La Salle Students Met in the Classroom, Got Married, and Now Will Graduate with MBAs
Bob and Kerry Shepherd have slightly different versions of the same story of what happened when she arrived late to their La Salle University MBA class.
They had first met when they were both enrolled in a financial markets course in the fall of 2008 at the University’s Bucks County Center in Newtown, Pa. It was her first class in the MBA program and his second. On the first day, they sat in the back next to each other, and they kept those seats for the entire semester.
They sat in the last row next to each other again in their next class in January of 2009, but when Kerry arrived late one day and sat elsewhere, Bob said he moved over to make a chair available next to him. Kerry said Bob seemed upset that she didn’t take the seat next to him, so she moved a chair next to where he was sitting. Despite the confusion, the incident was their first indication that they could be more than classmates.
“It was really out of character for me to do that,” Bob said. “I think it all started from there.”
Married since October 2011, the couple will be at La Salle’s Graduate Commencement ceremony for on Friday, May 17, to receive their MBAs.
Before they became a couple, Kerry and Bob had socialized together with other students after class, and Kerry had purchased a home in Bensalem, Pa., around the corner from where Bob lived in an apartment complex. Later, he helped her with painting her new house. But it wasn’t until two months after the chair-moving incident that, Bob said, “I finally worked up the courage to ask her out on a date.”
Kerry replied, “What took you so long?”
The Shepherds took most of their classes at the Bucks County Center. In the beginning of the program, they took most of their core courses together, and if they weren’t in the same class, they scheduled their courses to be on the same night.
“We kept encouraging each other,” Bob said. “I know it helped me when work started to pile up.”
“There was a little competition, too,” he added, “but it helped drive us to do more.”
Kerry said, “If he got an A and I got a B, or vice versa, it was a little annoying. But we always helped each other.”
After their marriage, when they had take-home finals, they did them in separate rooms.
In the summer of 2012, Kerry took three classes. “I didn’t see her much then,” Bob said.
“It was really strange.”
Bob was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society, an honor for the top 20 percent of graduating MBA students from programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. While Kerry missed making it “by a few tenths of a point,”
she said she is very proud of Bob.
Kerry works for DVL Group, a company that sells and maintains data center power and HVAC equipment in Bristol, Pa. She said she wanted to earn an MBA to become part of the management team there, and she was recently promoted to supervisor, in part due to a report she presented in which she applied lessons from her statistics class.
Bob was also recently promoted; he is a financial analyst with the Department of Defense at the Northeast Philadelphia Navy Depot.
The Shepherds have another connection that perhaps made their relationship inevitable. When Bob was considering graduate programs, he contacted several colleges and spoke with Patrick Mulhern, then a recruiter for La Salle’s MBA program as well as a student.
After several conversations, Shepherd said Mulhern convinced him to attend La Salle. Mulhern is married to one of Kerry’s cousins, and he convinced Kerry to attend La Salle as well.
“I guess we really owe all of it to him,” said Kerry said of Mulhern, who was a groomsman at their wedding.