Alumni

Eyes for each other
One hurricane brought the couple together, but another intruded on their wedding day.

Normally this magazine doesn’t print news of engagements, but we couldn’t resist the tale of this stormy romance.

Katie Maucher and Scott Barnes, both ’09, would likely never have met had Hurricane Katrina not caused her relocation to Richmond in fall 2005. Maucher evacuated from Tulane University as the storm approached New Orleans, and when Tulane canceled its fall semester, she transferred to Richmond, where she met Barnes.

The two, who now live in Connecticut, have been together ever since, but neither could have forecasted that another hurricane would derail their wedding day.

As Hurricane Matthew tracked up the East Coast this fall, it forced an evacuation of Charleston, South Carolina, where the couple and their families were already beginning to gather for the big day. They got word to their family and friends as airports were closing.

“It was kind of a whirlwind,” Maucher said. Barnes added: “We knew we weren’t going to have the wedding, but it was nice to be together.”

Indeed, all was not lost. In the early hours of Matthew’s approach, the couple staged a mock wedding celebration complete with a champagne toast that spoke to their optimism at weathering whatever may come.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve picked myself up from a hurricane situation,” Maucher said. “In this kind of situation, you just roll with the punches.”