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An estimated 18,060 Terriers (9,030 couples) have become acquainted at BU (or connected later) and married since Development & Alumni Relations started keeping track. To mark Valentine’s Day this year, BU photographer Cydney Scott visited some local Terrier couples to find out how they came together. Some met in class, a dorm, or a dining hall. One couple was married in 2016, the year another couple celebrated their 61st anniversary. “BU is why we’re together,” says Sera Bonds (SPH’04), who is married to Adam Rosenbloom (SPH’05). Read their stories below.
Katharina Schwan (SAR’12, SPH’13) (left) and Marwan Kanafani (Questrom’14, SPH’14) met during a 2012 School of Public Health trip to India to study its health care systems. They toured New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai, visiting biotech and pharmaceutical companies and public health organizations. “I spent much of my time conveniently sitting next to Katharina at lunch and near her on the bus,” says Marwan. “She fell for me after I gave a totally improvised presentation in front of doctors and med students at India’s largest hospital, and I fell in love with her after she played me some sweet songs off her playlist on a bus ride back from the Taj Mahal.” They soon moved into a tiny studio apartment on Comm Ave and relocated to San Francisco a year later. They were married in Berkeley on October 15, 2016, “four years after we first kissed,” says Marwan, adding: “Pretty darn romantic.” Marwan is director of operations at Health Plan of San Mateo, and Katharina is fellowship coordinator at the University of California, San Francisco, and recently applied to a master’s program in genetic counseling. The couple were photographed in their backyard in San Francisco.
Just ask Franco Lozano (CGS’07, CAS’09) (left) and Mike Reidy (CGS’07, CAS’09) and they’ll tell you that opposites really do attract. “I’m the realist and Mike’s the dreamer,” says Franco. “I think I keep him grounded, and he helps me get out of my comfort zone.” The two met freshman year when they lived on the same floor at Claflin Hall. “Our initial interactions were very passive, though there was something I felt about him that was so intriguing—maybe it was his big blue eyes or his perfect smile,” Franco remembers. They lost touch, but reconnected as juniors and “our relationship began to blossom. We eventually came out to each other, began to date, and now are happily married,” he says. Franco and Mike, photographed at their Bromfield Street restaurant, Pedro’s Tacos, in Boston’s Downtown Crossing, tied the knot on August 1, 2015.
As a College of General Studies sophomore, Phyllis Solomon Starr (CGS’63, SED’65) tried to figure out who she could fix her classmate David Starr (CGS’63, CAS’65) up with for a date. (He was shorter than she was—5’4” to her 5’8”—so she didn’t think about dating him herself.) But sitting side by side in classes in a Copley Square building, they saw a lot of each other. They even worked together on a project to create a Utopian society for one class. “He was very friendly and always smiling,” Phyllis recalls. “He was always working, so I knew he was a hard worker too.” That spring, Dave asked if she’d like to go fishing in Rockport. She said yes. But they never did go fishing. Instead, in what turned out to be their first date, they walked around the town and had dinner. They married on May 30, 1965—a week shy of graduation—and honeymooned nearby on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket because their parents insisted they return for graduation. Phyllis became a fourth grade teacher, her husband a social worker. Now retired, they have three children and six grandchildren and live in Rockport, where they were photographed at Brother’s Brew Coffee, one of their favorite local hangouts.
Charles “Tommy” Spurlock (SED’71, LAW’76) met Susan Hicks Spurlock (SED’75, LAW’79) in September 1973. Charles, who was in his first year of law school, struck up a conversation with Susan when he spotted her in her dorm lobby on his way to a campus-wide meeting. “We talked for probably 45 minutes,” says Susan. “I thought he was cute. He seemed nervous, and he asked if we could go out sometime.” She said yes and their first date was the next night. It was the beginning of a whirlwind courtship, culminating with their wedding three months later, on December 19, 1973. They live in Cambridge, and raised their two children there. Charles was a district court judge and a superior court judge before retiring in 2010, and Susan worked as a lawyer and a public advocate before becoming Northeastern School of Education associate dean. She is currently director of the Public Policy and Practice HUB at Suffolk University.
Melissa Jay (COM’11) (left) and Laura Truex Jay (SAR’12,’14) were introduced by friends freshman year, but didn’t begin dating for several months. Laura lived in French House on Bay State Road and Melissa lived in Danielsen Hall, and “we would usually meet up with our friends for dinner at the Warren dining hall, but it was always the walk back home down Bay State that I would look forward to—a chance for the two of us to talk and get to know each other better,” recalls Laura, a registered dietician at Franciscan Children’s hospital and a clinical researcher at UMass Medical School. Melissa, whose degree is in photojournalism, is a Boston emergency medical technician. The couple, pictured on Bay State Road, live in Brighton. They were married on September 30, 2016.
Barbara Karron Fox (SED’56) and Marvin Fox (Questrom’54) met during Barbara’s freshman year. Their lockers in the College of Arts & Sciences basement were close together. One afternoon, Marvin recalls, “Barbara and her friend Phyllis were rushing down St. Mary’s Street to get the Beacon trolley to Cleveland Circle so Phyllis could catch her bus to South Brookline. They would have been late, except that I volunteered to drive them. I asked Barbara for a date.” She accepted and “on our first date, I told her that we were going to get married.” They were wed on June 5, 1955, and celebrated their 61st anniversary this past year. They raised three children in Newton, where they’ve lived for the past 59 years. “I loved her dimples,” Marvin says. “She has a big smile, and she’s a very bright woman.” Before they retired, Barbara was a substitute teacher in the Newton, Mass., schools, and Marvin ran a family-owned restaurant, then worked as a sales rep for an international dental implant company. We photographed Barbara and Marvin near those fateful CAS basement lockers.
Sera Bonds (SPH’04) met her future husband, Adam Rosenbloom (SPH’05), in an epidemiology class. Sera was failing the course and needed a tutor. Her professor suggested she reach out to “that kid, Adam. He seems to have a good grasp of the content.” Sera remembers that Adam “came in late, left early, didn’t open his book, and asked questions that the prof couldn’t easily answer.” He agreed to tutor her, and the rest, she says, is history. (And yes, she passed the course.) After graduation, they moved to Vietnam for a year, where Adam worked for Save the Children Federation and Sera for the nonprofit Circle of Health International (COHI), which she’d founded at the School of Public Health. Adam then moved to Israel, where he earned a medical degree. The two married in 2007 and today live in Austin, Tex., with their two sons. Adam is a pediatrician and Sera continues to run COHI. “BU is why we are together,” Sera says. “The community we found at BU continues to play a major role in our lives.”
Are you a Terrier couple? Share your story in the Comment section below, or if you’d like to be profiled next year, email Cydney Scott at email@example.com.