Finals Edition: Pitt students find young love during years in Oakland


Amy Longworth met her fiancé, Killian Byrne, in her first class at Pitt, Renaissance in England. Longworth was studying abroad at Pitt from Exeter University in England. 

Longworth, who graduated from Exeter University in July 2013 with a degree in English literature, said she and Byrne have been together for two years and eight months. 

Early in her first semester, Longworth invited Byrne to a party she threw at her apartment in an attempt to meet new people at Pitt. Byrne invited her to lunch the next day and walked her the entire 45 minutes home afterward.

“He was more interesting to me than anyone I’d met in Pittsburgh thus far, and we didn’t stop talking. We became pretty inseparable after that,” Longworth said in an email. 

The majority of students will graduate from Pitt with a degree and hopefully some inkling of a life plan, but a few lucky students graduate with a life partner as well. 

According to a report from the Facebook Data Science Team, a group that analyzes data compiled on Facebook, 28 percent of married college graduates attended the same college. Researchers Sofus Attila Macskassy and Lada Adamic compiled data on users 25 and older who had listed their alma mater and were linked to their spouses on Facebook.

The pair didn’t stop talking after the walk home, and Byrne proposed while visiting Longworth in England last July.

Longworth said Byrne asked her to marry him outside the Exeter Cathedral as the sun was setting. 

“It was perfect. Also, the most wonderful, beautiful thing was that the ring was his mother’s engagement ring. I cherish it more than anything,” Longworth said.

The couple has maintained a long-distance relationship since Longworth departed from the United States in 2012. Over the past two years, Byrne has traveled to England four times, and Longworth has returned to the United States four times to visit. 

Longworth said being in a long-distance relationship was not always pleasant or easy, but always having a trip planned gave the couple something to look forward to and eased the stress of the situation. 

“We both made mistakes. We both hurt each other. My health suffered and, in January 2013, Killian’s mom passed away,” Longworth said. “I can’t explain how heartbreaking that was. But we got through it somehow, and I definitely believe that this experience has made us much, much stronger as a couple.”

Longworth and Byrne plan to get married in June at a small courthouse ceremony in California and then hold a bigger ceremony at Heinz Chapel in the fall of 2015. 

Byrne said he thought the opportunity to get married at Heinz Chapel was “amazing.” 

“Honestly, Pitt is super cool,” he said. “I love the Cathedral and the Chapel is so nice.”

For another couple, local campus haunts were launching points for a lasting romance. 

Brett Meeder and Katie Ly met through a mutual friend at The Perch during their sophomore year and started dating in 2012 during their senior year.

Ly said that she thought about meeting someone in college because her parents met while studying at Temple University, but Meeder said he had never thought about marriage before college.

“I honestly don’t know that most people look for a long-term relationship in college because of the way the world is now,” Ly said. “Careers are so important.”  

Meeder graduated from the Swanson School of Engineering in 2012, and Ly graduated from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences in the same year and will graduate from the School of Public Health this semester. 

Meeder proposed to Ly in June 2013 on the steps of the Cathedral of Learning after building suspense throughout the night. 

“I knew he was going to propose, but I didn’t know where or when,” Ly said. 

After dinner on Mount Washington and a trip to Point State Park, Meeder finished the evening with a proposal on the steps of the Cathedral of Learning. 

“It meant a lot more because of all my time at Pitt and the fact that I met her at Pitt. So it was a good fit,” Meeder said. 

Ly said she hopes their children will attend Pitt in the future. 

“They’ll be disowned if not,” Meeder joked. 

The couple plans to get married at Heinz Chapel and would like to hold the reception at Phipps Conservatory, but has not set a date yet. 

“Between the two of us we’ll have three or four degrees from Pitt, so there’s no reason we shouldn’t continue to be proud alumni,” Ly said.