The late Jack Kent Cooke was a philanthropist, sportsman, and business tycoon, just to name a few of the descriptions assigned to him. But the term “matchmaker” would not have fit his personal biography. Until now.
Caraleigh Holverson and Jason Stern are the first two Jack Kent Cooke Scholars to wed. They met in August of 2005 on the campus of Georgetown University at the Foundation’s annual all-Scholars weekend. Both had begun their studies at community colleges, Caraleigh at Triton College in Illinois and Jason at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Connecticut. Caraleigh was about to enter Georgetown University as a transfer student, and Jason had already completed undergraduate studies at Clarkson University.
The two began dating after another all-Scholar weekend in 2006. The setting was a formal banquet at the Russian Embassy. “Caraleigh was wearing a beautiful black and red dress,” Jason recalled. After the dinner, he playfully “stole” a red rose from the table to give to her. Not long after that weekend, he decided his heart belonged in the nation’s capital with Caraleigh – so he packed his things, hopped a Greyhound bus, and moved to Washington, DC. A year after the fateful Russian Embassy dinner, Jason gave Caraleigh a bracelet made of petals from various roses he had given her, including the very first rose.
The two were married on July 17, 2009, in Arlington, VA, where they are now starting their lives together. The couple wanted a non-traditional courthouse ceremony that reflected their personalities: “We took the Metro to our wedding!” Caraleigh exclaimed.
What’s next for the newlyweds? Caraleigh, who graduated in 2008 from Georgetown, was named a 2008 Truman Scholar and plans to pursue a career in public service. She has been working in the non-profit arena in Washington, DC. Jason is an engineer for a high-tech consulting firm.