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Roma Romance

Maribeth Brown (LURC 98-99) and Erik Romslo (LURC 98-99)
Erik & I met at the welcome dinner that the Rome Center sponsored during the first few days of the semester and then sat next to each other in an astronomy class. Due to other dating circumstances at the time, we didn't start our romance in Italy, but instead began dating a year after we left the Rome Center when I ran into another Rome Center '99 student, Francis O'Connor. Francis put Erik & I back in touch and we've been together ever since (Francis takes full credit, but I think the Rome Center deserves some too!).

Erik & I will tie the knot in 2 1/2 weeks and are planning a few Rome Center/Italy inspired touches to the wedding. Guests will be seated at long tables with bottles of Italian wines and baskets of bread with olive oil. We are naming our tables after constellations, in reference to the astronomy class we took together at the Rome Center. The favors will be Baci chocolates (the hazelnut & chocolate candies with the little Italian love notes inside the wrapper) and Italian wedding knots.

We are so excited to be getting married and can't imagine life without each other. Molto grazie to the Rome Center for bringing us together!

Joe Vanderbosch (LURC 81-82) and Ann Cunningham (LURC 81-82)
I attended the Rome Center during the 1978-79 school year. While I did not meet my husband there, I did meet him shortly after returning to the U.S. We met through my LURC classmate Leslie Connaghan.

But I am not here to write about myself. My brother, Joe Vanderbosch, attended the Rome Center in 1981-82. He did meet his lovely wife, Ann Cunningham, while at the Rome Center. When I told him to email you, he was too embarrassed to do it, so I told him I would write you. Joe and Ann met while Ann was dating Joe's Rome roommate. Joe and Ann did not find romance until they returned to Chicago. They spent several years as real good friends before the fires were kindled. And after 4 children, Joe says sometimes he is still looking for the romance.

Jim Manchester (LURC 67-68) and Kathy Lyons Manchester (LURC 67-68)
My wife, Kathy Lyons Manchester, and I, Jim Manchester, met at the Rome Center during 1967-68. She was from California and USF and I was from Vermont and St. Michael's College. We were both English majors and had similar interests when we met in the fall of 1967. It was a magical year of new experiences and friends as well as a developing relationship, which led to our marriage in 1969. We are still married after 33 years and two children and 31 years of teaching English.

Gregory Riccio (LURC 69-70) and Maria Lass Riccio (LURC 69-70)
Gregory Riccio met and dated Maria Lass during the 1969-70 academic year abroad at the Rome Center. I spoke Italian somewhat and was the capo di comitiva on a couple of excursions via rail to Pompeii and Florence during the first month of school. By Thanksgiving we were one of several couples who appeared to be "serious."

Almost four years later, after both returning to Chicago where we were both from, we were married in Glenview, Illinois. I received my Ph.D. in Comparative International Education (my dissertation was on the Rome Center) and am presently Superintendent of Schools in Torrington, CT and Maria is a teacher of English Language Learners in Phoenix, AZ. We have had a commuting relationship for the last four years (except for the summers when we reside in our CT residence) but have been happily married for more than thirty years. We have twin daughters who are sophomores in college (one at Boston College and the other at the University of San Diego) who plan on studying in Italy next year. We hope they choose the Rome Center but they are looking at Florence also. My wife and I intend to visit them next Spring, buy some property in the Amalfi area and retire within two years!

Martha Gormican Harold (LURC 72-73) and Christopher Harold (LURC 72-73)
Chris and I met on the chartered plane to Italy. He always jokes that I was in first class. Then we met again at the student union on campus (Via della Camiluccia). By Thanksgiving we were traveling with others to Istanbul and Greece. Christmas was spent in East Africa on a great safari and then up to Austria to ski. At some point we went to Tunisia. Easter started in Paris, you know, "April in Paris", but it was cold and blustery, so we hopped on a train and went to Madrid and other southern cities. At some point we were in Germany, Stuttgart and Munich, and in Salsburg, Austria, and eastern parts of France.

At Loyola, I signed up for the art history and classical studies and Chris would join in on our field trips around Rome. Dr. Fink's classes were a highlight. Together we discovered wonders and some of them were of the ancient world. We enjoyed the movies, foreign and American, in Trastevere, and the little trattorias there. Late at night we would meet up with other Loyola students and ride the bus up to Monte Mario. So many good memories.

Senior year we were back to our respective colleges and we were married after our senior year. This June we will be married 30 years!

Carolyn LaPorta Harvey (LURC 86-87) and Kevin Harvey (LURC 86-87)
We are Carolyn (Cal) La Porta and Kevin Harvey. We met at the Rome Center during the 1986-1987 school year. We quickly became part of a group of seven wonderful people with whom we shared just about everything. Only during one of the very last weekends of the semester, when the other 5 went traveling, did we begin a "romantic" relationship. We returned to our respective universities (Loyola of Chicago and Saint Mary's California) seeing each other infrequently, writing many, many letters. We married 3 months after our graduations in August 1988. We did return to live for a year in Italy in 1990-1991. Now, 16 years later (!), we consider that time of our lives at the Rome center truly magical. Next summer we hope to be able to bring our 2 daughters, Frances and Giorgia, to see the country and city we grew to cherish for all it means to us. Thank you for the opportunity to tell our story.

Susan Markes Jensen (LURC 78-79) and Scott Jensen (LURC 78-79)
Sempre per Sempre. Life is a tapestry, every moment a thread woven into a weft to create an original work of art. Some threads are flawed and weaken the fiber while others are strong and create a solid ground for subsequent ones. Some are more interesting than others, and every so often we find one that shimmers and gives a special life to the tapestry as it already exists. When a plane from New York City touched down on Italian soil in August of 1978 a golden thread began to trail me….

On my first day at the Loyola Rome Center I knew that I would have some lifelong friends as a result of this journey. I had no idea that the rest of my life would be determined by one semester in my junior year.

Laura was the apple of every boy’s eye. She was pretty and she had Southern charm. When she asked me to go on a double date because Scott had asked her out, I initially refused. I did finally agree to come along for the ride, but I don’t think that I said two words to my date, John. And I know that Scott hardly spoke with Laura that night.

For that semester Scott become my dear friend. A group of us were constantly doing things together. He was not a fan of the library yet he always seemed to be there when I was studying. And he knew the best places for gelato, including his discovery of the coppa olympica! (A meal in itself!)

As our semester was coming to a close we decided to have one last outing and go coat shopping together. I had been saving for a wool jacket and he needed a raincoat to get him through England. The arrangement was that if he was able to find a coat for $75.00 or less he would have enough money to pay for dinner. Scott bartered for the perfect Italian jacket for me, but when it came time for his coat he couldn’t do any better than $100. Disappointed we left the store and I turned to the right to catch the bus. He took my hand and with his irresistible smile he said andiamo. We turned left instead and he led me to a restaurant, which already had a reservation in his name. I started to have a suspicion that he was becoming more than my friend…

When it was time for me to leave in December both Scott and our dear friend Terry took me to the train station. As I prepared to board the train Terry grabbed my arm and whispered “I think that you’ll marry him some day.” I looked at her in surprise, thinking that my golden thread had run its course and life would return to what it was. Besides, we were from opposite ends of the United States. Scott was staying and I was going home. But I guess that I did leave a piece of my heart at the Stazione Termini that day. And somehow 3000 miles never seemed like much of an obstacle when it was land instead of water. We trailed those threads back and forth across the country for the next year, each trip creating a tighter weave. After 2 years we opted for the sempre per sempre plan. We will be married 21 years this month. We are a constant reminder to each other of that special year and we have always considered each other our most treasured souvenir of our time in Rome. Andiamo is a word our children have always known and when Scott flashes me that smile I still would follow him… anywhere.

Caroline Keyes Pasquesi (LURC 90-91) and Fabio Pasquesi
I met my spouse while attending the Loyola Rome Center. We were introduced through friends at Loyola. Fabio was one of the many young Italians I met in Rome. When I was not traveling or attending classes, I enjoyed making plans with friends in Rome. We enjoyed the nightlife together. His background was so different than mine and I was intrigued by all the interesting stories he told. Not to mention, his accent was very charming and still is today! Our first trip together was in Siena where he showed me the shell shaped piazza. We also went to visit his relatives in Bologna and stopped to have lunch in San Marino where there was a beautiful view of the countryside and Adriatic Sea. I stayed in Rome after my year at Loyola and graduated from John Cabot University in Rome. I did contract work at the US Embassy for a year and attended St. John's University MBA program in Rome. Fabio and I moved to London shortly thereafter and were married. Today we live in New York City and enjoy annual trips to Italy. Fabio worked in the World Trade Center but was late for work on September 11. It's been an adventure. Perhaps we'll return one day to Italy.






 

 

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