In honor of Valentine's Day, dozens of William Paterson University alumni submitted their love stories—love stories that got their start right here at WP. Following is a small selection of those stories. Follow William Paterson University Alumni on Facebook to see more.
Jacob (Jack) Keyser; Elementary Education ’59 and ’66 & Shirley Staas Keyser; Elementary Education ’59 and ’69
Jack and I met our sophomore year, in 1957 Our first date was to New York City to visit the Alan Freed Rock & Roll Show at the Paramount Theater. From that day forward, we were a couple. We graduated on June 3, 1959 and were married on June 20, 1959. This June we will celebrate 62 fabulous years.
We have five children, twelve grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Jack played baseball for WP for four years and pitched the only no-hitter for the team. The team was WP’s first to attend a National Tournament. Jack was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984 and the entire team was elected in 2013.
Our teaching careers were 35 years for Jack and 25 years for Shirley. In 1991 Shirley was elected Teacher of the Year for the New Jersey Reading Association and received the Governor's Award for Teacher of the Year from the Eric Smith School in Ramsey, NJ in 1993.
Children and education have always been a focus in our lives. WP gave us the foundation to provide our schoolchildren and our own children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren for their future. Many friendships were made along the way and the memories will never be forgotten.
Nesma Kessler; Nursing ‘15 & Thomas Kessler; Nursing 16
We met in a nursing class and I ended up becoming his nurse mentor. In summer of 2015, we started dating. On our first date, we talked about being travel nurses one day and what our specialties would be. Five years later, he proposed, in January 2020—where we had our first date.
We became ICU travel nurses and travel the country with our 2 dogs. Unfortunately many wedding plans changed and ended up being cancelled due to COVID, and we fought through the pandemic together. We are so excited to get our RV this year and continue traveling the country!
Michael McCunney; Communication ‘90 & Maura Joyce McCunney; Communication ‘90
We met while producing shows like “Newsline” and “Sports Digest” in Studio B in the communication building. We became closer while hanging in Billy Pat's pub and taking long walks back to Heritage and Pioneer Hall. Fond memories include late nights in Billy Pat's pub, birthday parties in Pioneer Hall, WP-TV parties in Heritage, late-night swims, and graduation!
We were married in August of 1993 and had our first daughter in 1996, our son in 1998 and our youngest daughter in 2002. We both enjoyed careers in communication and teaching and we've loved watching our children grow to become young adults. We still bring the family up to TJ's in Haledon and always swing by the college to see the progress and revisit old memories.
Jerry Chapusette; Art ‘13 & Julia Munguia Chapusette; Sociology ‘13
I met my wife in 2010 in Overlook South through a mutual friend who was working at the front desk. It was four of us talking and I had a meeting to go to for photography, and I ended up giving her my business card. I didn’t ask her for her number. I told her to call me.
She reached out to me over Facebook and we would talk for hours. For some time I was always forgetting her name and she would call me out on it. One time she asked me what her name was and I said, “Uhh, Beautiful?” A month of talking and dating I asked her to be my girlfriend and she said No. So the next night, I asked again because I really liked her. She said Yes! It’s been history since. We met at WP and we graduated together in 2013. We’ve been through thick and thin together and I knew she was the one. We just got married during the pandemic and we will be soon celebrating our one-year anniversary!
Yvette Gutkin; Elementary Education ‘67 & Ronald Gutkin; History ’64, Science & Social Studies ‘68
I met Ronnie my first semester of college and didn’t see him again until that June. We met again on the beach of Lake Welch in Bear Mountain, and have been together for the last 56 years. We married the summer of my junior year. We have three fantastic sons and 10 awesome grandchildren. We like to travel and see the world; we have two homes, one in Florida where we get to see other alumni at our annual get-together, and another one in New Jersey.
Kathleen Ullrich Sayad; Biology ’86 and Biotechnology ‘93 & Louis Sayad; Biology ’86 and Biotechnology ‘92
We met in Introduction to Literature. The professors asked us all to pick a side of the room, we both went to the same side and the rest is history.
We worked as lab techs while at WP, which gave us more time together, and when we graduated, both worked at Albert Einstein College Medicine together. We went back to WP for our graduate degrees and now are back at WP as adjunct professors in the biology department! We still value our time spent at WP and keep in contact with Professor Miryam Wahrman, who has gone from being our professor to a mentor and now has become a valued inspiration and friend.
Walking together through the halls of the science building is like home.
Lisa Tiedemann Quimby; Exercise & Movement Science, Secondary Education ‘94 & Karl Quimby; Exercise & Movement Science, Secondary Education ‘94
We meet and started dating in the fall of our freshmen year. We were in the same major and were in almost all the same classes. We lived on campus and enjoyed going to the Rec Center to work out. We also spent a lot of time the Student Center with friends. We were both involved in Greek Life on campus and had made many terrific friends, and we still keep in touch with many of them now! We married in 1994 just after graduation. We have two children: Our daughter graduated from William Paterson last January, and our son will be applying to William Paterson next year. We both have lots of wonderful memories of our time at WP.
Danielle Trupia Walsh; English ‘16 & Patrick Walsh; Criminology & Criminal Justice ‘16
Pat and Danielle met from some friends/hockey friends October 2012, one in specifically - Natasha! She is Danielle’s best friend and was in their wedding party September 2018. Pat was a freshman on the WPUNJ hockey team and Danielle was in her third year. They both just turned 21 a month prior and loved going to Underdog bar after hockey parties with friends for dollar tacos!
They dated all of Patrick’s four years in college. He became assistant captain of the WPUNJ hockey team in his senior year, and Danielle traveled near and far never missing a game. She even flew to Utah! Danielle finished up a bit earlier and began working full time close to campus and they moved into an apartment together during Pat’s junior and senior year, in Wayne near campus. They now reside in New Hampshire and both work in the Boston area. They got married September 2019 and just recently celebrated their first son Patrick’s birthday on New Year’s Eve.
Brittany Lee Jones; Music ‘16 and Brandon Jones; Finance ‘15
Brandon and I have a peculiar sweetheart story. We happened to massively bump into one another my first day as a Willy P transfer student, Spring 2013. Head down, attentive to my schedule in hand, I began walking up the Student Center steps as he began walking down, and then toe to toe, chest to chest, we collided. He helped me recover my books from the floor while giving me these intense “googly eyes” that revealed a keen interest. I thanked him and kept it moving to my class. He had this charm about him that made me feel like he just might ruin my life.
I noticed him around campus, often reflecting on the memory of my first day bumping into him. I noticed his involvement and over the years, even after he graduated, I watched how impactful and impressive he became and how often he’d come back to campus for various occasions and events—never, ever imagining that I was watching the man who would be my husband. My unspoken admiration was just that, at least until Spring Break of 2016. My best friends and roomies at the time joined what might have been nearly the entire WP Class of 2016 in Miami for Spring Break. While there, I posted a picture of myself on Instagram that apparently caught Brandon’s eye. I immediately received a message from him in response to my photo, which read, “gorgeous....you know you never apologized for bumping into me that day.”
We arranged to see each other the same day I got back to campus from Miami. Today we are happily married over a year and enjoying every moment of it. We have to thank WP for that.
Allan Ringler; Communication ‘06 & Jennifer Sinclair Ringler; English ‘05
Jen was the first person I met my first day on campus freshman year. It was University Day September 2001. Jen was trying to recruit people to write for The Beacon and offering people popcorn if they signed up. I did, and we quickly became close friends, began dating in February 2002 and have been inseparable since.
Our favorite memories together involve the late nights (after we finished studying) walking around the track, talking, and really getting to know each other.
Since we've graduated, we've had a long journey to get to where we are now. From dating to marriage (July 2010), apartment living to home ownership, new college graduates to experienced established professionals, inability to afford pizza to ability to travel the world, we owe it all to WP.
Lisa Ciccarone MacVicar; Music ’93 and ‘18 & Theodore Michael MacVicar; Music ‘92
My husband and I first met as I was walking across campus, carrying my trombone after auditioning for the music department as a transfer student. He was with friends and said, "Oh, look! A female trombone player!" I shot him a glance and kept walking. A few weeks later, I was walking into the concert band class where Dr. Woodworth put last names on the backs of the chairs to show seating placement. I was pleased to see I would be sitting first chair and then I noticed that the guy who talked to me on my way to my car a few weeks earlier was flipping out and yelling, "Who the hell took my chair?! Who is this Ciccarone (my maiden name) dude?!” Not only did I take his place but he was pushed all the way to the end of the section—to last chair! He nearly lost it completely when he realized it was me.
A few days later, we struck up a conversation and he asked me to go to a party with him. I said I'd let him know. In reality, I wanted to get two of my friends to "check him out" when he played at the Midday Artists Series in Shea Auditorium. They approved and said he was cute. I told him I would go out with him.
We were supposed to meet outside Shea for our date. I was on time; he was 45 minutes late. I don't know why I didn't leave before he got there! At the end of that first date, he told me he was going to marry me. I told him he was nuts. Well, we got engaged after dating for six months at one of the WP football games on Friday, October 13. He was a male cheerleader and he called me down into the track and had the rest of the cheerleaders circle around me before he asked me to marry him.
We've been married for 28 years! I guess he knew what he was talking about on that first date! Because we were music majors who played the same instruments, we took EVERY class together. It was almost nauseating! The professors expected to see us together at all times, and we're still together, and we teach music in the same school district! I'm the high school band director and he's the middle school band director in Hackensack, NJ. We have three daughters: Casey, who is 25 and married to the best son-in-law around, Tim; Emily who is 20 and a culinary student; and Sarah who is 17 and a junior in high school.
Kara Cressey; Marketing ‘17 & Tim Gysin; Music ‘16
Tim and I met our first semester of freshman year in 2013. I lived on campus as an out-of-state student, and he commuted. We bonded by both being music majors at the time (I changed mine) and having mutual friends. We even shared our first kiss in Lot 5.
Our best memories came from spending hours practicing in the practice rooms in Shea, common hours having lunch together, doing late-night recording sessions in Shea, and being able to take classes together even after changing my major.
After my graduation, I moved to NJ to continue to be with him and continue my career, and it’s been over seven years strong. We’ve definitely grown up together, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Kelly Keenan; Anthropology ‘11 & Alex Goldman; History ‘11
Alex and I first met in one of Professor Gundling's classes. We took so many anthropology classes together, it's hard to remember which one it was! I was always pretty quiet in class, and he always had something to say—comments, quips, questions. Someone like that tends to stick out to me. It was only at the end of the semester that we actually did talk for a little. The following semester we had classes together yet again, and we really began to hit things off from there. It took many years of a long-distance friendship to slowly (very slowly) turn into a long-distance romance.
We finally got married in January 2021, and roughly a month or two before, we decided to visit WP and see how things have changed since we graduated. It was good to have those fresh-faced feelings again; the different points of the mighty Stages of Adulthood ebbing and flowing like waves: from starting college to graduating, part-time to full-time jobs, flighty flirtations to solid romances, living in your mom's house to living in your own house. It's been nearly an entire decade since we left school, but the experiences have never left us.
Veronica Cocozza Shipe; Special Education ’76 and ‘81 & Daniel Shipe; Mathematics ‘75
Dan and I met in the new dormitory, on the sixth floor of Pioneer Hall. Our floor was co-ed, and we lived across the hall from each other. I always say we were friends first before we became a couple.
We had a class together that was called Educational Psychology with Dr. Zappo. We would walk together to class across campus. Dan got a better grade than I did. I think the professor liked him. I was the one who had a career for 36 years in Special Education! Dan had a career in Information Technology for 34 years.
Favorite memory was attending concerts in Shea Auditorium. Since we graduated, we moved to the Midwest.
Jennifer Stefaniszyn Kotwica; Psychology, Elementary Education ’06 and Special Education ‘18 & Christopher Kotwica; English ’06 and Special Education ‘20
I first contacted Christopher on Facebook in 2005 because I saw he was part of an academic fraternity I was interested in. It turns out we were in the same class, Shamans, Witches and Magic. Since meeting in 2005, we have been inseparable. We graduated together in May 2006 with our teaching certifications (elementary education for me and secondary education for him). We got married in 2010 and will be celebrating our 10-year anniversary in September.
We both pursued Master’s degrees in special education and graduated a second time from WP in 2018 (me) and 2020 (Christopher). We are both teaching in neighboring towns, Leonia and Fort Lee. Our latest adventures include pursuing an LDTC certification (me) and administration certificate (Christopher).
We thank WP for bringing us together and continuing our educations. Our favorite memory has to be our undergraduate graduation. Being able to be together, celebrating a tremendous accomplishment together with family and friends will be a memory we will never forget.
Marina Florey; Marketing ‘17 & Anthony Cimino; Finance ‘16
While we knew of each other, Anthony and I hadn't officially met until the spring of 2014 thanks to a lovely social networking site we call Facebook. We talked for a while, exchanged phone numbers, and decided to meet up in the library to do homework together. We didn't know what would come out of this innocent meeting, and to our surprise, there was an instant connection.
Over the course of the next few weeks, our dates became more frequent, longer, and included some of our favorite things like bowling, Chipotle, and hibachi. When the semester ended, we continued our courtship—through family hardships, distance, and summer jobs, we still managed to make it work.
Before we knew it, we were back at school and back to our casual dates and continued getting to know each other on a deeper level. By the winter, we sealed the deal and started officially dating as boyfriend and girlfriend.
Nearly seven years later, we've graduated, relocated to Long Island, NY, got engaged, and started our family. Our beautiful baby boy was born March 2020. We are currently planning our wedding for April 2022 and looking forward to what the future brings!
Joyce Bellofatto Leone; Middle & Junior High School ‘65 & John Leone; History ‘63
We met in the student union building. John said that since the male/female ratio was 7/1, he would rent a bus to take me and six of my Theta Sigma Kappa sisters to the Coronation Ball. He took me alone in 1961. We celebrated our 56th wedding anniversary last July. We both have had wonderful careers in education and a wonderful life together.
Andrew Faccone; Communication ‘89 & Jill Howell Faccone; Sociology/Anthropology ‘89
Jill & I first met passing each other into the entranceway of the South Tower. I saw her first, she didn’t see me. We were officially introduced at an Alpha Sigma Fraternity Party, which I was a member of, and the rest is history.
Jill and my parents were at every football game no matter the weather or location. The importance of sports continued with both of our children all through their athletic careers at every level. We were there for all of the athletic events.
William Paterson University enabled both of our lives to cross paths when they did, we married, started our family and careers all because of this university. William Paterson University played a huge part in our personal and professional success. That is why we are still involved with the University to date.
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470