Our Mercy Story: Angel López and Doris Muñoz-López

Wedding photo of alumni

Angel López ’91 and Doris Muñoz-López ’95, M.S. ’08 met as Mercy students on the Dobbs Ferry Campus — she as a freshman and he as a junior. While they don’t think of their story as a typical romance, they do like to tell it. Today the couple, who recently celebrated 25 years of marriage, live with their two children, Veronica, 18, and Kyle, 12, in the Bronx, New York, not far from where their story began.

At first, the two Mercy students seemed to have little in common. Doris, majoring in behavioral science, and Angel, a political science major, kept noticing each other on campus. “I’d pass him as I was rushing to class and he would always say hello,” Doris recalled. “Everywhere I went, Angel was there.” She began to suspect him of following her. “But he had a girlfriend, so I figured I’d keep my distance,” she said.

Then Angel landed an important internship in Albany and was gone for six months. “I wondered what had happened, and I missed him,” she said. Angel returned to campus that winter and, before long they were dating and in 1997, they married.

Their relationship deepened as each traveled their own career path: Doris switched her major from business after her Mercy mentor helped her sort through her options. She discovered she had an interest  in behavioral sciences, and eventually teaching. Today, Doris teaches English as a New Language (ENL) to K-5 students at PS 66 in the Bronx, New York. After graduating from Mercy with her bachelor’s degree, she later earned a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Angel’s success hung in the balance for a time. “My mother died while I was in the middle of my studies, and I was shell-shocked. I didn’t think I could finish,” he recalled. With the encouragement of a Mercy counselor, Angel graduated in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. During his 29-year career in New York City government, Angel worked with a series of council members and speakers of the New York City Council. For a few years before his retirement in 2019, he served as officiant for couples getting married at the City Clerk’s office.

The couple likes to give back, each in their own way. When South Florida was devastated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Angel traveled there with a coworker to deliver supplies to a school that had been destroyed. In 2017, he volunteered with relief workers when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. Over the years, Doris has worked with a variety of social service organizations, including the Urban League, a women’s shelter, a correctional facility, and in a program serving homeless persons with HIV. And, Doris and Angel attend alumni reunions, and proudly cite their family members who have attended Mercy.

While it might be a stretch to say that Mercy helped the couple with the absence that made their hearts grow fonder, or that it was the support of their Mercy counselors that got them through difficult times, the couple’s true feelings can be expressed in Doris’s simple statement: “I am who I am today because of Mercy.”