By Dennis Nealon
Photo by Kirsten Fraser
BEFORE THEY MARRIED in October 1996, Michelle Young, IDS ’92, FMC ’94, and Andre Vega, CD ’91, AET ’93, ARC ’96, were classmates at Wentworth who lit up the basketball court as varsity stars, each landing in the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
“I proposed to Michelle the night before her graduation in 1994,” recalls Vega, who had switched his major to architecture and still had two more years to go. “I gave her my mother’s engagement ring.”
Young and Vega’s basketball talent and marriage made the former athletic standouts the only students-turned-spouses enshrined on the storied sports banner in Tansey Gymnasium—each scoring more than 1,000 points in their undergraduate hoop careers.
The couple first met freshman year when they lived on the same floor in Baker. (Some of their favorite Wentworth memories are basketball road trips.) Today the couple lives in Wilmington, Mass., with their three children: Mason, 18; Randall, 16; and Sydney, 14.
Young earned an associate degree in interior design and a bachelor’s in facilities management, and was inducted to the Hall in 2007. When she reached her scoring milestone during her senior year, she became only the second woman in Wentworth basketball history to do so. She likes to remind Vega that because she reached the 1,000-point mark before him, her name is above his on the Tansey banner.
“By the time we got to our senior year,” Young says, “we had been dating for three years and just by sheer coincidence we were both going to score our 1,000th point on the same night.”
Young prevailed, meanwhile, and scored her 1,000th point in an away game at Eastern Nazarene College. But Vega fell short against MIT, admitting “the worst game of my college career.” He did make the Hall in 2008. In his final season, he established a then-record for rebounds in a game.
Vega earned two degrees from Wentworth—an associate degree in architectural engineering technology and a bachelor’s in architecture. Since graduating from Wentworth, he has helped to design educational institutions at the K–12 and collegiate levels and is currently director of construction and facilities at Suffolk University. In addition to being a devoted mom, Young is a property manager for Harborlight Community Partners in Beverly, Mass.