Yina Fan and Michael Witzel. Photo by Jennifer Blot.
They met on the fifth floor of the Bluxome Lofts dormitory. He was a shy, studious former Marine who spent most of his time on the computer; she was an outgoing animation student, a recent arrival from China determined to communicate with him despite poor English. Thanks to Academy of Art University and a love of modern technology—from video games to the invaluable Google Translate and Skype—the two first-year students embarked on a friendship that led to a large-scale wedding celebration in Las Vegas last month.
Michael Witzel, 27, and Yina Fan, 25, giggle when remembering their first encounters in the dorm in 2010. The clean-cut, blue-eyed vet caught Fan’s eye immediately, but to her frustration, was “always on the computer” and didn’t acknowledge her often.
“Out of the corner of my eye, I’d see her looking at me even though she says she can’t see anything without her glasses,” Witzel recalled, smiling.