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Residence directors marry and live on campus
A nice, quiet evening for two, interrupted by a situation with one of their 384 kids. No, this is not the woman who lived in a shoe. This is the newly married couple,Todd and Jeanne Liu, who are charge of 384 residents in Mountainview.
On Oct. 3, the day of their wedding, “Going to the Chapel,” and other wedding themed songs blasted from their living room, as family gathered to help Jeanne get ready for her big day.
A week later, Jeanne, the assistant director of Residential Life, answered the door to their two bedroom Mountainview apartment, in her matching pajama set, with her “bride” slippers at her feet. The newlyweds sat on their plush maroon couches in their homey place and began to share the story of their story.
The couple met at Quinnipiac a few years ago, while Jeanne was working as a hall director. Todd, the Mountainview residence hall director, was offered a job, causing them to work together.
After getting to know each other, Todd and Jeanne found they had a lot in common having both done service work in third world countries. Todd sparked Jeanne’s interest with his intellectual conversation about having met Mother Theresa.
“Right away I felt a connection,” Jeanne said.
“We are very family oriented and focused,” Jeanne said, the oldest of four siblings. Todd is the oldest of five, which gave them another common ground.
One night they saw a movie together, shared a good night kiss and then began dating.
Two years later, on their anniversary, Todd proposed underneath the Lender School of Business dome, where they walked on their first date. He presented her with a book containing a manicure and massage certificate along with a mock ring that had an M&M candy on it to represent the joke that she wanted a diamond that size.
Todd then proposed with a diamond ring, and took her to Eli’s on Whitney where he had both sets of parents waiting with champagne.
“They were so honored they were included,” Jeanne said.
Todd and Jeanne were engaged for 14 months and lived in Perlroth as an engaged couple.
Jeanne, 28, is a Louisiana native who moved to New Jersey at age 12. She graduated from Fairfield University and received her masters in college administration from Canisius College.
“I knew I wanted to work in a college setting. When I came to Quinnipiac it was the perfect fit.”
Todd, 27, is from Wallingford, and a graduate of Wake Forest University, where he majored in philosophy and religion. He is currently attending Quinnipiac Law School part time at night.
They agreed their work life has not affected their relationship.
Todd said he deals with “anything Mountainview related” such as residential advisors, judicial hearings and fire alarms.
“Overall it’s not too bad. The fire alarms, they’re a pain in the butt. Those are the times you think to yourself, oh, I’m too old to be living in residence halls,” Todd said.
Jeanne’s job consists of training and hiring and firing staff. She oversees freshmen, attends judicial hearings and deals with major altercations.
“[We] try our best to separate our personal from our professional lives,” Todd said.
Jeanne’s office, Residential Life, is behind the Ratt so she said there is a “separation between my home and my work.”
According to Todd, the lower salary, which is paid for being a hall director, is compensated by free housing, a privilege most newlyweds do not receive.
This is Jeanne’s eleventh year living in residence halls.
“I’ve never lived off campus,” she said. “I like the whole community aspect of it.”
However, their current home is creatively decorated, which separates them from other college rooms.
“Once you come here, you never really feel like you’re in the residence halls,” Jeanne said.
Jeanne said she feels perfectly comfortable living in a residence hall with students, and walking around in her pajamas or sharing laundry time.
“It’s part of our job as administrators to show you that we are people too. Even though we’re married and we’re older, we’re still part of the community,” Jeanne said.
These newlyweds said they do not feel MTV’s “Newlyweds” is a good portrayal of married life.
“They’re going to be divorced in five years. They’ll never make it,” Todd said.
“Marriage is a lot about compromising and learning how to live with each other. I feel like it’s a breeze [and] I can’t think of anything I don’t like about it,” he continued.
“We’re so excited to say we’re husband and wife now,” Jeanne said.
Jeanne said she felt like a princess on her wedding day.
“I knew our wedding would be perfect but it was better than I imagined it to be,” she said.
Todd and Jeanne both advise students to enjoy college life, and discover their own identity before getting too serious in a relationship.
“I think before you get into a relationship you really have to know yourself, and your goals,” Jeanne said.
“[Finding the right person] comes naturally and you just connect. [The relationship] just grows as you get to know each other,” she continued.
“Don’t be afraid to compromise, but at the same time, know there are certain things you need in a relationship,” Todd said.
“You owe it to yourself to know what you want and follow that,” Todd continued.
“The last thing anyone should do is have regrets that they should’ve tried other things.”