True Valentines—three married couples have one thing in common—Georgia College

True Valentines—three married couples have one thing in common—Georgia College

R obert “Rob” Abbott, ’19 and Raasha Gutierrez Abbott, ’20, met their junior year at Georgia College in September 2018. Although they majored in different fields and have different personality traits, they complement each other. Raasha’s major was art and Rob’s literature. However, they were both artists with similar creative sensibilities and passions. So much so, the couple published in the same issue of “The Peacock’s Feet.” 

(Left) Raasha Gutierrez Abbott, ’20 and Rob Abbott, ’19, at Georgia College. (Center) Fellow alumni in the Abbott’s wedding party included: Raasha’s sisters who are GC students—Nadya and Saira Gutierrez. The bridal party included: Jenna Brunson, ’20, Shelby Cannon, ’19 and Will Henry, ’20. Attending the wedding were: Harley Blackwelder, ’19, Lauren Butera, ’20 and Heather Cerny, ’19. (Right) Rob and Raasha Gutierrez Abbott
(Left) Raasha Gutierrez Abbott, ’20 and Rob Abbott, ’19, at Georgia College. (Center) Fellow alumni in the Abbott’s wedding party included: Raasha’s sisters who are GC students—Nadya and Saira Gutierrez. The bridal party included: Jenna Brunson, ’20, Shelby Cannon, ’19 and Will Henry, ’20. Attending the wedding were: Harley Blackwelder, ’19, Lauren Butera, ’20 and Heather Cerny, ’19. (Right) Rob and Raasha Gutierrez Abbott

Raasha’s and Rob’s personality qualities drew them together at Georgia College.

“I loved that she was an artist like me, but also unlike me,” Rob said. “Raasha works mostly in visual and plastic arts— especially ceramics and photography—whereas I am a poet, musician and songwriter,” Rob said. “I also love the immediate energy and dynamics she brings to a room and so willingly and completely pours into people, since I’m quite introverted.”

“Rob was so quiet and reserved that I wanted to get to know him more,” Raasha said. “I quickly learned how talented he was. He’s a deep thinker who’s passionate about literature, philosophy and music. As a visual artist, I was so drawn to that, because I also have to think creatively, passionately and deeply. We understand each other on that level so well and how important it is to support each other in our passions as we pursue our crafts.”

Building a relationship at Georgia College was unique, the couple feels.

“We loved being so close together—Raasha lived just five minutes off campus, and I lived in Bell Hall,” Rob said. “We participated in many different activities around Milledgeville as members of Hydrolove and Baptist Collegiate Ministries, where we met many close friends.” 

“Rob was so quiet and reserved that I wanted to get to know him more. I quickly learned how talented he was. He’s a deep thinker who’s passionate about literature, philosophy and music. As a visual artist, I was so drawn to that, because I also have to think creatively, passionately and deeply. We understand each other on that level so well and how important it is to support each other in our passions as we pursue our crafts.”
– Raasha Abbott

They also spent much time together on Front Campus, at Sunset Fields and the Greenway. Their favorite memory at Georgia College was spending their one-year anniversary at Sunset Fields.

“We celebrated with a picnic with homemade cider and vegan soup,” Rob said, “and watched one of the most extraordinary and memorable sunsets either of us have ever seen.”

The couple married Nov. 14, 2021, in North Carolina, with 10 to 15 Bobcats in attendance.

The Abbotts stay busy in their professional lives. After teaching middle and high school for two years, Rob began a master's program in literary studies at Georgia State University (GSU). He also works at GSU’s Writing Studio as a writing tutor. Raasha was a COVID-19 tester and now works at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta as a behavioral and mental health tech. She hopes to pursue a graduate program in art therapy.

“This Valentine’s Day is particularly special to us, since it’s our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple,” Rob said. “And it’s our three-month anniversary, as well. It’s also our first Valentine’s Day living in Atlanta—we moved here last summer.”

Kaitlin Forbes Card, ’17, and Brett Card, ’15, met at Georgia College in March 2014 when a friend introduced them on a double date.

“I was hanging out with my friend, who said, ‘I'm going to a formal, and this girl's friend needs a date,’” Brett said. “Originally, I said, ‘No, I need to go back home that weekend.’”

Brett became curious who this girl was, so he asked his friend.

“As it turned out, we had Intro to Psychology together that semester,” Brett said. “I had a bit of a crush on her. So, I told my friend, ‘Absolutely, I'm going to the formal.’” 

(Left) Kaitlin and Brett Card at Georgia College. (Center) Kaitlin and Brett Card’s wedding party photo included: Georgia Abdallah, ’17, Jonathan Brantley, ’16, Gabrielle Williams Turner, ’17, Nicole Justice Waldron, ’17 and Callie Reynolds Whigham, ’17. (Right) Kaitlin, Brett and Emma Card
(Left) Kaitlin and Brett Card at Georgia College. (Center) Kaitlin and Brett Card’s wedding party photo included: Georgia Abdallah, ’17, Jonathan Brantley, ’16, Gabrielle Williams Turner, ’17, Nicole Justice Waldron, ’17 and Callie Reynolds Whigham, ’17. (Right) Kaitlin, Brett and Emma Card

GC’s small campus made it easy for Kaitlin and Brett to connect.

“When we first met, we were always running into each other on campus and in between classes,” Kaitlin said. “We would go to the Max quickly or just see each other in the library.”

Their favorite memories included going to formals and social gatherings. Kaitlin was in Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and Brett was in Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity. 

“When we first met, we were always running into each other on campus and in between classes. We would go to the Max quickly or just see each other in the library.”
– Kaitlin Card

“Doing that kind of stuff together was always fun,” Brett said. “But, we'd also meet and go downtown for lunch or dinner. Some days we’d get sushi at Kuroshima or a drink or two at the Velvet Elvis. It was just nice to have campus close to downtown.”

Approximately 30 Bobcats attended their wedding, which was held November of 2018. Many of Kaitlin’s bridesmaids are Georgia College alumnae, whom she met in the education cohort.

Today, she teaches seventh grade English.

Brett was a physics major at Georgia College and is now an engineer in a manufacturing facility.

For Valentine’s Day, the Cards are planning to include their baby daughter, Emma, in the celebration.

“With the holidays, we haven't been able to go out or do anything,” Kaitlin said. “We’re looking forward to just being at home with her. I think this will make it a bit more special.”

Allison Gordon Cornay, ’14, and TJ Cornay, ’13, met in December 2018—after they graduated from Georgia College. Although the couple met online, they recognized each other from when they were students. 

(Left) TJ and Allison Gordon Cornay (Center) L to R: Samantha Hart, ’14, Christina Rogers Hillis, ’12, Allison Gordon Cornay, ’14, and Emily Evett, ’13. (Right) L to R: Stephen Hundley, ’13, Ward Bowles, Andrew Whittaker, ’12, (back), Powell Cobb, ’13, (front),TJ Cornay, ’13, Kevin Brewer, Andrew Sickafoose and Ray Cornay, ’11.
(Left) TJ and Allison Gordon Cornay (Center) L to R: Samantha Hart, ’14, Christina Rogers Hillis, ’12, Allison Gordon Cornay, ’14, and Emily Evett, ’13. (Right) L to R: Stephen Hundley, ’13, Ward Bowles, Andrew Whittaker, ’12, (back), Powell Cobb, ’13, (front),TJ Cornay, ’13, Kevin Brewer, Andrew Sickafoose and Ray Cornay, ’11.

“Her first message to me was ‘Bobcats on top,’’ TJ said. “After investigating our past, we discovered we lived on the same street in Milledgeville. We also attended the same Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

The more Allison and TJ delved into their student experiences, the more they realized they were circling around each other during that time frame, yet never met.

“I could’ve sworn up and down that I knew him,” Allison said. “We connected about that, and then realized we had lots of shared stories.”

Georgia College holds a unique place in their heart. It became the fabric that drew them to each other.

“The familiarity and immediate conversations we had—most of which revolved around our time at Georgia College—is what connected us initially,” Allison said. “I think having that commonality without knowing each other just brought us a sense of ease.”

“I think it was interesting and unique to hear about a different student experience than I had,” TJ said. “Allison was in the early childhood teaching cohort and had very different schedules and academics than I had as an economics major.”

Some of Allison’s favorite, memories included attending Tent City during Homecoming and earlier, participating in Greek life as a student where she was a member of Delta Zeta Sorority. 

“It was such a formative time in our lives that we’ve been able to maintain the friendships we made as students. It's really been fun, informative and important for us. We've been able to build something that lasts.”
– TJ Cornay

“I really enjoyed serving as a student ambassador and on SGA,” TJ said. “I also liked sitting on the rocking chairs on Bell Hall’s front porch, catching up with classmates. Just being able to hang out there and enjoy the sights and sounds of the college was something I remember fondly.”

The couple also built genuine connections with other students.

“It was such a formative time in our lives that we’ve been able to maintain the friendships we made as students,” TJ said. “It's really been fun, informative and important for us. We've been able to build something that lasts.”

The couple married October 2021 in Atlanta and were surrounded by approximately 25 GC alumni.

Allison has been teaching third grade for seven years. And TJ plans events for nonprofit organizations.

Although TJ will be out of the country on business for Valentine’s Day, the couple plans to celebrate with a nice, post-Valentine’s Day dinner.

“This Valentine’s Day will be our first as a married couple,” TJ said. “That's hard to top for sure.”