Caitlin and I met in the summer of 2006, after both of us had already graduated from St. Mike’s. Back then, we lived pretty far away from each other. Caitlin was outside of Boston and I was in NH. We were matched online and found similarities beyond what the online program identified for us, and the most significant and important was our St. Mike’s connection.
This connection made the difference, because I can’t say that either of us would have been all about dating someone who lived so far away had it not been for the initial familiarity and connection that St. Mikes had for both of us. This made our initial interactions via email and phone, and later when we started going on dates, super comfortable, familiar and exciting at the same time. It helped us to develop our relationship because we share similar values, passions, many mutual friends and mentors and all the while managed to have different experiences at a school we both love. I knew what kind of person Caitlin was based on the things she did while at St. Mikes (LEAP, Wilderness Program, POW, Habitat for Humanity, Travel Abroad).
After running up two SIGNIFICANT phone bills by talking daily for about two months (another hilarious part of our story), we decided to meet in person for a real first date. Literally two days before, she had knee surgery and was walking on crutches and in a full length, hip-to-ankle leg cast! She could have easily cancelled on me and yet we went out on that first date and had an awesome time. We got engaged on a vacation visit to VT in 2009 and were married in 2011 surrounded by several of our St. Mike’s alumni friends.
I love Caitlin because of many many reasons, but most importantly she is the embodiment of what is good and just in a person. She has the ability to be the light for someone in their darkest hour, is absolutely selfless, and will try to do anything in her power to care for another individual. She has an incredibly infectious personality, is absolutely genuine, and a blast to be around. She’s smart as hell and driven to achieve (proven many times over by returning to school to pursue her dreams). And also, she supports me and helps me to be a better person. I am absolutely proud of who she is and her potential for the future, and eternally grateful that she ultimately chose me to be her husband.
– Gene Bova ‘01
After a few weeks of communicating via email, the topic of where we went to college came up in conversation. Needless to say I was surprised when Gene replied “I went to a small college in northern Vermont.” After realizing we both went to St. Mike’s, we discovered that we have several mutual friends and even attended the same, small New Year’s Eve party in Burlington a few months before we met online!
The first thing I noticed about Gene is his great sense of humor, which came across even in our early email communication. As we got to know each other better, it was obvious that we have many things in common. We were both student leaders in the Wilderness Program (now known as the Adventure Center) and we both love spending time outdoors, particularly in the winter. While we did not attend St. Mike’s at the same time, for both of us, our years at St. Mike’s hold some of our favorite memories.
Gene is special to me for countless reasons, but what comes to mind is his fun-loving, outgoing and selfless personality. He is the most genuine and giving person that I know, and I am so lucky to call him my husband While sometimes I think about how fun it would have been to experience our time at St. Mike’s together, it is fun to be able to share our memories of such a special place together.
– Caitlin Bova ‘05