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Transcontinental TFAS Couples: Alumni Share their Love Stories

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The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) has drawn hundreds of students together each year for more than five decades. Oftentimes, students bond with one another and maintain friendships long after their programs end. Sometimes, those friendships grow into romantic relationships and love stories begin! More than 100 TFAS alumni couples have formed over the years, and the number just keeps growing. 

For Valentine’s Day this year, TFAS caught up with three alumni couples to hear about their lives after their time as TFAS students. Angela and Craig Goolsby met at the TFAS Business + Government Relations track in Washington, D.C., in 1997. They kept in touch after the summer ended, got married two years later, and have been together ever since! Amanda and Kris Munger met at TFAS in Washington, D.C., in 2010 and wed in 2017. Tia Scoggan and Boudewijn van Werven met during the 2018 D.C. summer program and got married in 2021.

Find out more about each couple’s TFAS Journey and love story.

Angela + Craig Goolsby

Angela Goolsby ’97
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
TFAS Program: D.C. Academic Internship Programs, Business + Government Relations track

Craig and Angela wedding photo
Craig and Angela celebrated their wedding in 1999, two years after meeting through TFAS Academic Internship Programs.

Craig Goolsby ’97
Hometown: Santa Rosa, California
TFAS Program: D.C. Academic Internship Programs, Business + Government Relations track

Wedding: 1999

Angela and Craig met nearly 25 years ago in the summer of 1997. Although they don’t remember the exact moment they first met, Angela recalls picking Craig out of the crowd, which she joked wasn’t difficult since Craig is 6’9”.

The couple remembers spending lots of time together that summer, though it was mostly in groups with their classmates trying new D.C. restaurants, exploring the National Mall, or hanging out in friends’ apartments listening to ’80s music. They knew there was something more than friendship between them.

After the TFAS program ended, Craig returned to the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Angela to Stephens College in Missouri. They kept in touch by writing letters and talking on the phone. Fairly soon after their D.C. summer experience, Angela had a layover in Denver, and Craig went to see her. After that, their relationship took off.

Craig’s friends perform a traditional Air Force saber arch after the wedding ceremony.

When Angela began a Semester at Sea program, the couple navigated the challenges of even longer-distance dating. They scheduled phone calls days in advance – Angela would email Craig to tell him when she would be at port, and Craig would send her a pre-scheduled payphone call list. They would determine a time (the time difference only hindered them once or twice), and then Angela would call her way down the payphone list until she heard Craig’s voice on the other line. 

Craig said this was a great time for the couple to get to know each other in a unique way. For him, it got to the point where he couldn’t imagine life without Angela.

“We saw the world the same way and had similar life goals,” he said. “We had a lot of fun together, and it got to the point where I couldn’t think about life without her, so that’s how I knew she was the one.”

The two married in 1999. They have two kids, ages 11 and 14, and live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Amanda + Kris Munger

Amanda Munger ’10, PPF ’17
Hometown: Glastonbury, Connecticut
TFAS Programs: D.C. Academic Internship Program, Journalism + Communications track; Public Policy Fellowship

Kris Munger ’10
Hometown: Williamsburg, Virginia
TFAS Program: D.C. Academic Internship Program, Business + Government Relations track

Wedding: 2017

Amanda and Kris may not agree on the exact moment they first met, but they know they immediately connected during their TFAS program. They remember wanting to learn everything about each other and trying to spend as much time together as possible.

Amanda and Kris Munger say their vows
Amanda and Kris Munger say their vows in 2017, seven years after meeting in their TFAS programs.

After TFAS, the couple dated long-distance for a while. It was during this season that Amanda knew Kris was the one.

After we left our summer at TFAS, we had to put in the effort to make a cross-continental relationship work,” she said. “He went above and beyond sending me handwritten letters every day while living in London. In the decade that we’ve been together, he’s supported me and been my biggest cheerleader in every decision I have made, especially surrounding my career. He makes me smile, laugh and feel totally at ease.”

Kris knew Amanda was the one because he always enjoyed his time more when he was with her, and he felt his life was better when she was around.

TFAS featured Kris and Amanda in a previous TFAS love story. Now, several years later, the couple has bought their first home in Alexandria, Virginia, and welcomed a baby girl into their family: Evelyn Skye, who was born in September 2020. They say that she’s adventurous and daring, and that they love watching her grow and learn about the world.

Boudewijn van Werven + Tia Scoggan

Tia and Boudewijn with their suitcases on the last day of their TFAS program
Tia and Boudewijn say goodbye on the last day of their TFAS program in 2018.

Boudewijn van Werven ’18
Home Country: The Netherlands
TFAS Program: D.C. Academic Internship Program, Service + Citizenship track

Tia Scoggan ’18
Home State: Indiana
TFAS Program: D.C. Academic Internship Program, International Affairs track

Wedding: June 26, 2021

For Tia and Boudewijn, June 26 is a very special day. It’s the day they met in 2018 and fell in love at first sight. On the same day in 2021, the two married. They now live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where Tia works as a military officer in the U.S. Space Force and Boudewijn volunteers in multiple nonprofits around the city.

The couple met each other about halfway through the TFAS program on the way to a lecture at Capitol Hill. Tia caught Boudewijn’s eye, so he bravely made the move to go introduce himself. They talked all the way to the Capitol and after the lecture, he asked Tia out on a date. They’ve been together ever since!

Tia and Boudewijn fell in love at first sight on June 26, 2018, and wed on the same day in 2021.

Since Boudewijn returned to the Netherlands after the program, the pair decided to make long-distance dating work until they could be reunited. They did a lot of video calls, scheduled breakfast/dinner dates to account for the time difference, watched movies and played games online together. Before the pandemic, they were able to see each other a few times each year. They realized that time apart made their time together even more special.

The two felt comfortable with each other from the very beginning and knew they were meant to be. Tia remembers returning to her apartment after their first date and telling her friends that she found the man she was going to marry. 

“We knew from the first moment we laid eyes on each other,” the couple said.

TFAS programs attract ambitious, motivated young people who want to make a difference in the world, so it’s no surprise that so many young leaders have connected and formed lasting relationships. To learn more about other TFAS alumni couples, visit these stories from 2014, 2016 and 2018.

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