Marist Valentines: Mark and Barbara, Class of ’89

Written by Barbara Rahikka, Class of 1989

It was 1989, our senior year. We met in Dr. Hefferon’s “Women and Madness” literature class. Only a few brave men were enrolled in the class.

Mark Rahikka was an Elvis impersonator and winner of the Marist Lip Sync contest, a class clown with a thirst for knowledge, a contrarian and self-appointed class photographer who loved to capture a mishap on film long before social media. This was the guy that asked me for a Valentine’s Day date!

Mark arrived at my Gartland Commons door and, shockingly, he was dressed in a suit, flowers and candy in hand. We dined at Spanky’s Restaurant in Poughkeepsie which was quite extravagant at the time. It was a night of fun and laughter as well as the beginning of a long romance.

After a wonderful Valentine’s dinner, we attended the senior formal together, graduated together and were married in 1992. The rest, as they say, is history.

FullSizeRender-3Marist has always been a special place for us. We have returned to campus many times over the years especially on Valentine’s Day to revisit where it all began so long ago. Our connection to Marist will always be an important bond which we cherish.


Thank you to Mark and Barbara for sharing their sweet story with us!
Check out Marist Valentines photo album.


P.S. Don’t be shy, please leave a comment below. 🙂

Photos courtesy of Mark and Barbara Rahikka

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