The class project that led to love
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, there's nothing better than a good old-fashioned W. P. Carey Cupid story about a couple who met at ASU, fell in love, and share their lives.
Michael Hoffman (BS Marketing '06) spotted his future wife in a W. P. Carey logistics class during their senior year. A mutual friend in the class introduced Michael to Jessica Driscoll Hoffman (BS Finance '07).
From then on, Michael sat with them in every class, leading to studying together in the Memorial Union (MU). When a project was due, Michael asked Jessica for additional guidance. She planned to come to his place in Tempe to work on the assignment. Before she arrived, Michael had asked his roommates to leave the house for the night. When Jessica showed up, he had an Italian dinner prepared paired with wine; it was their first date. They only finished a little of the project that night; the rest was history.
On Nov. 5, 2023, the couple celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary. They have three daughters and run a successful real estate business together. We call them W. P. Carey Cupids — alums who met at the W. P. Carey School of Business and are now sharing lives.
Every tale of romance is different, of course, and Michael and Jessica's story is unique, but their account has a common thread with fellow alums who met at ASU and fell in love: W. P. Carey. That's why we wanted to catch up with them to learn the secrets to their success on dating in college, the ASU memories they share, and where they are today. Michael answers our questions.
Question: What's unique about how you started your relationship at W. P. Carey?
Answer: I was hovering around a 3.3 GPA when I applied for W. P. Carey in 2004. It took me three attempts (the most allowed) to get into the school. By the time I got into W. P. Carey, going into my senior year, I had completed all my electives and every other class I needed to graduate (minus the W. P. Carey business classes). Even though it was a four-year program, I promised my mom I'd graduate in two years. So, I had to get permission to exceed the maximum allowable classes in the summer of 2005, the fall and spring semesters, and then the summer of 2006. I practically lived at ASU and slept in the basement of the MU on the couches by the Burger King. At the time, I was the only person to complete the two-year program in one year. And as promised, I graduated with my class in 2006. We had just started dating in 2006, and Jessica was such a big supporter of mine. She tutored me when needed and motivated me to graduate on time.
Q: What's your advice for couples who meet at W. P. Carey and date during college?
A: Help and support each other. Take care of your education before you settle down.
Q: What was your favorite place to spend on campus together?
Q: What's your favorite memory you share?
A: The list goes on and on — from the day we married in 2011 to the birth of our three daughters. From a school standpoint, I remember my parents threw me a big graduation party at their house in the summer of 2006. Jessica and some of my friends still didn't believe I was graduating with them. Even when I walked in the graduation ceremony, they thought I still had more schooling to do.
Q: Tell us about your business together.
A: After college, I got into mortgage banking with some of the larger banks in Arizona. Jessica went into banking as well. When she was due with our first daughter in 2013, she needed a part-time job; this is when she got into real estate. After 13 years in mortgage banking, we decided to join forces, and we're now a husband-and-wife real estate team based out of Scottsdale. Business is great! We've been a team now since 2018. Our website is HoffmanRealtyAZ.com.
Q: What is your life like today?
A: We have three beautiful daughters (Sienna, 3; Violet, 8; and Scarlett, 10) and live in North Phoenix, running our real estate business that continues to grow. We love our Arizona sports games (Suns, Cardinals, ASU), golfing, hanging with family, and relaxing when we have a day off (rarely). When not enjoying professional, college, or recreational sports, we attend our kids' sports events, competitive gymnastics and dance.
Q: What are you looking forward to?
A: I'm looking forward to watching my kids grow and prosper. They are the best things to ever happen to me, and I couldn't be prouder.
Q: When did you last visit campus, and what did you do?
A: A couple of years ago, we had a full-circle moment with our daughters getting ice cream on Mill Avenue. It was the first time we were in Tempe together like this. I remember commenting, "We should thank ASU for us all being together right now." Also, I had two nephews who were debating between NAU and ASU. So, I planned a day for us to tour the campus. It was just us three. We rented electric skateboards and scooters and checked out all of campus for hours. There were pockets I'd never seen on campus, and I was floored by how much it had grown and changed over the years. My nephews are currently first-year students at ASU.
Q: What else would you like to share that I didn't ask?
A: ASU is honestly the best thing to ever happen to me. I wouldn't have met Jessica, had these incredible kids, had my current career, etc. I wouldn't change a thing if I could do it all over again.
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