Lucia: “I’m Brazilian and he’s Swiss, and I went to do a master’s of law and he as well. That’s where we first met on the first day of school.
Peter: “The first semester I was studying very hard, but I started to like Lucia but we didn’t really have a lot of interaction. The two worlds didn’t really meet in the first semester until that Christmas.”
Lucia: “And then you declared yourself.”
Peter: “My advances were relatively limited, and I was aware at that Lucia had a boyfriend in Brazil. Being somewhat reluctant and shy I was respecting that, I guess. At least I was the first semester.”
Lucia: “On Thanksgiving night, we had a dinner at Prof. Reisner’s house and there, you talked to me the whole evening.
“… I broke up with my boyfriend -- nothing related to Peter or anything. And then I called you, I guess.”
Peter: “I definitely did all the things right. I brought flowers from Campus Florist, I was a good boy.”
Lucia: “But the first impression, I really don’t recall. No, the first time I noted you was at Thanksgiving.”
Peter: “So I went largely unnoticed until November.”
Lucia: “We went to Boston to visit him (Lucia’s brother). On the way back, we thought we were going to separate. I went back to Brazil and had to go back to work. He came back to Switzerland, and we said goodbye. We cried a lot at the airport, was really, really tough. Peter went visiting family in Minneapolis and then he started to call me in Brazil.
“Five weeks after I have arrived in Brazil, Peter said, ‘I’m coming to Brazil.’ He arrives and he could speak fluently Portuguese, and could write. I said, ‘Oh my god that’s the man I have to marry. He learned the language in five weeks for me.’”
Alumni Lucia and Peter Wyler met their first week as law students at Illinois in 1991, and started dating at the beginning of the following spring semester. Both graduated from the College of Law in 1992. After dating long distance between Lucia’s native Brazil and Peter’s native Switzerland, they married in Switzerland in 1994. Peter is a director of the legal department of the Swiss Reinsurance Company in Zurich and Lucia worked at Citibank and several private trust companies. She is currently devoting time to arts and charities and is learning to speak Russian.
Listen to Lucia and Peter's story. For the entire #ILLINOISlove playlist, listen here.
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