Then and Now, AnnenCouples Edition

Celebrating AnnenCouples graphic

Throughout the month of February, we highlighted eight AnnenCouples on Instagram. What is an AnnenCouple, you ask? An AnnenCouple is a married or engaged couple composed of two Annenberg alumni from any of our programs, including the undergraduate Communication major, the masters program, and the doctoral program. In case you missed our Instagram coverage, we have compiled the photos and stories of these AnnenCouples below.

Julia Portale and Cam Hutchins

Cam Hutchins and Julia Portale  Cam Hutchins and Julia Portale

Julia Portale (M.A.C. '85) and Cam Hutchins (M.A.C. '85) met on their first day of graduate school at Annenberg. Cam was known for creating elaborate chalk drawings on the blackboards with hidden messages for Julia, and they both played on Annenberg's softball team, referred to as the "A-Team." The couple has been married for over 30 years.

Meg MacInnes and Brandon Fleischer

Brandon Fleischer and Meg MacInnes  Brandon Fleischer and Meg MacInnes

Communication major alums Meg MacInnes (C'15) and Brandon Fleischer (C'15) met during New Student Orientation and started dating in February of their freshman year at Penn, even before they declared their majors! While students, they both took Dr. Litty's class, participated in the Theatre Arts Council, and interned in D.C. through the Annenberg in Washington program. In July 2018, they were engaged on Locust Walk, and the couple, who currently lives in New York City, is getting married in October.

Jo Holz and Tom Newman

Jo Holz and Tom Newman  Jo Holz and Tom Newman

Jo Holz (Ph.D. '81) and Tom Newman (M.A.C. '75) met during Jo's first year of graduate school. Thanks to the intuition of a fellow grad student, they had their first date at La Terrace, which is now Bernie's. "The rest is history," Jo says. The pair have been married for 41 years.

Jeff Niederdeppe and Lee Humphreys

Jeff Niederdeppe and Lee Humphreys  Lee Humphreys, Jeff Niederdeppe, and two kids

Jeff Niederdeppe (Ph.D. '06) and Lee Humphreys (Ph.D. '07) first met in a Philadelphia bar. Jeff had recently completed his master's degree from Annenberg and was living in North Carolina, but he was in town to visit some friends. A new master's student, Lee had been invited out by those very same friends, and the two were were interested in one another right away. They both ended up going on to complete the doctoral program and are now faculty at Cornell University. The married couple has two children.

Brittany Bell Fine and David Fine

David Fine and Brittany Bell Fine  Brittany Bell Fine and David Fine

Communication major alums Brittany Bell Fine (C'11) and David Fine (C'11) met in the Penn Quad during their freshman year. Thanks to taking many Annenberg courses together, they developed a strong friendship — mostly over studying in the library — and eventually began dating as juniors. The Penn Quaker attended their engagement festivities in 2016, and the pair, who live in Philly, have been married for two years.

Ron Nirenberg and Erika Prosper

Erika Prosper and Ron Nirenberg  Erika Prosper, Ron Nirenberg, and their son

Ron Nirenberg (M.A.C. '01) and Erika Prosper (M.A.C. '00) first met when Ron visited campus as a prospective student and Erika was his tour guide. He decided he wanted to marry her that very weekend, but Erika wasn't so sure just yet. However, not long after Ron began his first year of graduate school the following fall, the couple began dating and were married less than two years later. They've been married 18 years and have a son named Jonah.

Coby Lerner and Nadine Zylberberg

Nadine Zylberberg and Coby Lerner  Nadine Zylberberg and Coby Lerner

Communication major alums Coby Lerner (C'13) and Nadine Zylberberg (C'13) met on their very first day of classes at Penn. They were instantly drawn together as friends, and remained close throughout college. Their parents even sat together at their Annenberg graduation ceremony. Despite Coby's attempts to escape the friend zone, he remained there until 2017. But now these two are newlyweds!

Sean Aday and Kiersten Stewart

Sean Aday and Kiersten Stewart  Sean Aday and Kiersten Stewart

Sean Aday (Ph.D. '99) and Kiersten Stewart (M.A.C. '96) first began dating as undergrads at Northwestern University. After graduation, though, they amicably broke up but remained friends. Sean headed to Philadelphia to pursue his Ph.D. at Annenberg, and Kiersten got in job in Portland while she decided whether she was interested in grad school or not. When she ended up in the masters program at Annenberg a few years later, the pair got back together. As Sean says, Annenberg literally saved their relationship. The couple has been married for 22 years and have two teenage kids.