#SIULAW graduates Coral Serrano and Joseph Tondini didn’t just graduate last Friday, they also got married!

May 11, 2022

"We met in 2014 at Murray State University as freshmen. One of my best friends from high school, Matthew, was randomly assigned as Joseph’s roommate. 

joseph-and-coral-msu-graduation.jpgWe got along pretty much instantly and started dating in September 2014. Joseph majored in history and always knew he wanted to be a lawyer. I majored in Psychology, considering medical school or pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology. I grew up watching crime shows like Law & Order, Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, and First 48 with my late mother, and I was also involved a youth advocacy group as a high school student which involved meeting with state legislators. This, along with my growing interest in advocacy for other underrepresented groups and endless political discussions with Joey, led me to finally consider law school. We graduated from MSU Spring 2018.  

We got engaged shortly before starting SIU School of Law in August 2019. We randomly got assigned to the same section during our 1L year, so it was nice having a built-in study partner in the beginning. 

When others learned about our relationship during school, we got a lot of questions about a wedding date, and we always just brushed it off as something to worry about after taking the bar exam (which were completely true statements at the time!).  

As we approached our last semester of law school, I jokingly said that we could just get married in our cap and gowns at the courthouse after graduating, since the most important people in our families would be together already and no venue would be more fitting for future attorneys.  

We started to realize that the idea was not as crazy as it seemed because planning a formal wedding would cause us to delay our marriage at least another year. We have been together for 7 and a half years, so any more delay for the purpose of a grand event felt unnecessary. 

Unfortunately, we were not able to be married at the courthouse as we had hoped, due to scheduling and availability issues, but we were married on Friday, May 6th in Marion, Illinois after the SIU School of Law Graduation amongst an intimate group of close friends and family. We have been calling this day our "Gradu-Wedding."  

We have both accepted positions at Land of Lincoln Illinois as staff attorneys."