Niner Nation’s best love stories

Monday, February 13, 2023

We asked you to share your best love stories and your favorite things about UNC Charlotte and you did not disappoint. Read some heartwarming submissions from couples who work at UNC Charlotte.

Melanie White, executive assistant to the vice chancellor for institutional integrity and general counsel, and Matthew White, customer service representative in the Office of Parking and Transportation Services

“Matthew and I met back in 2003 in UNC Charlotte’s music department. I was working as an office assistant and Matthew was going back to school to earn his degree in music education. I’ve worked for UNC Charlotte for 20 years in the Division of Institutional Integrity. Matthew has been working in Parking and Transportation Services since 2022. We have been married for 12 years. We have two daughters, Eleanor and Grace, who attend UNC Charlotte Camps on Campus each summer.

Julie Marino, lecturer, and Joseph Marino, associate professor
Marino family

“Joseph and I met in graduate school at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, while studying exercise science. I followed Joe to Toledo, Ohio, where he earned his Ph.D. in applied physiology, and I managed a fitness and therapy center. We were married in 2006. In 2013, we moved to Charlotte and Joe started his new job at UNC Charlotte in the Department of Applied Physiology, Health, and Clinical Sciences. In 2014, I became a lecturer in the same department! Since then, we've both taken on roles as program directors. Although we probably bring too much work home with us, we enjoy working together and with the great people in our department. We have four awesome kids: Gavin (14), Tyler (11), Liam (4) and Harper (2).”




Katie McMurray, assistant director of special projects, University Development Office, and Brad Yeckley, director of Niner Finances

brad yeckley and katie mcmurray“Brad and I met when we were both working at Penn State University and moved to Charlotte when I started my role as a director of major gifts for 49er Athletics in August 2019. Brad had helped to stand up a financial literacy program at Penn State and was hoping to do the same here. The stars aligned, and he came to work here after coming on as a consultant, just when the University was beginning to explore financial wellness. Fast forward three years, and we are both 49ers. We still love athletics and attend as many men's and women's basketball games as we can, as season ticket holders for both. We enjoy attending University events and seeing all of the generous Niners who continue to support this thriving, growing institution. We feel lucky to be here and part of the Charlotte family.”

Cynthia Hancock, teaching professor and director of the Gerontology Program, and Dawson Hancock, professor of educational leadership

“Dawson and I have both worked at Charlotte for over 20 years and have loved making this our academic home.”


Paul Holliday-Millard, senior research associate, and Jordan Holliday-Millard, director of enrollment programs and communications

paul and jordan holliday-millard“Jordan and I met in Columbia, South Carolina, and lived in Atlanta, Georgia, before moving to Charlotte in 2015. Jordan got the job first, working in the Dean of Students Office with New Student and Family Services, now known as Transition and Success Initiatives. I followed closely behind working as an academic advisor in the Belk College of Business. We weren't sure if Charlotte and UNC Charlotte were going to be our forever home, but we quickly fell in love with not only the city of Charlotte but also the University as well. We love UNC Charlotte's innovative spirit, dedication to its students, the amazing colleagues on campus that we now call our friends, and its desire to be a top-tier research university. We love it so much that I am an alumnus of the Ed.D. program in educational leadership and Jordan is currently pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership as well. We can't imagine living or working anywhere else! Go Niners!”


Jenna Duncan, visual resources lecturer, and Cristhian Gonzalez, grounds crew leader

Jenna Duncan and Cristhian Gonzalez

“Cristhian and I got married in 1996 and moved to Charlotte in 2001. I started work at UNC Charlotte in 2002, and Cristhian started in 2003, so the University has been a huge part of our lives and marriage. He comes to see me in my office at lunch, and we drive to work together, so we get to have little moments of the day to be together.”



Monica Hughes, director of external relations, the William States Lee College of Engineering, and Dane Hughes, faculty, Belk College of Business

monica and dane hughes

“Five seats over on the back row, we noticed each other in the Friday Building. We were both going for our MBA taking two evening courses at the time. In those days, the custom after class was that students held ‘team meetings’ at Sandwich Construction Company, so that gave Dane and me a chance to have our first real conversation. Over the next year, we dated, held part-time jobs on campus and completed our academic programs. If you had told us then that we would become married, return later as alumni campus employees and continue the Niner life, we'd be thrilled. We now even have two kiddos, one of whom is a Niner, enrolled in Belk College of Business and working on campus. We love our Niner story and look forward to watching the next generation build their own.”



Wendy Moore, business services specialist, Doug Moore, facilities maintenance supervisor

wendy and doug moore“Doug and I met over 36 years ago and began our relationship as friends, which turned into a life full of memories together. We've been married for 34 years and have grown up together. We experienced much joy in raising our son who is now married to a beautiful young lady. And sometime in the future, we look forward to being grandparents. We have two fur babies that we love and that keep us busy. Doug enjoys woodworking, and I like to garden. We both enjoy spending time with family and friends, and we endeavor to put God first in our lives and lean on Him for guidance. Doug has been with UNC Charlotte for eight years, and I started this January. We both work in Housing and Residence Life but in separate departments. That's our story in a nutshell.”



Michael Turner, associate professor in the Department of Applied Physiology, Health, and Clinical Sciences, and Tricia Turner, professor in Department of Applied Physiology, Health, and Clinical Sciences

“Tricia and I met as faculty in the same department, which was the Kinesiology Department back then, 15 years ago, fell in love and have been married for 11 years now.”

Have a great Niner love story? Submit it to Niner Insider.