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Alicia & Anthony Alto

Anthony and I met in RA training at CSU in 2010. Resident Assistant friendships grow quickly because you live and work together, so you’re nearly forced to bond.

As a matter of fact, our staff attended the Northeast Ohio Housing Officers conference at Akron University during our first year and we, along with our friends, scoffed as an Akron Professional Staff member talked about how RA relationships are just…different.

He mentioned lifelong friendships with the folks he RAed with during his college years and even talked about RAs who had gotten married! We really all took his words for granted – but he was right on all accounts!

As time went on, we could tell we were no exception. We formed a tight knit group of friends within the staff but our friendship was really special. We began saying “I love you” before we were even romantically involved because we cared for each other so much.

In the summer of 2011, we stayed on as Summer RAs at Euclid Commons and spent ALL of our free time together. Not long after the start of our second year as RAs, we started dating and a resounding “FINALLY” echoed from all of our friends.

Anthony graduated in May of 2012 and we continued to date even after I left the Department of Residence Life in December of 2012, which is when we moved in together. We got engaged – surrounded by other CSU alumni and friends – after he survived the life-threatening growth of a brain tumor and a resulting removal surgery. We spent 20 months planning a great big wedding to celebrate our love and we even paid homage to our roots by holding our wedding reception in the CSU Student Center Ballroom!

We’ve been married for almost 4 years, now, and we couldn’t be happier! We’ve both been gainfully employed since graduation and in 2016, we both returned to CSU to pursue graduate degrees – I’m in the last semester of my MBA program and he’s in his third year at Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

I think it goes without saying that CSU truly has made a difference in both of our lives. We got so much more than an education at CSU. We had opportunities to get involved and to learn about what we loved, inside the classroom and out. We made the connections that helped us to start our careers. We found an institution that we knew we would afford to AND would LOVE to return to, to further our educations. We made lifelong friends. And we met the loves of our lives.

– Alicia