They Locked Eyes at Orientation
Rick Deurloo caught Kate Carbonneau’s eye from across the room on August 26, 1996, the first day of orientation for their MBA program.
They met each other briefly and then, as luck would have it, discovered that they were assigned to the same group. This meant that all their classes and study sessions were together.
“People would say it was love at first sight,” Kate said. “We were just compatible with each other in terms of our interests and our passions.”
Kate, a recent University of Rhode Island graduate, had come to UConn’s MBA program looking to blaze a career in marketing. Rick, who was seven years older and had been out in the workplace since graduating from Eastern Connecticut State University, wanted to pursue a career in finance. From the day they met, they spent most of their time together.
They moved into an apartment together in Willimantic and built a robust social life with other graduate students in their study group. The tightknit group spent a lot of time together studying in the graduate center, going to happy hour at Ted’s, and gathering once a week at someone’s house to watch Seinfeld together.
“The August 26, 1996 date still sticks in my mind because that was the date we met on the first day of orientation,” Kate said. “Now there are other anniversaries too.”
A first date on the beach in Waterford. A first kiss in Mystic. A marriage proposal.
They graduated in 1998 and got married two years later with many of their MBA friends in attendance. They eventually settled close to UConn in Tolland and now have two beautiful daughters, Kaiya, 16, and Bella, 13. They have also put their MBAs to work. Kate works in marketing as a senior manager of shopper insights at The Lego Group while Rick is a senior vice president and chief commercial officer at Pratt & Whitney.
The Deurloos weren’t the only ones in their tightknit group to fall in love back then. Two other couples who met in the program got married as well. “Better than Match.com,” Kate said.