Clare Taft ’00, Carroll News Alumna

It is somewhat surreal to write a column for the Carroll News, sitting in my law office, rather than sitting in the CN office.  I like to think that I did my best work while sitting at one of the Macs closest to the door, with the blinds open and Weezer’s “Pinkerton” playing in the background.  The Carroll News most certainly shaped my college experience. I spent more time in the CN office than I did in class, especially during my senior year when I served as Editor-in-Chief.  Of course, I took more from my four years at John Carroll than my experience with the CN.  I was lucky enough to meet and date my husband, Jason Smith, starting our sophomore year.  Fourteen years later, we have busy careers, a home, two daughters and a son on the way.

Certainly, “dating” in college is different than dating in the real world.  We went on our first date on February 12 of our sophomore year, and I do not think I considered my husband my “boyfriend” or went on another date with him until nearly one year later.  But, we stayed together throughout college and when we were married four years after graduation, there was no question that we wanted our wedding Mass to be held at St. Francis Chapel.  Even changing into my wedding dress in the Rec Center and walking past the cafeteria in my dress and veil felt “right” on our wedding day.

Regardless, no one should start college planning to find a spouse.  The friendships and experiences that you have at John Carroll will shape the rest of your life.  My CN Managing Editor, friend and former roommate, Lisa (Foster) Smith ’00 wrote in her Alumni Column that college was about relationships, and she is right.  College is about the relationships that you have with your friends, classmates, teachers and significant others.  Many of those relationships will carry you long past graduation day.  And, if you happen to meet someone worth holding onto while at John Carroll, you are fortunate to have a spouse with whom you share your John Carroll experiences.  Something brought you both to John Carroll, and through your time together at Carroll you have many shared memories.  I appreciate that Jason and I can take our children to campus for Homecoming or Breakfast with Santa and let them know that mommy and daddy met and were married here.  There are enough of us “John Carroll Couples,” including my sister and brother-in-law, my husband’s sister and brother-in-law and a number of our friends, that this year, Alumni Relations is hosting a couples reception on February 10.  I hope the couples reception tradition continues, and John Carroll Couples can come back to campus each year for a night out to celebrate their marriages and the school that brought them together.