I still remember the very first day we met. It was during freshman orientation, and we were in the University Store.
I was with my roommate, Ashley, and we saw her then-boyfriend, Nate, with another guy. He introduced us to Rudy Inaba. I didn’t think anything of it, and this elaborate story certainly was not one of love-at-first-sight. The story may get a little complicated, so pay close attention.
Later during orientation I was lucky enough to sit next to a guy named Travis. I figured we’d never see each other again. Until I went to visit a friend, Amy, in her dorm room in Montour Hall where I bumped into none other than Travis.
Then came Public Speaking class where I met Jeff. We quickly became great friends. Amy and I would hang out in Elwell with Jeff and his roommate, Brian, eat at the Commons and go to parties. That’s when things started to connect.
The four of us were at a party one night, and Travis and Rudy showed up. Apparently Brian, Jeff and Travis were all buddies from back home and Rudy met Travis at other parties where they became good friends. Now we were all under one roof. But, it still wasn’t a love connection for Rudy and me.
Then I decided to pledge Phi Sigma Pi, and after pledging was over, I needed a date to our banquet. I turned to Travis for help. We went to a party on Fifth Street and the search was on!
Guess who was also at that party? Rudy! Travis looked at me, then across the room at Rudy and said, “Hey, why not ask Rudy?” To which I aptly responded, “Because I don’t know him.” He said he’d take care of it.
And he did. We went to that banquet, and later that same month we officially became a couple. After eight years together, to the exact day that we made our relationship official, we shared our vows on Coronado Beach, California with our family surrounding us.
— Jennifer Shymansky Inaba ’06