They painted The Rock as freshmen. Eight years later, they got married


Courtesy of Camille Beredjick

NU alumnae and married couple Camille Beredjick and Kaitlyn Jakola first met while painting The Rock.

Yunkyo Kim, Assistant Campus Editor

It was Rainbow Week of their freshman year when Camille Beredjick (Medill ‘13) and Kaitlyn Jakola (Medill ‘13) said they found themselves painting The Rock together in pride colors.

A senior member of Rainbow Alliance, Northwestern’s undergraduate LGBTQ student group, was taking pictures of the event. The senior pushed the two self-described “nervous queer freshmen” together for a picture, Beredjick said.

“So we took that picture in front of a rock,” Berejick said. “Then we didn’t talk again for like two and a half years.”

They did not know it then, but within eight years, the two NU alumnae would get married.

After taking the fateful photo, Beredjick said though she and Jakola ran in similar circles and shared mutual friends, they did not interact much. Plus, Jakola wrote for The Daily and Beredjick was a member of North By Northwestern.

“Technically being on a rival publication,” Beredjick said, “was a real Romeo and Juliet story.”

Their relationship began in their senior year, Beredjick said. She was in charge of the Medill Equal Media Project, a short-term grant initiative that provided resources to cover the 2012 election with an emphasis on LGBTQ issues. Jakola, a former Daily editor in chief, drafted a grant proposal and joined the initiative. The two became fast friends, Beredjick said.

The media project later became a class. Even though Jackola completed all her credits and moved off-campus, she said she took on the extra class, partly to be closer to Beredjick. She would wake up at 8 a.m. to drive to campus, then spend three hours talking with Beredjick, Jakola said.

By graduation, they started dating. Beredjick and Jakola said their relationship was very powerful because they are both passionate about storytelling around LGBTQ issues, sharing “why queer stories matter and are important.”

“I got to know (Camille) very well, very quickly because we were talking about stuff that we both thought about all the time and felt very strongly about,” Jakola said.

Douglas Foster, who served as the faculty adviser for the Equal Media Project, said the couple’s relationship meant a lot at a time in which students were choosing to “recloset” themselves as they didn’t feel safe being out on campus. When he came to Medill in 2004, Foster said he was the only out, gay faculty member in the school.

In collaboration with Foster, Beredjick hosted a regular coffee house to engage LGBTQ-identifying students journalists and allies in conversation. The couple often showed up together, Foster said.

“Particularly for students who came partly because it was in a classroom and they didn’t have to say anything about themselves in order to show up for coffee, to see two women arrived who were clearly in a close romantic and emotionally satisfying relationship, I do think there was something radically affirming about that,” he said.

After graduating from Northwestern in 2013, Beredjick got a job in New York and Jakola stayed in Chicago for a year before getting moving in together. They got engaged a few years later. They now live in Brooklyn, New York, where Beredjick works as a marketing manager at an organization that connects children with healthy food and Jakola serves as a managing editor at Gizmodo, a science publication.

Jakola and Beredjick said they remembered their first date — Asian food then boba, paid for by Jakola’s mother.

“Actually, my mom is the one who told me that Camille liked me because she saw Camille posting on Facebook and tagging me,” Jakola said “One day, my mom said, ‘You know that girl Camille likes you?’ I was like, ‘Shut up, mom.’”

“And now, she’s my mother-in-law,” Beredjick said.

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Twitter: @yunkyomoonk

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