Mark Diao ’11 and LeAnn Nguyen ’11

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Couple smiling and sitting on steps

Although LeAnn and I attended LMU from 2007-2011, our paths never crossed. We had been involved in different majors, groups, and activities, and did not ever meet.

Then one day a few years later in summer of 2013, we both happened to attend a 10 a.m. mass at Sacred Heart Chapel, and were introduced through a mutually known person, her younger sister Linda. From then on, we both grew to become great friends, which eventually grew into a beautiful, loving, and caring relationship.

Our relationship was a long distance one, as she was working and living in Los Angeles, and I was attending law school and living in Orange County. However, through the years, we would often make time to hear mass at LMU, or attend another's wedding mass, and reminisce on our first meeting. We were each others fiercest supporters, loudest cheerleaders, and most inspiring motivators, living through triumphant celebrations of success as well as difficult episodes of failure, strife, and disappointment.

When it came time to propose, I couldn't think of a more meaningful place than exactly where I first met her after that 2013 10 a.m. mass, and where we had shared many memories. With the help of her sister, and a few friends from Campus Ministry, I proposed to LeAnn after a 10 a.m. mass in the exact spot where we met. It was picture perfect to take the next step in our relationship by revisiting our first steps together.

Although we had envisioned celebrating our marriage at Sacred Heart in July 2020, Covid-19 provided an opportunity to celebrate at another beautiful parish with Fr. Marc Reeves as our presider. It is amazing how we never once encountered each other during our time as students at LMU, and yet now I cannot imagine my life without her in it. LMU will always have a special place in our hearts, not only to our personal developments as individuals from our time as students, but even more so in fortifying the core values LeAnn and I share as a couple.