Feb 10, 2011

UC Love Stories: Joan and Tom Vinciguerra

The Vinciguerra Family
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner… and what could be a better way for us to celebrate than by sharing some of our favorite UC love stories! Today, we’re sharing the story of Cincinnati residents Tom and Joan Vinciguerra:

When asked how he and his wife met, Tom Vinciguerra (’76) wastes no time recalling how he and his wife Joan (Knueven) Vinciguerra (’76) met at a Sigma Phi Epsilon mixer a few days before classes began their freshman year. “The friend who invited me said there would be lots of girls there, so I went,” says Tom.

The two didn’t start dating immediately, however. Although they would occasionally see each other on campus or exchange pleasantries in the cafeteria, they remained just friends until Tom asked Joan to accompany him on a group outing to the Kentucky Derby.

“It took me a year just to work up the nerve to ask her out!” he explains.

Tom and Joan Vinciguerra
Love blossomed that spring, over movies at Tangeman University Center, dorm parties, free concerts and local watering holes like Reflections and Past Times Saloon, they and their friends even rented separate apartments in a four-family home on Stratford. “That was the year I and three of my buddies serenaded Joan and her roommate with our rendition of ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire," says Tom with a laugh.

Married in 1980, Tom and Joan kept their Bearcat love in the family. Their oldest daughter, Lisa, graduated in 2005, and their youngest daughter, Janna will graduate this spring.

“It’s fun being a part of the Bearcat family and being able to share that with our daughters,” says Joan. “In fact their paths have, in some ways, mirrored our own. For example, our oldest daughter lived in Daniels Hall her freshman year – as I did – while our youngest daughter lived in Calhoun Hall, just like Tom; although at the time, it was an all boys dorm!”

Joan notes that – with luck! – the Vinciguerra tradition at UC will live on. “Our oldest daughter also married a Bearcat, Justin Shafer (‘05), and now we have two future Bearcat granddaughters Lilly and Carolyn… so even with our daughters, the path we started at UC lives on.”

Do you have a great UC love story to share? Comment below and tell us how you met your spouse or significant other at UC! And check back for more in this special series of "UC Love Stories."

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