Together They’ll Grow

If Abigail Hahn’s college self could see her now, at age 29, living in suburban Connecticut, married to James Speight, she’d ask, “Are you insane?”

But on one December night, a confluence of unlikely events led to the life she has today.

Let’s set the scene: It was a party at Linen Hall, a cozy bar and restaurant in New York City’s East Village. Hahn ’15 and Speight ’14, who’d known each other in passing at Colgate, separately made the trek from their apartments for a birthday celebration in honor of their mutual friend Dave Halperin ’14. Speight, who’d just finished earning his master’s in management at Wake Forest School of Business, was just beginning his career in fintech. Meanwhile, Hahn had begun her career in data science and project management. As she and Speight separately walked down 3rd Avenue and opened the door to the restaurant, they didn’t know that they’d meet their soulmate that night.

At Colgate, the two spent their time in opposite worlds: “James was in the Colgate Thirteen, Theta Chi, and rugby, and I worked as an econometrics tutor for the econ department,” says Hahn. “We were of different walks of life.” Though they didn’t interact much on the Hill, their shared connection with Colgate sometimes makes it feel as though they did. “When we go to reunions and come back to campus, I think one of the cool things is we didn’t have the same experience, but we still love the University in our own way,” Speight says. “I think that speaks to what kind of place Colgate is.”

Back to that night: When a friend reintroduced them, Speight and Hahn found it easy to make conversation. “We ended up being very compatible, surprisingly to a lot of our friends, because we were so different at school,” Hahn says. Speight was drawn to Hahn’s intelligence and sense of adventure, while she thought he was charming and charismatic. As they toasted Halperin, they made plans to meet again for a Chainsmokers concert on New Year’s Eve. They still celebrate that date as their anniversary.

Now, though, they have another one to celebrate: Sept. 17, 2022. In an outdoor ceremony at Noroton Yacht Club in Connecticut, Speight and Hahn exchanged pre-written vows. They spoke of learning to grow together. “The people we are now are not who we were so long ago,” Hahn says today. “We’ve been changing a lot for the better, I think; we definitely challenge each other. I always said I wanted to keep making each other better, I don’t think this is our final state.”

At their wedding, the couple also acknowledged Halperin as their matchmaker. “There were so many parties we [did] not go to, [but] we just both happened to go to that one,” Hahn says. “It’s all very interesting to think about, how it all worked out.”

Speight and Hahn share a pug dubbed Willow, named after Willow Path.