Georgian Court Provides Spark for Romance

Georgian Court Provides Spark for Romance

Rose Marie Bellocchio, a native of Italy, came to Georgian Court College at the urging of a high school English teacher, who pushed her to attend college and even took her to visit different schools. When she got to GCC, she “just fell in love with it.” Only a few years later, The Court would become the place where Rose Marie found  the love of her life.

Georgian Court, recently named #35 among College Ranker’s 50 Most Beautiful College Campus Wedding Venues, provides an extraordinary backdrop for brides on their big day. But more than that, the school has always been a place where lives change unexpectedly—even as a meeting place for many couples, including Rose Marie and Manny Correia, one of three couples recently interviewed by GCU Magazine’s Tara M. Strickland.

This story originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of GCU Magazine. See this story and others in their entirety here.

 

Correia_Grad

Manny drove up from Texas the day before Rose Marie’s graduation from GCC in 1959.

 

 

 

 

Rose Marie ’59 and Manuel Correia

AS SHE CHOSE GEORGIAN COURT for her college studies, Rose Marie noted that “everyone was so friendly and the place was beautiful.” An English and home economics major, Rose Marie was in her junior year in 1958 when she volunteered to be in charge of the food for a St. Patrick’s Day Dance. The Sisters of Mercy placed a call to nearby Fort Monmouth to invite Army officers to the dance so that there would be educated men for the students to dance with and meet.

 

Manny Correia, a second lieutenant from Massachusetts, was at the base for a 10-week course. His major passed along the invitation to him and asked him to gather some officers to attend.

 

“If you guys try to put any liquor in the punch, I’ll put you in a world of trouble,” the major told Manny, adding that the school was “run strictly by nuns.”

 

Though there were 200 officers taking the course at the base, Manny and his friends agreed to tell only their close friends about the invitation, which he notes “improved his odds greatly.”

 

Rose Marie actually had a date for the dance. Her friend from home was driving down from Columbia University with someone for her to meet—but their car got a flat tire. Their misfortune was a stroke of luck for Manny and Rose Marie, who “found out they had things in common and similar backgrounds,” according to Rose Marie. A few days after the dance, Manny called, and their romance began.

 

About a year after the dance, Manny proposed over the phone—after a largely long-distance romance due to his military service—and the two were set to be married a week after her GCC graduation in 1959. But don’t assume just because they were engaged that the Sisters lightened up on curfew—the night before her graduation, Manny tried to persuade the Sister on duty to keep his fiancé out until 10:30 pm (after driving all day from Texas to see her). The Sister replied firmly: “The curfew is 9:00!”

 

Fifty-five years, five states, three children, and nine grandchildren (including GCU senior Theresa Cordovano) later, the Correias are still happily married and living in Naples, Florida. However, life hasn’t been without its bumps along the way. Rose Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1990s.

Rose Marie and Manny --- He Says, She Says

“I have to tell you, I was scared,” says Manny, who was traveling extensively for work. “I had my schedule changed, and whenever we would meet with the head oncologist, I made it a point to always be there with a notepad and a lot of questions.” Manny, who is currently battling cancer himself, says his wife never misses an appointment with him now, noting that “you’re either a team, or you’re not.” That sense of teamwork is the essence of Rose Marie and Manny’s happy marriage. Both say that they have never really had a major argument, but merely “differences of opinion.” “He has his opinion and I have mine, but we don’t really let it go beyond that,” says Rose Marie. “I consider myself very blessed.”

 

 

279 Erin and Joe overlooking the Lagoon on their wedding day in 2010

 

 

 

Erin ’06 and Joseph Wirzburger

Erin Myers first visited the Georgian Court University campus to practice with the softball team and “fell in love with the beauty of the campus.” A softball scholarship and the small-college environment led her to enroll and pursue her degree in accounting. The summer after her sophomore year, Erin began work in GCU’s Office of Conferences and Special Events (CSE) as a conference assistant, which led to a full-time position as the conference services coordinator after graduation.

 

“I got to meet some wonderful people and be part of some incredible events,” says Erin about her time with CSE. “I really enjoyed giving the history tours to visitors. The Gould history is fascinating, and I loved sharing it.”

 

Little did Erin know that her love for the Gould history would also lead her to romance.

 

Since 1996, Joe Wirzburger had been coming to Georgian Court every summer with the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). The organization held its weeklong annual conference at the school every July, which Erin worked four times. Joe was RYLA’s program coordinator, so Erin worked directly with him to make sure the conference ran smoothly.

 

“I remember him being very ‘needy,’” says Erin. “He was always asking for something—microphones, cords, chairs, doors to be unlocked, everything!”

 

By 2006, Erin had taken the lead for GCU on the conference.

 

“We talked throughout the planning, and that evolved into talking online,” Erin recounts.

 

They started spending time together outside GCU, and began dating about a month after the 2006 conference. In 2010, they were married in the Dorothy Marron University Community Chapel.

 

“When we got engaged, I couldn’t think of any place but Georgian Court [to have the ceremony],” says Erin. “That place was the reason we were together, and there was nowhere else I wanted to get married. I had to marry Joe there.”

 

Now married four years, with a two-year-old daughter and another due at press time, Erin shares her words of advice for other couples: “Always talk—don’t bottle stuff up! And don’t go a day without saying ‘I love you.’”

 

 

Sarah ’07, ’14 and Thomas Trotta ’14

20140521_CA8_9852_0028Sarah Silverstein always knew she would attend Georgian Court, as her mother, Susan (currently a staff assistant in the School of Education), had worked here since Sarah was young.

 

“I loved the familiar feel of GCU,” adds Sarah. “I was happy to live at home during college with a 10-minute commute and really enjoyed the small class size and the personal feel of the campus.”

 

After graduating with her B.A. in Psychology, she decided to go back to GCU to complete the accelerated teacher certification program in 2008. Tom Trotta, a graduate of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, chose to complete the same program.

 

“It was the best decision I could have made,” says Tom. “I was actually torn between two schools. It was a 50/50 shot, but I ended up choosing Georgian Court because I knew their program could offer more.”

 

After completing their classroom courses, they decided to blend cohorts. They went to celebrate the upcoming holidays and the beginning of student teaching at a restaurant in Brick. Though they had both noticed each other around campus, it was at that dinner that Tom and Sarah truly first met.

 

“I was telling a funny story and had the entire table laughing, and I remember Sarah cracking up too,” says Tom. “We broke the ice soon after that.”

 

Sarah adds, “It wasn’t too long into the evening that I moved seats so that I could listen to Tom’s funny stories better.”

 

After completing their certification programs, the couple, who also started the M.A. in Education program at GCU, moved to North Carolina for a couple of years to gain teaching experience. But they returned to New Jersey, as an engaged couple, in 2012.

 

“Once we got engaged, we started talking seriously about coming back to New Jersey,” says Sarah. “We always knew that we would want to start our life together (and eventually a family) in our home state with our families close by.”

 

“When we moved back, we picked up where we left off with our master’s degree studies,” adds Tom.

 

In May 2014, they made it official, and less than three weeks later, they walked side by side in matching caps and gowns as they received their master’s degrees from GCU.

 

 

“Fate is a funny thing,” says Tom. “My life would tell a much different story had I not chosen Georgian Court.”

 

Georgian Court Provides Spark for Romance

Rose Marie Bellocchio, a native of Italy, came to Georgian Court College at the urging of a high school English teacher, who pushed her to attend college and even took her to visit different schools. When she got to GCC, she “just fell in love with it.” Only a few years later, The Court would become the place where Rose Marie found  the love of her life.

Georgian Court, recently named #35 among College Ranker’s 50 Most Beautiful College Campus Wedding Venues, provides an extraordinary backdrop for brides on their big day. But more than that, the school has always been a place where lives change unexpectedly—even as a meeting place for many couples, including Rose Marie and Manny Correia, one of three couples recently interviewed by GCU Magazine’s Tara M. Strickland.

This story originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of GCU Magazine. See this story and others in their entirety here.

 

Correia_Grad

Manny drove up from Texas the day before Rose Marie’s graduation from GCC in 1959.

 

 

 

 

Rose Marie ’59 and Manuel Correia

AS SHE CHOSE GEORGIAN COURT for her college studies, Rose Marie noted that “everyone was so friendly and the place was beautiful.” An English and home economics major, Rose Marie was in her junior year in 1958 when she volunteered to be in charge of the food for a St. Patrick’s Day Dance. The Sisters of Mercy placed a call to nearby Fort Monmouth to invite Army officers to the dance so that there would be educated men for the students to dance with and meet.

 

Manny Correia, a second lieutenant from Massachusetts, was at the base for a 10-week course. His major passed along the invitation to him and asked him to gather some officers to attend.

 

“If you guys try to put any liquor in the punch, I’ll put you in a world of trouble,” the major told Manny, adding that the school was “run strictly by nuns.”

 

Though there were 200 officers taking the course at the base, Manny and his friends agreed to tell only their close friends about the invitation, which he notes “improved his odds greatly.”

 

Rose Marie actually had a date for the dance. Her friend from home was driving down from Columbia University with someone for her to meet—but their car got a flat tire. Their misfortune was a stroke of luck for Manny and Rose Marie, who “found out they had things in common and similar backgrounds,” according to Rose Marie. A few days after the dance, Manny called, and their romance began.

 

About a year after the dance, Manny proposed over the phone—after a largely long-distance romance due to his military service—and the two were set to be married a week after her GCC graduation in 1959. But don’t assume just because they were engaged that the Sisters lightened up on curfew—the night before her graduation, Manny tried to persuade the Sister on duty to keep his fiancé out until 10:30 pm (after driving all day from Texas to see her). The Sister replied firmly: “The curfew is 9:00!”

 

Fifty-five years, five states, three children, and nine grandchildren (including GCU senior Theresa Cordovano) later, the Correias are still happily married and living in Naples, Florida. However, life hasn’t been without its bumps along the way. Rose Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1990s.

Rose Marie and Manny --- He Says, She Says

“I have to tell you, I was scared,” says Manny, who was traveling extensively for work. “I had my schedule changed, and whenever we would meet with the head oncologist, I made it a point to always be there with a notepad and a lot of questions.” Manny, who is currently battling cancer himself, says his wife never misses an appointment with him now, noting that “you’re either a team, or you’re not.” That sense of teamwork is the essence of Rose Marie and Manny’s happy marriage. Both say that they have never really had a major argument, but merely “differences of opinion.” “He has his opinion and I have mine, but we don’t really let it go beyond that,” says Rose Marie. “I consider myself very blessed.”

 

 

279 Erin and Joe overlooking the Lagoon on their wedding day in 2010

 

 

 

Erin ’06 and Joseph Wirzburger

Erin Myers first visited the Georgian Court University campus to practice with the softball team and “fell in love with the beauty of the campus.” A softball scholarship and the small-college environment led her to enroll and pursue her degree in accounting. The summer after her sophomore year, Erin began work in GCU’s Office of Conferences and Special Events (CSE) as a conference assistant, which led to a full-time position as the conference services coordinator after graduation.

 

“I got to meet some wonderful people and be part of some incredible events,” says Erin about her time with CSE. “I really enjoyed giving the history tours to visitors. The Gould history is fascinating, and I loved sharing it.”

 

Little did Erin know that her love for the Gould history would also lead her to romance.

 

Since 1996, Joe Wirzburger had been coming to Georgian Court every summer with the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). The organization held its weeklong annual conference at the school every July, which Erin worked four times. Joe was RYLA’s program coordinator, so Erin worked directly with him to make sure the conference ran smoothly.

 

“I remember him being very ‘needy,’” says Erin. “He was always asking for something—microphones, cords, chairs, doors to be unlocked, everything!”

 

By 2006, Erin had taken the lead for GCU on the conference.

 

“We talked throughout the planning, and that evolved into talking online,” Erin recounts.

 

They started spending time together outside GCU, and began dating about a month after the 2006 conference. In 2010, they were married in the Dorothy Marron University Community Chapel.

 

“When we got engaged, I couldn’t think of any place but Georgian Court [to have the ceremony],” says Erin. “That place was the reason we were together, and there was nowhere else I wanted to get married. I had to marry Joe there.”

 

Now married four years, with a two-year-old daughter and another due at press time, Erin shares her words of advice for other couples: “Always talk—don’t bottle stuff up! And don’t go a day without saying ‘I love you.’”

 

 

Sarah ’07, ’14 and Thomas Trotta ’14

20140521_CA8_9852_0028Sarah Silverstein always knew she would attend Georgian Court, as her mother, Susan (currently a staff assistant in the School of Education), had worked here since Sarah was young.

 

“I loved the familiar feel of GCU,” adds Sarah. “I was happy to live at home during college with a 10-minute commute and really enjoyed the small class size and the personal feel of the campus.”

 

After graduating with her B.A. in Psychology, she decided to go back to GCU to complete the accelerated teacher certification program in 2008. Tom Trotta, a graduate of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, chose to complete the same program.

 

“It was the best decision I could have made,” says Tom. “I was actually torn between two schools. It was a 50/50 shot, but I ended up choosing Georgian Court because I knew their program could offer more.”

 

After completing their classroom courses, they decided to blend cohorts. They went to celebrate the upcoming holidays and the beginning of student teaching at a restaurant in Brick. Though they had both noticed each other around campus, it was at that dinner that Tom and Sarah truly first met.

 

“I was telling a funny story and had the entire table laughing, and I remember Sarah cracking up too,” says Tom. “We broke the ice soon after that.”

 

Sarah adds, “It wasn’t too long into the evening that I moved seats so that I could listen to Tom’s funny stories better.”

 

After completing their certification programs, the couple, who also started the M.A. in Education program at GCU, moved to North Carolina for a couple of years to gain teaching experience. But they returned to New Jersey, as an engaged couple, in 2012.

 

“Once we got engaged, we started talking seriously about coming back to New Jersey,” says Sarah. “We always knew that we would want to start our life together (and eventually a family) in our home state with our families close by.”

 

“When we moved back, we picked up where we left off with our master’s degree studies,” adds Tom.

 

In May 2014, they made it official, and less than three weeks later, they walked side by side in matching caps and gowns as they received their master’s degrees from GCU.

 

 

“Fate is a funny thing,” says Tom. “My life would tell a much different story had I not chosen Georgian Court.”

 

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