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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Abby Becker and Scott Girard: A Cardinal love story

In the basement of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Vilas Hall in 2013 sat Abby Becker, Scott Girard and a plate of grilled cheese sandwiches. What followed is an eight year relationship and 2021 marriage, all beginning in The Daily Cardinal office. 

Elected as editor-in-chief for the 2012 to 2013 academic year as a senior, Girard found console in Becker, who at the end of the year was elected as his successor for her junior year at the Cardinal. 

Bonding over late nights at the Cardinal with cups of hot coffee to complement their sandwiches, Becker and Girard quickly became close friends as he helped train her for her new position. 

“We were just spending a lot of time together and joking,” Girard said. “You don’t have a lot of people to confide in about how things are going as editor-in-chief, so we ended up just getting coffee and grilled cheeses pretty regularly; it became sort of our thing.” 

Girard developed a crush on Becker and built up the courage to ask her out, but she rejected him. 

“I had to ask her out a second time,” Girard said. “She said no again.” 

Reflecting back, Becker said that the strength of their friendship is what fueled her decision to say no. 

But, Girard asked her out a third and final time, and they have been together ever since. 

“Thank goodness for his persistence,” Becker added. 

Girard and Becker married in September 2021, eight years after their initial meeting in the Cardinal office. They announced their wedding formally in the “Welcome Back” issue at the beginning of the 2021 to 2022 school year, stating that they are “forever grateful for the memories made 2142 Vilas.” 

After all, throughout the onboarding and training process for Becker, her relationship with Girard blossomed. 

“I was in the newsroom every single day,” Becker said. Scott interjected, “She insisted that she does not remember seeing me or who I was until my election for editor-in-chief, so I guess that says something about first impressions.”

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In response, Becker said that she was “trying to fake it until she made it” because the upperclassmen “felt so cool and smart.” 

Both Girard and Becker joined the Cardinal early on in their college careers with Girard coming on during the fall of 2010 as a sophomore and Becker the fall of 2011 as a freshman. 

Girard enjoyed writing for the State News Desk before becoming the enterprise editor his junior year and then editor-in-chief. Becker became city news editor her second semester of freshman year before serving as the first-ever social media manager and later editor-in-chief. 

The Cardinal was integral to not just their personal lives but their professional ones as well, the couple said. 

Now, Girard works at The Capital Times as the K-12 education reporter, where Becker previously served as the local government reporter. She currently works as a communications person for the UniverCity Alliance at UW-Madison.

Becker underscored that she already “had a network built from the days as a student reporter going into my first professional job.”

“Where I really learned journalism was at the Cardinal and it’s what served me most,” Girard said.

On the first day of his first professional job at a weekly newspaper, Girard was asked to put together a “little story” for that day. He was shocked to find out that this “little” article was expected to be about 500 words.

At the time, the Cardinal published daily, so Girard often wrote stories ranging from 100 to 200 words. 

Despite this surprise, according to Girard, it was his skills he learned at the Cardinal that allowed him to write the story and “cut the crap and get straight to the point.” 

For Becker and Girard, the Cardinal was more than a jumpstart for their careers in the news and communications industry  — but for love. 

Other Cardinal couples include Nicole Gulatz and Blake Michener, Peter Coutu and Theda Berry, Allison and Anthony Sansone, and Taylor Harvey and Nico Savidge among many others. 

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