A Long-Distance Romance Comes Full Circle

When Mitchel Aaron Scott and Evelyn Ruth Danforth were first introduced in January 2011 at a dorm party their junior year at Stanford, the sparks didn’t exactly fly.

A few weeks before the start of their senior year, the pair, who were casual acquaintances, found themselves on an abandoned campus training together to be residential staff members for Stanford’s on-campus rowhouses.

“We became very, very close friends our senior year because we were trapped on campus together,” said Ms. Danforth, as Mr. Scott laughed in the background.

While neither Mr. Scott, 31, nor Ms. Danforth, 30, can remember the moment their friendship blossomed into something more, they shared their first date on Valentine’s Day 2012.

“It was sort of a friendship that took us a while to figure out that it was more than that,” Mr. Scott said.

From Palo Alto, Calif., they made their way to San Francisco for pizza at Beretta, an Italian restaurant. Mr. Scott gave Ms. Danforth roses, one of which she dried and still has.

“We were 21 years old, so we really did not go out much at that point,” she said. “It was a big deal.”

The relationship quickly turned serious. “After the first date, it was very clear,” he said. “I think the thing that was scary for us was that we knew we were graduating a few months after that.”

By this time, the couple had already accepted jobs on opposite coasts: Mr. Scott as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in Los Angeles, and Ms. Danforth as a White House intern for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s policy staff in Washington.

Each graduated with honors — Mr. Scott with a degree in economics and Ms. Danforth in history.

For about a year the couple made long distance work; both booked weekend flights to see each other.

In late 2014, Mr. Scott was offered a position in Manhattan, which Ms. Danforth saw as an opportunity to work on Hillary Clinton’s then-unannounced presidential campaign.

The couple moved in to their first apartment together in the West Village in February 2015. Shortly after, Ms. Danforth began working in Brooklyn as an aide on Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Their idyllic life in Manhattan was cut short on election night. Mrs. Clinton was expected to deliver her victory speech in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Instead what conspired was a teary run-in with Cher backstage and a lamenting walk home along the Hudson River during sunrise.

As difficult as the loss was for her, the walk home after solidified how foundational her relationship with Mr. Scott was in her life. “I think it really forced us to clarify and crystallize what we both wanted because the path that I think we thought the country and us as a couple were on changed overnight,” she said.

Before the election night, Ms. Danforth applied to law school. Her father, John David Danforth, is a retired lawyer, and her mother, Gay Crosthwait Grunfeld, is a managing partner of Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld in San Francisco.

Mr. Scott was also considering graduate school, but the most important factor was to avoid any long distance.

The couple moved back to California, and in September 2017 started their lives as graduate students at the place where it all began, Stanford.

Mr. Scott received an M.B.A. in 2019 from Stanford, and Ms. Danforth received a law degree this past June, also from Stanford.

In December 2018, Mr. Scott proposed to Ms. Danforth during a hike to a secluded beach while on vacation in Hawaii.

The couple had been planning a barn wedding in Sonoma, Calif. for June 2020, with 175 guests, but instead had a small ceremony with immediate family at Ms. Danforth’s father’s home on Oct. 24 (which was also where they spent the first five months of the pandemic). Dr. Cassius Scott, the groom’s father and a Universal Life minister, officiated.

Ms. Danforth, who will hyphenate her last name, is a law clerk to Leondra Kruger, an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. Mr. Scott is a founder of a money laundering and fraud prevention software company starting later this year.

“Being able to move forward and think about building a life with Mitch was a really special moment,” Ms. Danforth said. “It’s cliché to say ‘you married your best friend,’ but I really did.”

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