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Milton and Catherine Hershey: The Love Story That Changed the World

He was humble and kind. She was lighthearted and witty. Together, Milton and Catherine Hershey were a perfect pair whose inspiring example and unconditional love endure today.

It all began in 1897 at A.D. Work’s Confectionery in Jamestown, New York. Milton sold caramels to the business, and Catherine visited often with friends. One day, the two were introduced and quickly fell in love.

Over the course of their years together, the Hersheys inspired one another to have selfless hearts and be charitable in their giving. Their like-minded spirit led to several Breakthrough moments—including the creation of Milton Hershey School. The legacy of their generous gift—and love for one another—has impacted the lives of more than 11,000 children and their families since 1909.

The Hersheys’ love and the school they built has also inspired thousands of MHS graduates—including Zach Fitzgerald ’15 and Bailee Samlal ’16.

At MHS, Zach and Bailee received an exceptional education, made life-long friendships, and found a love just as sweet as Mr. and Mrs. Hershey’s.

The couple met in 2013 when Bailee was a freshman in high school and Zach was a sophomore. Zach asked Bailee out for the first time in Spartan Commons. Two years later, Zach asked Bailee to be his date to his senior prom in the very same spot.

Since then, Zach and Bailee have grown—individually and together. Zach believes their shared experience at MHS is what makes their relationship so strong.

“We were determined to break the cycle of poverty, said Zach. “It’s really nice to see our early goals and dreams come to fruition.”

Bailee thinks that MHS gave them both the drive and grit to strive for success—something they focus on in their individual goals and within their relationship.

“Milton Hershey School definitely brought us together,” said Bailee. “I’m very grateful for that and I’m excited to see where it continues to go and how we impact others, just as Mr. and Mrs. Hershey did.”

During Homecoming Weekend in 2023, Zach proposed to Bailee in the exact spot where they first met. The couple knows that they never would have met and fallen in love if it weren’t for the love the Hersheys shared. Two love stories, a century apart, fittingly connected by chocolate.

Learn More about Milton and Catherine Hershey’s Love Story

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.