Finding real love in the hook-up culture

Alumna Leika Arrieta, (‘’05) fondly recalled a picture of a ski trip she took as a student at Chapman University. A fellow alumni, CJ Bishop, stands in the background. Neither Arrieta or Bishop remembers meeting then.

Or EVER at Chapman.

Now they are married.

Chapman love stories abound — even if some don’t meet until later. Now there’s a new social media site the university promotes called Chapman Sweethearts, designed to encourage Chapman couples or alumni to share their stories of how they met their loved ones through the Chapman connection.

Photo by Tom Chown. Chapman Sweethearts Lauren Helvajian 04’ and Chris Helvajian 05.’
Photo by Tom Chown.
Chapman Sweethearts Lauren Helvajian 04’ and Chris Helvajian 05.’

Alumna Lauren (Katnik) Helvajian 04’ and Chris Helvajian 05’ were one of the first couples to register for the program.  It was soon after they got married.

“Alumni Relations reached out to us, we were going to get a shout out on the Chapman page and a chance to win a bottle of champagne,” said Chris Helvajian, who is now an admissions counselor at Chapman. “It was pretty simple, we just had to tell them how we met and submit a few pictures.”

They were set up by their roommates — hers already dating his — and their first date, you might now expect, was at the District Lounge on the Circle. Breeding ground of the hook-up culture.

Chapman is some ways is beating the odds in romance. Chapman University psychology professor David Frederick who made a career of scientific relationship studies, said because there are more women than men at Chapman, the men become more picky and wait until later for a serious relationship.

“It’s very interesting because these Chapman sweethearts are finding each other, in a space where men have the power to be picky,” said Frederick. “You might expect there to be a hook up culture, but these sweethearts are finding each other.”

Not all Chapman love stories are boy/girl meets classmate. Sometimes it’s girl meets staff.

Alumni Mike Drummy (’74) began working at Chapman’s admissions office, where he still works, just before graduation. Later, he began dating a senior, now his wife, Trish Drummy (’81.)

“When Trish and I first started dating, she was still a student and I was assistant director of admission so we dated in secret for about six months until she graduated,” he said.

The couple dated for two years before getting married. So how did they seal that deal?

“It’s been so long I honestly don’t remember, but I do remember asking her father.  We invited him over for dinner and I was never more nervous in my entire life,” said Mike Drummy.

And sometimes a Chapman union means. . . well, more Chapman students.

Tony Dominguez (’82) and Cindy Dominguez (’83) were part of the same group of friends than just hung out. She was a Resident Assistant, he was an Orientation Assistant.  It was a full two years before they decided to hang out as a two-some.

Though they live in Northern California, they still get to Chapman for Homecoming Weekend when they can. And for good reason: Their daughter Lauren graduated from Chapman last year and their son Mark will graduate from Chapman in 2018.

About that couple that should have known each other but didn’t:

“We just don’t remember each other,” said Arrieta. “We even went on a snow trip for New Year’s. We rented one cabin, there were 15-20 people, he was there and I was there, he’s even in the background of that picture.”

Luckily, they reconnected  when fellow Chapman alumni encouraged them to attend the first ever Chappy Hour, a social gathering for recent Chapman alumni in 2011. That one encounter was all they needed.
“If it wasn’t for Chappy Hour, we wouldn’t have re-met, that solidified it,” said Bishop.

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