Celebrating Love @ HBS in 2022 – MBA

Love @ HBS is an annual celebration of the diverse expressions of love that existed on our campus and in the world around us. PRIDE is pleased to present this annual showcase of stories of love from the LGBTQ+ community and our wonderful allies here at Harvard Business School.

Grace Xaveria (MBA 2022) & Calvin Natanael (MBA 2023)

Calvin and I met when we were around five years old in Indonesia. We shared the same piano teacher, and I recall occasionally bumping into Calvin in the corridor. I would consider him an acquaintance at best back then. Fortunately, Calvin was such a cute kid that even though we had never talked, I did remember him even after I left Indonesia for secondary school.

Many years later, I went to an event in Singapore and saw a familiar face. We were in university at this point. I was not 100% sure if it was the piano-guy-Calvin, because he looked very different from his toddler days. But I still asked him, “Are you Calvin from that piano place on the Kartini Raya Street?” Of course, he said yes, and the rest is history.

Calvin is warm, sunny, and highly optimistic. He is my best friend and biggest supporter. Calvin is also giving, consistently dedicating himself to support me in my various pursuits, including my HBS application process, even though me getting accepted might mean an indefinite period of long-distance. He has been the biggest celebrator of my success and vice versa.

We are so fortunate to have the privilege to enjoy HBS together this year before our wedding reception in August 2022, me as an EC (second-year) and him an RC (first-year). It’s been a fascinating journey seeing each other evolve, and I am excited to have many more years of working hard to nurture and hold on to our relationship!

Becky Schwartz & Adriann Dolphin (MBA 2023)

Becky and Adriann’s Love Story: The First Time We Met

Adriann’s story: I was a stressed consultant, constantly traveling with a rocky foundation and never-ending work schedule. I used the weekends to try for some semblance of a normal social life. One blissfully work-free Saturday, I decided to spend the day outside on a tree tour. I went expecting to meet other people, but no one else showed up. I couldn’t care less about the trees, but the person giving the tour was captivating. She wanted me to look at the trees, but all I could look at was her.

Becky’s story: I was doing tree tours as outdoor events for the LGBTQ+ community. Adriann was the only one that came to one of my tours. She intently listened for an hour while I gave a detailed history of the trees and site. Then, she joined me for lunch afterwards where we got to know each other.

Epilogue: A few months after, we started spending almost every weekend together. Four years later, we married in May 2021 at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia.

Kristina Hu (MBA 2022) & Weston Ruths (MBA 2022)

When I tell people that I met my life partner at HBS, it feels too good to be true. I knew that I’d meet amazing people in business school, but I had no idea I’d meet Weston.

Weston and I met in October of our RC (first) year on a singles’ boat cruise. Despite the brisk Boston weather, Weston warmed me up immediately with his bright yellow Hawaiian shirt, disarming charm and 100-megawatt smile. He was a handsome Marine Corps veteran who shared my love of a cappella and electronic dance music, and over the next four hours he swept me off my feet — figuratively and literally. After sharing a kiss at sunset, I knew I had to see him again.

On our first date, I invited him to my apartment for a home-made steak dinner. As nervous as I was about searing the meat just right, I was far more fascinated by Weston’s tales of service and dreams for the future. Here was a man of charisma and compassion; of commitment and creativity. One date turned into multiple, and three weeks later we were official. By the summer after RC year, we were engaged.

Through countless conversations about our passions and purpose in life, we’ve grown and learned together in ways I never thought possible. He inspires me to be a better person. He shows me what it means to live a life of joy, love, and compassion. He shows me how beautiful life is, no matter how adventurous or mundane the setting. He is my best friend, my adventure buddy, and my life partner. I cherish every moment I get to spend with him — because with him, anything is possible.

Ashley McCray (MBA 2022) & Ronnie Ford

On January 17, 2015, I went on a date. It was with a guy I met on an app. A kinda sketchy app looking back on it. I had just moved to Texas (from Pittsburgh) for short term engineering work. I’d had my share of dating bruises and was just in Texas dating for fun. So back to the story: I get on the app and have a suggested match. He’s cool. So I star his profile (to come back to) and keep it pushing. He messages me. We talk on the phone and set up a date. I had a personal list of all the things I wanted to do in Texas (a bucket list if you will) and picked two things off it: Texas Roadhouse + see the movie Selma (yes, the civil rights movie on the 1st date, judge all you want. I wanted to see it!). So 1/17/15 I walk into Texas Roadhouse and…our lives changed forever.

Brian Ventura (MBA 2022) & Christofer Rodelo (Harvard GSAS 2022)

Christofer and I were supposed to be a casual fling before the start of summer in 2016. We met via an infamous app my final year in undergrad at Harvard and his first year as a PhD student in the American Studies program. The first time we hung out, we went to quite possibly the worst restaurant in Harvard Square and left feeling like this would indeed be fun but nothing too serious—a good way to end a stressful academic year before I started my professional career in Boston and he started his second year of his PhD program.

Certainly, neither one of us imagined we’d spend that entire summer texting back and forth every day, even while being on different continents. Those texts created a foundation for a friendship, and that friendship turned into something more as summer turned into fall and we found ourselves back in Boston.

Now here we are some six years later, engaged and getting ready to graduate together in the spring. We’ve both learned many lessons about what it means to be a partner: being each other’s pillar of support during times of stress, choosing to be in love after the initial infatuation has faded away, and actively working to grow together versus growing apart. Perhaps the most salient lesson though: we’re both terrible at casual flings.

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