Love connections made at the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

As Valentine’s Day approaches, Cupid takes aim at the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts and empties his quiver of love connections made here at Wayne State University.  

Read how some of our Creative Warriors became couples, and how many of them share this distinction with family members, oftentimes across several generations.  

David and Megan Cowan

How they met …

In 2008, Megan was in her third year at Wayne State as an established BFA acting student. David was in his second year — but majoring in business administration at that time — and taking elective courses within the theatre department. He did not know many of the other students until he auditioned, at his classmate’s strong encouragement, for the fall production of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

“Megan had also auditioned, and we were both called back and paired together as scene partners,” said David. “There was an immediate chemistry and attraction there, although we were both incredibly different – Megan was creative, adventurous, free-spirited, and spontaneous – and I was detailed, calculated, outgoing and consistent.”

Thankfully, Robert Francis Winch’s love law “Opposites Attract” ended up being true — at least for David and Megan. That audition resulted in them both being cast in the show as George and Mary, “and we became closer on and off the stage,” David said.

In 2008 in Midtown — and especially the Cass Corridor — it was a smaller, tighter-knit community where everyone knew everyone, he said. David and Megan have long credited the theatre department and its students as being responsible for much of the liveliness and activity that went on during that time.  

“We might have kept a bar or two in business from our friend group alone,” joked David. “And coincidentally, Megan and I both lived in apartment buildings across Woodward from each other. So, at Wayne, in work, and in life embracing Detroit, we grew as a couple and became inseparable.”

Megan and David went on to graduate, travel the world, live on the East Coast, get married, achieve fulfilling and high visibility careers, and are now back in metro Detroit building a family with their 2-year-old son, Avery.   

“The opportunities, values, and friendships we gained at Wayne proved to be important in creating a ‘Wonderful Life’ together — caring for community, friends, family, and each other,” David said.  

Best memory of WSU

Megan loved the Campus because it was walkable and safe, and she appreciated the ability to experience Detroit’s cultural gems in the place where she lived, worked, and studied. Megan’s car was always breaking down and David always competed to be the one to pick her up.

David’s favorite memories at Wayne were often in social settings, when professors, students, and faculty got together outside of the classroom and really spent time connecting on a human/personal basis.  

“The mentorship and friendships didn’t just provide academic lessons,” David said, “but ones in humility, compassion, and life as well, which in acting, is hugely valuable.    

Tartars/Warriors in the family

David’s Mom and Sister are also alumni. His mom — Sue Mosey — in Urban Planning, and sister Molly Gould (Cowan) for education. David’s father Don Cowan worked at Wayne State for 30-plus years in the Library System.

Megan was the first college graduate in her family, so her commencement was particularly special.  

“As you can tell, we are a family full of proud Warriors,” David said. “And while many of us now have advanced degrees from other universities, there’s no place that feels more at home than Wayne State.”

Dave and Meg Gilbert

How they met …

Dave was a graduate student and a fellow of the Hilberry Classic Theatre company from September 1965 until May 1967. During that time, he served on tech crews, but mostly as the Hilberry house manager.  

Meg was an undergrad from September 1966 until May 1968. She had various majors but spent the bulk of her time around the theatre. She worked in costume shops and appeared in several graduate directing scenes in the Studio (later named the Underground) as a performer. She also worked in the box office under Phil Fox, and with the “company wives” at the Hilberry concession stand.  

The pair would meet in the lobby of the Hilberry Theatre in the fall of 1966. Dave was the house manager; Meg was a freshman volunteer usher. Both Meg’s father, a WSU art professor, and her speech teacher for the first semester of college, also a graduate student in the company, encouraged her to usher so she could see shows for free. After meeting Dave in that lobby for the first time as an usher, she signed on for life.

Dave lived first on West Hancock Street in Detroit, adjacent to the Lodge Freeway, then moved to an apartment in the Hilberry block. “The theatre community was tightly knit, mostly young adults (21-35) from elsewhere living on campus, while most of the other students were commuters,” they remarked. “There was little campus social life beyond our small group.”

Best memory of WSU

Meg remembers attending Hilberry matinees as a high school student and loving the experience. For her 18th birthday, she requested (and received) tickets to “St Joan” at the Hilberry. One of her favorite shows was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and watching Phyllis Sommerville swooping down to the stage on the fly cable never failed to delight audiences.

A favorite collective memory would be their times at The Snug, the eatery that once was part of the Traffic Jam. “We spent quite a few cozy evenings there together, after closing the Hilberry,” Meg said. “Also, dining elegantly at Mario’s on Second Ave — our first real date. And, hiking home in a snowstorm from dinner at Lelli’s on Woodward, because the buses were heading to the garage and wouldn’t stop for passengers.”  

The pair were also known to hop the Woodward Avenue bus down to Greektown for a late dinner after a show on Saturday nights. “There were a few close calls returning to Helen Newberry Joy dorm before curfew,” Meg joked.

Tartars/Warriors in the family

Dave and Meg had two sons, Christopher Warren and Matthew. Christopher, who passed away in 2020, graduated from WSU’s Hilberry program. Matthew, who graduated from Tisch school of the Arts in NYC with a degree in acting, still stays connected with Wayne State’s theatre and dance department.

Meg’s father, Wilfred Becker, a WSU grad, was a long-time faculty member in the Wayne State Art Department, teaching art history, basic design, and industrial design. Her mother, Audrey Becker, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayne State. She was a teacher and school administrator in the Livonia Public Schools.  

Meg’s sister, Cristie, was an undergraduate member of the Hilberry company and an actor in a local children’s TV show, before switching her focus and graduating from the WSU School of Medicine. She was a long-time staff member in neuroradiology at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.

Edmund Jones and Kennikki Jones-Jones

How they met …

Back in 2009, Wayne State University Theatre alumna Frannie Shepard-Bates co-founded Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company.

Their opening show was Amiri Baraka’s “The Dutchman,” at the now closed Furniture Factory (Cinema Detroit) on Third Street, around the block from where Kennikki lived on Second Avenue at the Coronado Apartments.

Kennikki knew everyone in the show, except for Edmund.

“I went, stayed for the talk back, introduced myself when the show was over and that was that” said Kennikki. “Until the next weekend, when I went over to my friend’s apartment on a ‘date’ and Edmund was there. My date fell asleep, while Edmund and I stayed up until 5 a.m. chit-chatting. A few weekends later, I went to see the show again after a trip to the grocery store.

"When the show was over, he helped me bring the groceries up from my car into my apartment and he hasn’t left since.”

Best memory of WSU

While Edmund was in graduate school, he and Kennikki were married on stage at the Hilberry on the set of “Richard III.”

Edmund graduated in 2013 with a Master of Fine Arts in theatre with a concentration in performance. Kennikki earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2008 in theatre with a concentration in performance.

Tartars/Warriors in the family

No, Kennikki said, not yet. But the pair have three children, with their son Phoenix Alyn Jones currently performing at the Detroit Repertory Theatre in “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.”

Allan and Carol Luc

How they met …

Carol admits Allan noticed her before she knew he even existed. Allan said he often remembers Carol showing up late to an art history class.

“She dragged a 30x40 black portfolio bag from the back of Prentis Hall almost down to the front row while her long, blonde hair glowed in the darkness of Prentis,” Allan said. “The next semester I signed up for a basic Design class, and who walks into that class but the woman from Prentis Hall.”

After graduating from Wayne State with bachelor’s in fine arts degrees, they were married Feb. 7, 1975. “I asked Carol to marry me the year after I met her. I worked at Chevy Gear & Axle the following summer,” Allan said. “It’s hard to imagine I could buy an engagement ring for Carol and pay for a full year of classes at Wayne from just working 90 days at an auto plant.”

Carol noted the WSU connection and presence carried forward at their ceremony.

“Our best man, Tim, was in WSU’s Pharmacy school, and another groomsman, John, was from the same art program as us,” said Carol. “A bridesmaid, Laura [Allan’s sister], later entered Wayne’s nursing school. And we are looking forward to celebrating 50 years together in 2025.”

Best memory of WSU

For Carol, being able to take all their art classes and hang out together, since they had the same major, ranks among one of the best memories. “We loved Old Main and all its mysterious rooms and hallways, with their twists and turns (before it was remodeled),” Carol said. “Al was a ‘gym rat’ and spent lots of time playing basketball in Matthaei.”

For Allan, he said he really appreciated the creative atmosphere in art school. “The instructors pushed you to explore ideas and concepts and to take chances with our work,” he said.

Tartars/Warriors in the family

Allan’s sister, Laura, graduated from Wayne State’s College of Nursing. She later went to Penn for her master’s and graduated as a geriatric nurse practitioner. Allan’s uncle also went to WSU in the 1960s and had a long career with the federal government.

Jeremy and Marcella (Chella) Rosenberg

How they met …

Technically, the first time Jeremy and Chella met happened to be at the same Hillel of Metro Detroit event. But they never had the chance to introduce themselves. Sometime later, Chella recognized Jeremy in the middle of Wayne State’s Student Center and struck up a conversation.  

“I was working on a graphic design project and asked for a picture of his eyes. I was lucky he still talked to me after that,” Chella joked. “We started doing homework with each other, got involved in Jewish life on campus together, and eventually started finding reasons to spend time together just for fun. After a short while, we became best friends and spent almost every day together.”

For about a year, they went on with the ‘will they/won’t they?’ storyline, until finally, Chella said they started dating on Dec. 16, 2018. “We knew this would be for the rest of our lives,” she said, “and could not be happier.”

Best memory of WSU

While at WSU, Chella had an idea to host a sustainable living fashion show.  

“Fashion, self-expression, and environmentalism are really important to me. At the time, I hadn’t seen a fashion show solely focused on sustainability,” she said. “The fashion show was also the first of its kind in Detroit. I had no budget, no experience, and no sleep but I made it work.”

Chella partnered with other student organizations, sought advice from fashion professors, and reached out to local sustainable fashion brands in Detroit such as Madewell and Deviate to participate in the show. Vendors provided exclusive promo codes for attendees and hair and makeup were volunteers from the Paul Mitchell School of Beauty. Over 200 hundred people attended the event.  

“It was a moment that defined my growth and gratitude for the Detroit and WSU community,” she said.

For Jeremy, his best memory was everything about student life.  

“My time at Wayne State was made by my experiences in re-founding the Xi Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, attending WSU football, basketball, and volleyball games, joining a variety of student organizations, and taking advantage of living, studying and working in Detroit,” he said.

The best times, Jeremy continued, were when he brought those interests together.

“Throwing tailgates at our house in Woodbridge before football games, hosting AEPi Alumni dinners so we could brag about Detroit, an updated Wayne State campus, and all of the success we were having, and so many other things,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong — I enjoyed all of the classes I took — but student life is really what made my college experience special.”

Tartars/Warriors in the family

Chella’s dad received an MBA from Wayne State and used to teach at the university. Her older sister went for undergraduate studies, while Chella’s brother-in-law obtained certain credits through WSU. Her younger brother is a current student.

Jeremy’s dad came to Wayne State for law, while his grandfather came for undergraduate work. Meanwhile, Jeremy's younger brother went to both undergrad and graduate school, his sister-in-law is currently a College of Nursing student, and his younger sister will be an incoming freshman.

Fred and Mary Shahadi

How they met …

Fred and Mary met at an undergrad party thrown by Maribeth Monroe (currently on “Bob Hearts Abishola” on CBS), who remains a close friend. “Maribeth often jokes at parties she’s responsible for us getting together, which is true,” they said.

“Like on stage, so much of life is timing,” said Fred. “Mary and I seemed to meet each other just at the right time. Mary had recently come back from a year abroad where she studied dance in London and traveled throughout Europe. I had just begun my first year of my MFA at Wayne. We would see one another in the halls and at the local hangout ‘Thirds,’ but we really hit it off at Maribeth’s place and began dating.  

“Although neither of us were looking for anything serious at the time, we quickly realized we really liked each other,” Fred continued. “Wayne gave me so much I’ve used in my life, but nothing was greater than finding my soulmate.”

Mary remembers when she met Fred three days after coming home from London.  

“I thought he was intelligent and funny, and shared many similar goals. He always kept me laughing and still does,” Mary said. “Fred often uses self-deprecating humor back then to describe our relationship calling us ‘beauty and the beast,’ but I always tell him he’s ridiculous. Fred let me know right in the beginning his mother was terminally ill and I might want to find someone with less baggage … well over two decades — and two kids later — I still haven’t put him down. So, the baggage isn’t that heavy.”

Best memory of WSU

Fred and Mary said their best memory of Wayne State remains the relationships they made.  

“Our classmates, many of whom we stay in contact with to this day as well as the amazing teachers (some of whom have sadly left us) and their invaluable instruction … and of course each other!” they said. “The Wayne State community of actors and friends we had remain very strong and supportive of one another. There is a small but mighty contingent here in Los Angeles that are fierce advocates of each other’s work and family life.”

There have been many times in the last 20 years they said they have gone to tapings, one-man/woman shows, and stage plays of their working friends on the West Coast. They have also attended plays all over the country in support of alumni and friends.

“Facebook became a thing after we left school,” they said. “And for all the silliness of social media, it remains a great way to stay in touch and support fellow alumni projects.”

Tartars/Warriors in the family

No one, so far. “But our kids aren’t in college yet, so who knows!?!”

Thank you to our alumni couples who shared stories that bring joy and laughter to our hearts. If you and your significant other are alumni and would like to share your story, please let us know at to be featured in a future Valentine's Day edition!

*Top illustration by Linda Johnson, graphic design student assistant with the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts.

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