Meaghan O'Connor and Mike Atkin ’94
Despite two decades and over 1,000 miles, two Class of 1994 alumni reconnect over their love of Fisher.
Fisher has always been just the right size for building connections. Students have the chance to get to know professors, classmates, and staff. And if students don’t know one another directly, chances are they have friends in common.
That’s what makes the love story of Meaghan O’Connor and Mike Atkin so interesting.
The pair both graduated in 1994. He double-majored in history and English and she earned a degree in communication/journalism – both predominantly attending classes in Basil Hall. She lived off campus but visited friends in Dorsey so often that it felt like a second home. Mike himself lived in Dorsey. The pair shared several mutual friends. In fact, following graduation, Mike lived with a group of friends in Rochester at a house that Meaghan recalls visiting.
So while their paths often came close at Fisher, they never truly intersected. Their first meeting came twenty years later when they were 1,200 miles apart.
In 2014, Meaghan made the trip to Fisher from her home in New York City for the Class of 1994 20th reunion celebration. “I was really looking forward to reconnecting with my Fisher friends,” says Meaghan. “I had moved away from Rochester in 2002 and once my parents moved out of the area, I didn’t get the chance to return as much I used to.”
At the same time, Mike was traveling from Miami to Rochester for the reunion. It was the first reunion either had attended.
The reunion began with a Friday night event at a restaurant in Fairport. The two were introduced by a classmate, Will. But a little confusion almost put a stop to Mike and Meaghan’s story before it started. “Will was bragging that he was the best man at Mike’s wedding. So I was under the impression that Mike was still married,” Meaghan recalls. “Somehow that confusion got cleared up.”
At that event and subsequent Alumni Weekend events, the two connected. After the reunion, Meaghan returned to New York City and Mike to the Miami area. The pair spoke on the phone every night and began visiting one another every three weeks or so. “You have no idea how psyched I was to finally earn frequent flier status on JetBlue,” she laughs.
Mike proposed in 2017, and Meaghan moved to Florida in 2018 when they married.
For the couple, their 25th reunion in September 2019 was a little less exciting but still fun. “It was interesting returning back as a married couple to the same event where we met five years before. We definitely got a few ‘I can’t believe you never met’ comments. The entire weekend was a bit of a blur. We’re looking forward to coming back for 30!”