Sometimes you see someone, meet them, and just know that there is something special there. That’s how the story of USF Health Morsani College of Medicine alumni Drs. Andrew (Andy) '87 and Jane Messina '88 began.
It was the first day of medical school for Jane, when Andy, a second-year student, crashed the welcoming party for the first-year medical students with one of his classmates. Andy saw a tall, blonde, slender woman (yes, Jane) across the room and convinced his friend to go with him to talk to her and her friends. Unfortunately, it ended with the ladies essentially ignoring them, and Andy left thinking that Jane was stuck up. Jane, for her part, was so overwhelmed by her first day of medical school that she was not even close to welcoming a potential date, let alone a relationship.
As Jane began her first year and Andy continued into his second year, each of them did their own thing during the first few months. Andy’s friend kept telling him that Jane would never go out with him, but Andy did not give up. Early in their second semester, he invited her to go with him and a few friends to a place where he knew the bartender as he figured that free drinks would keep the bill affordable and, maybe, impress Jane. On their way to the venue, Jane learned that Andy’s buddies could not make it and that it would be just the two of them. Andy was, of course, delighted that his plan had worked perfectly (the buddies were never planning to come, sneaky, huh?), they hit it off and a dating relationship ensued.
About six months later, Jane was ‘sort of’ seeing another guy in her class, so Andy gave her an ultimatum and she would have to decide between the two. Jane loved the attention and thought he was sweet and sincere, so she chose Andy. The rest, as they say, is history.
After Jane graduated, they got married and completed their residencies in Tampa. Both have had very distinguished careers; Andy practices radiology with the Florida Medical Clinic, and Jane is a professor in dermatopathology at Moffitt Cancer Center, as well as chair of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Alumni Society Board of Directors.
Jane and Andy also have three children, all now grown and living in Tampa, Washington D.C., and New York. They say that being empty-nesters has been great – they have control of their schedules while still spending time with their kids and enjoying their visits. Andy says Jane deserves most of the credit for the success of their marriage – she has been the rock. While he worked long hours in his practice, she did the heavy lifting at home and was always flexible, adapting to whatever was thrown her way. Both say their faith has carried them through, and that staying grounded in their shared values has made the little annoying things that can send a relationship off the rails just fade away.
Congratulations to Jane and Andy for many happy years together and best wishes for many more! Thank you for sharing your story!