The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Four faculty and staff couples share their love stories

Brett and Alex Hendrickson have been together for over two decades. (Photo courtesy of Clay Wegrzynowicz ’18)

Common dating advice says that you should never date a coworker, but what about marrying one?

For these four Lafayette faculty and staff couples, their dual employment at the college creates an overlap between their work and home lives.

Alex and Brett Hendrickson

Director of religious and spiritual life Alex Hendrickson and associate professor of religious studies Brett Hendrickson met at a seminary school in Austin, Texas. 

Brett remembers meeting Alex when she moved into housing on the floor above his, but Alex sees it differently. “He actually doesn’t remember the first time we met,” she said. “I was already in school there, and they were having one of these prospective student barbecue things. He came and he met me, but he doesn’t even remember.”

What drew Alex to Brett were his qualifications. 

Brett applied for the position of youth director at the same church Alex had been interning at. One of Alex’s jobs was going through the applicants. 

“Look at someone’s resume to decide if you want to date them,” she joked. “Little did I know that was going to become someone that I would end up dating,” Alex said.

While the Hendricksons had worked together before, neither of them expected to end up at Lafayette.

“My office is [in Farinon] and his office is in Pardee. So … we do see each other fairly often,” Alex said.

The two have been working together for the past 11 years and have been together for 23. They get lunch together most days.

The Greenlees met in college while studying abroad in Florence. (Photo courtesy of Jessie Greenlee)

Jessie and Justin Greenlee

Assistant professor of psychology Jessie Greenlee and her husband Justin Greenlee, a tennis coach, met during a study abroad program in Italy. 

“We met on a study abroad program in Florence, Italy our junior year of college,” Justin said. “Jessie was cooking for herself for the first time and struggling with it. She was eating a lot of cereal … and the professor on that program knew that I could cook and she put us together saying, ‘You should cook together!’ That’s how we became friends.”

“I remember always being impressed,” Jessie said of Justin’s earlier days of cooking for her. 

As soon as they returned for their senior year, Justin asked her out. 

Flash forward a few years and both Jessie and Justin were on the job market looking for the right fit. Having both gone to Kenyon College in Ohio, which they described as “sort of from the same cloth as Lafayette,” the Greenlees already had an idea of the type of place where they wanted to work.

“I guess we crossed enough fingers and toes and it did work out,” Jessie said. 

Although the couple’s work lives are completely different, they are office neighbors and find plenty of time for each other throughout the day. “It’s nice to be neighbors because my office is Kirby and her office is in Oechsle Hall,” Justin said. “It’s easy to just go 200 yards across the football field and get together to say, ‘Let’s go to Mojo!'”

Catharine and Mark Beers

Catharine and Mark Beers are long-time members of Lafayette’s custodial staff. They met by chance at a meat draw, an Australian social event centered around the raffling of different cuts of meat, that neither had originally planned to attend.

“I didn’t have a ticket [to go to the event]. He didn’t have a ticket. But I went with my sister’s friends … and his brother gave him his ticket because he couldn’t go,” Catharine said.

It was Catharine who first spotted Mark. “I saw him and I thought he was cute. So I kept walking past his table [until] he noticed me. His brother finally told him, ‘You better go ask her to dance — she keeps walking by.’”

Eventually, Mark asked her to join him on the dance floor as the DJ played the slow song he had been waiting for. 

Decades later, after getting married and raising five kids together, Catharine left her position as a stay-at-home mom and submitted an application to join Mark at Lafayette. She started off in Pardee, working the night shift. 

“We didn’t see each other for seven years,” Catharine said. “I started work at 3:30 p.m. and he got out of work at 3:30 p.m., so we just kind of saw each other on weekends.”

Now, with Mark as the custodian at Farber Hall and Catharine working in McKeen, the Beers’ schedules are more aligned. However, while they drive to campus together and occasionally grab lunch from Wawa, they don’t see each other at work most days of the school year.

“We’re pretty much joined at the hip outside of Lafayette,” Mark said.

Erik and Melissa Adamson

Erik Adamson, an assistant men’s lacrosse coach, and Melissa Adamson, Lafayette’s climate action and circularity manager, spent their childhoods in Orange County, Calif. only 30 minutes apart, but it would be another two decades before they crossed paths.

It was at a lacrosse game in Denver, the city where they both lived, that Erik and Melissa finally met for the first time. But in the beginning, they didn’t much like each other.

“My impression of him was like, ‘Wait, this guy played college lacrosse, now he coaches college lacrosse — does he want to talk about anything that’s not lacrosse?’” Melissa said. 

“She was … a little loud,” Erik said. “She thought I was a lax bro. Which I kinda am, but I’m a little different than your typical lax bro.”

It would take meeting another three times before the couple finally hit it off, and now, they’re married.

“You never know what you think you know about people, you never know how they’ll circle back into your life,” Melissa said.

Last summer, the couple packed their lives into boxes and headed east, trading the camping and hiking that first drew them to Colorado for a new adventure in Easton. Erik, who was drawn to Lafayette first, got a job as the men’s lacrosse team offensive coordinator. The team helped the couple move into their home.

“It was kind of like a dream job for me,” Erik said.

When Erik got the invitation to interview for the position, Melissa rushed to apply for a job listing she had seen at Lafayette’s Office of Sustainability, a perfect match for her background in environmental sciences and urban planning. By November, the Adamsons were both working for the college.

For Valentine’s Day, the Adamsons have planned a morning spent working up a sweat at Orange Theory, followed by breakfast.

“Or maybe just lunch at Eco Café, who’s to say?” Melissa joked. “Go-to question about our plans: ‘What’s the practice schedule?’”

Correction 05/02/2023: A previous version of this article misspelled the first name of Catharine Beers. It was misspelled as “Catherine.”

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    Amos Han '14Sep 5, 2023 at 7:56 am

    I miss Mark the custodian. I have fond memories of waking up to the sound of him cleaning the dorm when I lived in Farbeers Hall (a wonderful nickname I gave to Farber Hall due to Mark’s last name). He was nice and was very funny.