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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

College sweethearts discuss sticking together after graduation

Graduating+couple+Kate+Carpenter+and+Henry+Long+plan+to+move+their+Foggy+Bottom-born+relationship+to+Austin%2C+Texas+in+August%2C+where+Carpenter+will+pursue+a+master%E2%80%99s+degree+in+higher+education+leadership+from+the+University+of+Texas.
Chuckie Copeland | Staff Photographer
Graduating couple Kate Carpenter and Henry Long plan to move their Foggy Bottom-born relationship to Austin, Texas in August, where Carpenter will pursue a master’s degree in higher education leadership from the University of Texas.

When men’s basketball took down Dayton in a heated January game, Kate Carpenter and Henry Long were sitting courtside together, celebrating the win with their friends and the rest of the Smith Center.

Carpenter, a graduating senior who studied political communication and regularly emceed GW basketball games, said the “incredible” game was made all the more special because Long, her boyfriend and a graduating senior who studied journalism and broadcasted GW basketball games for WRGW, was sitting by her side in the front row. Carpenter and Long, who started dating at the end of their sophomore year, cited the win against Dayton as one of many favorite memories together during their time at GW.

“When you’re on the same campus and you spend every day together, you make a memory every day,” Long said.

Carpenter and Long, who are moving to Austin, Texas together in August where Carpenter will pursue a master’s degree in higher education leadership from the University of Texas, are among other graduating couples who said GW helped shape their relationships that will carry on as they depart from the University.

Carpenter said the love she and Long share for GW has made the school feel like a more “special place” over the past two years, feeding off of each other’s school spirit and connecting to other school fanatics. She said building her relationship with Long and her best friends disproved the notion that GW is more isolating than other universities.

“Just meeting at GW is really special because this school is really unique, and it’s been able to foster a unique and special love for us that’s based around the school and based around the city,” Carpenter said.

Long said starting his relationship with Carpenter at GW “intertwined” their lives together as they formed a common friend group and supported each other at their respective extracurricular events, whether it was for WRGW or the Student Association — which Carpenter was vice president of last year. Long’s Instagram bio used to say he was the “second gentleman” of GW.

“Either it’s her event and I’m there supporting her or it’s my event and she’s there supporting me, it just connected us, basically, in that way,” Long said.

Carpenter said that while she and Long have “reservations” about moving to Austin in August, like leaving their friends who are staying in D.C. after graduation, she is excited to start her graduate program as the next step toward her professional career.

Long said he is excited to explore life in a new city after moving to Austin but will miss how well he and Carpenter have grown to know D.C.

“I’m really lucky to have Henry and the relationship that we have that we’re willing to go together because that’s just how special the relationship we have is,” Carpenter said.

Kyle Anderson, a graduating senior who studied political science, said he first grew close to his partner Vidhi Patel, a fellow graduating senior who studied neuroscience, after they met in a creative writing class during their freshman year. He said one night when he was struggling with feeling out of place at GW as a low-income student, Patel met him at the Lincoln Memorial where they discussed their families and their lives before GW.

“I did feel very isolated, it’s part of what made my first semester here kind of miserable, and just getting somebody I could trust and feel safe being around who showed me a lot of care and compassion was kind of the only comfort I really had here for quite a while,” Anderson said.

Patel said dating Anderson gave her a new perspective on American politics, as she is originally from India and lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar before moving to the United States in her senior year of high school. She said Anderson also inspired her to become more independent from her family throughout college.

“It was very nice to have that support, so that I can become more independent from my parents, have my own thoughts, ideas and be able to have a more healthy relationship rather than just always having to walk on eggshells because of that dependency,” Patel said.

Anderson said he and Patel got engaged in March as they drove back to D.C. from a spring break trip to Texas. He said he had wanted to propose throughout their trip but had not found the right moment until they were in the car, discussing their pasts and their plans for the future.

Anderson said he and Patel are moving to his hometown in northeast Ohio, where he has a job lined up at the local TV station WFMJ.

“We will hopefully be able to go back and after a month of settling in, just buy a house instead of getting stuck in the rental loop was very important for us,” Anderson said. 

Patel, who is planning on pursuing an accelerated nursing degree to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner before attending medical school in the future, said she is excited to buy a house and have more space for creating artwork.

“I’m very much looking forward to having a house and having space,” Patel said. “Especially because we have a kitty, and I have so many things like I’m an artist and he’s a photographer, we need a lot of space.”

Tyv Faggioni-Balcazar, a graduating senior who studied psychology, said meeting his girlfriend Victoria Pham, who is a rising senior studying public health, during their freshman year when they were both a part of the Class of 2024 helped him explore campus more because he was originally a commuter student.

“I might not have visited campus as much if I wasn’t spending time with Victoria,” Faggioni-Balcazar said. “So I got to explore campus, get to see what it’s all about, form some memories over there a little early, while I was still in Virginia, because I was a commuter.”

Pham said a majority of her memories at GW include Faggioni-Balcazar and that dating each other throughout college has allowed them to combine their communities of friends.

“I think definitely Tyv getting to know my friends and me getting to know his friends kind of gives a bigger sense of community because GW sometimes is a lot smaller than they think it is,” Pham said. 

Faggioni-Balcazar said he is moving back to his hometown in Virginia where he has a job lined up in clinical work. He said he plans on coming back to Foggy Bottom often to see Victoria and their other friends.

“I imagine that I’ll still be commuting or taking the metro or the Virginia Railway Express back to D.C. to maybe go to professional events or just hanging out in general in the Foggy Bottom area with my friends,” Faggioni-Balcazar said.

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