They fell in love at UC Berkeley

Eric Le/Courtesy

Every student entertains the fantasy of finding his or her soulmate in college. For two students who graduated from UC Berkeley in 2007, the prospect of love was a prevailing reality — in fact, the couple exchanged wedding vows this May. This week, the Clog spoke to Andrew Lee and Agnes So to bring you a narrative of a heartwarming love story that first budded eight years ago in a UC Berkeley research lab.

As undergraduates, Lee and So worked in Raulet Lab. So worked as an administrative assistant for David Raulet, co-chair of the campus department of molecular and cell biology, and Lee served as an undergraduate lab researcher. For the most part, the two didn’t cross paths, so Lee took the initiative to strike up conversation with So by claiming that his calculator had an emergency and that he needed batteries for his upcoming finals. Apparently, Lee’s calculator was solar powered. He never used the batteries So lent him.

Lee later took So to a bar on Shattuck Avenue, recalling “it went pretty well because booze made the conversation easier and the jokes better.” Right off the bat, he loved that she had “a sense of humor and jokiness” that matched well with his, and she loved “everything [about him], but probably most of all the way he could make [her] laugh.”

Love 5As their relationship progressed, Lee and So frequented many areas of Berkeley together on dates. They dined at Southside’s Asian Ghetto, explored North Berkeley’s quaint shops, watched movies in local cinemas and toured the UC Botanical Garden and Lawrence Hall of Science. Once, they tried to hike to the Big C to see the sunset, but it proved to be a failure because Lee got them lost, and they never made it to the top.

“We also had a habit of finding our way onto the rooftops of various buildings at night for views of the bay,” Lee said.

Lee’s grades weathered fairly despite the relationship commitment, but So’s GPA took a significant hit because she found herself distracted from academics. Still, they welcomed interaction with each other because their majors were so dissimilar — So’s was economics, and Lee’s was molecular and cell biology.

When graduation approached, they wondered if their future goals and career plans would change the path of their relationship. Lee didn’t apply to medical school immediately — instead, he took three years off after graduating from UC Berkeley to “strengthen his applications and think about careers that would let him stay in the Bay Area should medical school not pan out.” He believes that So, whom he wanted to stay close to for as long as possible, largely influenced this decision. Lee later attended the UCSF School of Medicine, from which he graduated this spring. So pursued public accounting at Deloitte after graduation and is now a financial analyst at KPCB, a venture capital firm. For the last seven years, the couple only saw each other on weekends, because their careers were based in different parts of the Bay Area. But, they claim, “there are some people who are worth it.”

A few months ago, Lee whisked So to the Berkeley Rose Garden, got down on one knee, and said, “Agnes, you’ve been my best friend for a long time … will you marry me and make it a lifetime?” The couple was wedded at the Golf Club at Boulder Ridge on May 10.

For students hoping to find love at UC Berkeley, Lee has some tips.

“Be brave,” he said, “because you’ll never find that person you have great chemistry with unless you go out there and try to meet people.” Lee cautions students to not let old relationships and baggage weigh them down.

“Have fun and explore — being a student only lasts a little while,” So added. “It’s hard to get once it’s over.”

Image Sources: Eric Le

Contact Vasudha Doijode at [email protected].