuing their involvement with UNF.


Nina & Karl

love stories - hunterNina Dock Hunter, B.A. '77
Karl A. Hunter, B.T. '85


Karl and Nina Hunter met in October 1972 in Jay Huebner’s class, "Nuclear Science: Boon or Bane?" It was opening day for UNF and love at first sight for Nina and Karl. They were married in August 1973 and like UNF they are still going strong. They recently joined the UNF Alumni Association "Taste of Italy" tour.



Debbie & Jay

love stories - johnsonDebbie Martin Johnson, B.B.A. '85, M.B.A. '89
Jay S. Johnson, M.B.A. '90

Debbie and Jay met at UNF in the Fall of 1986. Jay was standing in front of the UNF Bookstore talking to Debbie’s twin sister, who was a friend he knew from work. Debbie happened by and stopped to see who that handsome man was talking to her sister. Apparently, Jay was smitten because he called her sister to see if Debbie was dating anyone. She wasn’t seeing anyone so he called Debbie and they had several phone conversations. They were both too busy between work and classes to go out, but finally had time for their first date on Valentines Day in 1987 when Cupid worked his magic! They were engaged on July 4th and married on December 5, 1987 and will celebrate their 20 year wedding anniversary this year!

Debbie received her undergraduate degree at UNF and was already active in the UNF Alumni Association. When she started dating Jay, he came out for all alumni events even though he didn’t graduate until 1990. Debbie has been on the Alumni Board for 21 years, serving as president in 2005-2006. Jay has been on the Alumni Board for 15 years, serving as president in 2002-2003. They both currently serve on the Coggin College Alumni Chapter board and were recently honored with the UNF Alumni Association Dorothy G. Johnson Medallion for long-time loyalty and service to the University of North Florida. 

Erin & Joel

love stories - jonesErin Smoot Jones, B. A. '06
Joel D. Jones, B. S. '04


Joel and Erin first met in September of 2004, just after Joel graduated with his degree in Communications. Joel was a leader for the student organization, Campus Crusade for Christ and happened to be giving a talk to the group on the same night that Erin was visiting. Joel began working for the University in the Human Resources department a couple of months later, and was therefore able to continue building a friendship with Erin. Erin and Joel began dating in the summer of 2005, got engaged on Christmas Day that same year, and then married on August 5, 2006. Both Erin and Joel work for the University now, Joel remains in the Human Resources department while Erin works as a recruiter in the Admissions Office. 


Heather & Timothy

love stories - kiteHeather Hudson Kite, B.S.N. '01
Timothy R. Kite, B.B.A. '04

Heather and Tim initially met through mutual friends at Tinsletown back in 2001 before his last Navy deployment. He asked for her number through her friend, but when she found out he was leaving for 6 months she decided to not give it to him. When he returned from deployment he attended UNF and rushed Chi Phi fraternity. Heather was active in Alpha Chi Omega. They both attended the new class party and recognized each other from the previous introduction months before. They haven't been apart since then and were married in 2004. One of Heather’s favorite memories is flying to meet Tim in Aix en Provence, France after he completed a 6-week study abroad with the Coggin College of Business. Tim is now an account manager with Apex Health Care and Heather is the assistant director of recreation UNF’s Aquatic Center.   

Liz & Shawn

love stories - parnellLiz Giustra Parnell, B.B.A. '03
Shawn C. Parnell, B.S.E.E. '03

Shawn and Liz first met at a UNF Third Thursday at Seven Bridges in 2006. For several months they continued to casually run into each other at Third Thursday before they went on their first date. The two started dating soon afterwards and following a two year courtship Shawn decided to surprise Liz with a proposal you only hear about in the movies. He hired a plane with a banner attached which read “Liz, Will You Marry Me? Shawn.” They recently got married at the Ribault Club at Fort George on April 18th, 2009. They credit UNF with their chance meeting and look forward to staying connected for years to come. They continue to be active with UNF, attending Third Thursdays and Liz also serves on both the Young Alumni Community Board and Coggin College of Business Chapter Board.


Rachel & Scott

love stories - pedenRachel Saylor Peden, B.S. '04
Scott G. Peden, B.S. '04

In the beginning of the Fall semester 2001 Rachel and Scott were enrolled in Ron Zucker’s JAVA Programming class, “Intro to OOP”. Scott noticed Rachel sitting at the front of the room and decided he was going to get to know her. He took the seat next to her and after working on a few projects together he gave her a ride home after class one day because she was having car trouble. A few months later in December he asked her on a date over Christmas break. They became engaged in 2006 were married on June 2, 2007 in Jacksonville.


Rochelle & Thomas

love stories - richardsonRochelle Richardson, B.B.A. '01
Thomas Richardson, B.B.A. '01


Tom Richardson and Rochelle Leavell first met at UNF in the summer of 2000. They were classmates in a Human Resource class. After the summer session ended, they didn't think they would cross paths again. Rochelle took day classes and Tom attended classes at night.

However, when Rochelle tried to register for a class she needed in the fall, it was already full. She had to register for a different class that met in the late afternoon. On the first day of the fall semester she walked into Fred Pragasam's Entrepreneur class and there sat Tom. What a pleasant surprise to see a familiar face. They both knew that this was going to be a good class.

From this point on, things just started falling into place for them. They knew that they were meant to be together. They graduated together in December 2001 with both a BBA in Business Management and a BBA in Marketing. They were engaged June 8, 2002 and on November 22, 2002, they became Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Richardson. UNF will always hold a special place in their hearts. Their love and adoration for each other grows stronger everyday. There is a reason for everything.

The Richardsons enjoyed traveling with the UNF Alumni Association on the "Taste of Italy" tour in May 2007.