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Comet Cupid

Not only can you receive a quality education at The University of Olivet, it is also a place where you can create meaningful, long lasting relationships, and possibly meet your life long partner!

David ’80 & Kim ’81 Byrens

David & Kim Byrens, Comet CupidsDavid ’80 & Kim (Kirk) ’81 Byrens’ love story started at the music conservatory on the second floor. Kim took piano lessons from faculty member Emily Byrens, David’s mother, and he had violin lessons at the same time. One day after lessons, David challenged Kim to a game of racquetball. She took him up on it and told him he would lose! David doesn’t remember who won that fateful game, but they progressed to a Phi Alpha Pi dance after that and they were hooked!

When David invited Kim to his first fraternity party, Kim told him to call her back in a week so she could check his references. She was nervous about dating a fraternity man and was unsure about dating the son of faculty members (Kim had classes with both Dan and Emily Byrens.) Luckily, she called him back a week later and accepted his invitation!

David & Kim Byrens, Comet CupidsThe pair attended many Olivet functions during their courtship between November 1977 and May 1981. They could be found at Phi Alpha Pi, Sigma Beta, and various college social events. Kim was nominated Homecoming Queen her senior year in the fall of 1980. David returned to campus to be her escort at the Homecoming game.

Because of their love of music and with the help of David’s parents, David and Kim took a trip to England during their college days with the group Collegium Musicum. It was an extraordinary trip with approximately 30 members of the Olivet community. They will always cherish those memories!

After graduation, David attended medical school at the University of Michigan. He was finishing his first year there when Kim graduated from Olivet in the Spring of 1981. They were married on July 4, 1981, the only weekend David had off between classes. They honeymooned along Lake Michigan. They joke that David wanted to be sure Kim’s parents paid all of her college expenses, and she wanted to see that he could cut it in medical school before they agreed to marry!

The couple lived in Grand Rapids during David’s medical residency and then returned to Marshall, MI, where they have lived and worked since 1987. They enjoyed raising their children in a wonderful community. Their son attended Olivet College and received a degree in Insurance and Risk Management. He is now a State Farm agent in Okemos, MI. Their daughter works with them in their medical practice, and they get to enjoy seeing their grandchildren on a regular basis.

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Deyan ’08 & Katelyn ’10 Kozhuharov

 

Deyan & Katelyn Kozhoharov, Comet CupidsDeyan ’08 & Katelyn (Harmon) ’10 Kozhuharov first met at an informal hangout at Sigma Beta. Katelyn had to leave early because she had an early class the next day. In Deyan’s memory, she “mysteriously disappeared” from the gathering. They happened to run into each other the next morning in the cafeteria and Katelyn formally introduced herself. They talked to each other on the way to class and then started hanging out afterward. Facebook was just becoming popular at this time. They would use that platform to message each other to meet around campus. Deyan is from Bulgaria, so he lived in the international student house (now the Hosford House), and that became their main hangout on campus. It became common for them to have lunch and dinner together in the cafeteria. They even took one class together (although their majors and areas of study were different.)

Deyan & Katelyn Kozhoharov, Comet CupidsAs they got to know each other, they realized that Deyan met Katelyn’s dad while Katelyn was still a senior in high school. Deyan had met with Katelyn’s dad about a potential internship with the insurance program. The running joke is that he must have noticed Katelyn’s picture on the wall, fell in love with this dream girl in the picture, and then couldn’t believe his luck when he found her on campus a year later! 

Listen to the rest of their story and hear where life has taken them since graduation on our alumni podcast Comet Commentary (available mid-late February)!  

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Brian ’09 & Christine ’10 Jaffee

Brian & Christine Jaffee, Comet CupidsBrian and Christine (Cameron) met during the summer of 2007. Brian was living on campus and wanted to throw a party to celebrate his birthday. He invited Christine to the party. Christine accepted the invite, told him she’d be there, and then didn’t show. Later that summer, they ran into each other at Olivet’s Fireman’s Festival. They laughed about the birthday RSVP and non-attendance, which led to many further laughs between the two of them.

While attending Olivet, the two were very involved in all that Olivet has to offer, including athletics (softball, track, and cross country for Christine; cross country and swimming for Brian), clubs, Greek Life, and social events. Some of their relationship highlights include being presidents of Phi Alpha Pi and Soronian, founding the Student Finance Organization, and sharing classes of Civ Studies II and a first aid ILT class. Brian and Christine dated during most of their time at Olivet but decided to go their separate ways after graduation. Brian went on to law school in Cincinnati, and Christine ended up in law school in Grand Rapids. They stayed in touch through shared outlines, commiserations, and celebrations of their law school experiences.

Brian and Christine reconnected when attending an Olivet alumni event. They are now happily married and live in Grand Rapids with their brilliant daughter, Sonya. They are expecting a son in April 2024. 

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Jim ’75 & Rita ’76 Wencel

Jim and Rita Wencel, Comet CupidsJim ’75 and Rita (Shagena) ’76 Wencel met in the Fall of 1972. Rita had met one of Jim’s classmates during Stand Up, and they had gone on a few dates when Jim indicated an interest in her. The classmate felt that Rita was more interested in Jim than she was in him, so he encouraged Jim to ask her out. Rita recalls being shy and unsure how to get to know Jim initially. She and a friend would watch him as he walked from the Adelphic House to MacKay Gymnasium, and she would wave and hope he figured out that she was interested in him! Their first date was at a basketball game. Jim remembers being unsure if the date was a success. He received his answer the next day when Rita approached him in the cafeteria and held his hand. The rest is history! Jim and Rita have been happily married for 47 years. Jim and Rita Wencel, Comet CupidsThey have four children (Jimmy, John, Nikki, and Holly) and have enjoyed many successes together. Check out our Comet Commentary Podcast in late February to hear the rest of their story!

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