Beyond the books: Love blossoms at Quinnipiac

For many Quinnipiac alumni, their college journeys didn't just end when they received their degrees, but with partners with whom they share their life. Here are a few of the many couples whose relationships are rooted at Quinnipiac.

Jewish life sparks everlasting love for Quinnipiac sweethearts

Richard Horowitz ’76, left, and Vicki (Koltz) Horowitz '79

As soon as Richard Horowitz ’76 and Vicki (Koltz) Horowitz ’79 stepped foot on Quinnipiac's new Mount Carmel Campus, they both prioritized the opportunity to participate in Jewish life on campus.

When Vicki was a first-year student, she joined the Hillel chapter at Quinnipiac. At the time, Richard time was president.

Vicki visited her future husband in his office many times until he asked her on a date.

The two had the perfect date planned, but was thrown off when Richard broke his ankle only 24 hours they were set to get together.

They ended up watching a double feature in Burt Kahn Court — before ultimately getting engaged a few months later and getting married in 1977. Five years later, they had twins, Jaime and Toby.

Richard and Vicki Horowitz both smile on a couch with big hairstyles in 1975.
Vicki and Richard in 1975.

“We are so happy that we went to Quinnipiac,” said the Horowitzs. “We were very fortunate to have met there where a new chapter in our life began.”

Richard studied business and Vicki studied occupational therapy, sharing a love for the university and all it offered. The alumni benefited from their professors, classmates and academic opportunities during their four years as students and both pursued successful careers within their fields. After graduation, the two strengthened their bond with the Hamden community by becoming residents and having the opportunity to watch the university flourish.

Richard worked as a business manager then vice president at The Towers at Tower Lane for 11 years and Vicki as a school-based occupational therapist at ACES for 37 years. The Horowitzs also acquired part of a franchise, Bark Busters Home Dog Training, which grew their love for dogs and behavioral therapy. The business ran for 13 years before the couple sold it and retired. 

The couple cherishes alumni events and holds their time at Quinnipiac close to their hearts. A testament to their experiences, their son Toby attended Quinnipiac and followed in his father’s footsteps by graduating with a business degree in 2005.

Richard and Vicki shared that they both loved their time on campus — professionally and personally — and that the university has positively impacted their lives forever.

From orientation to an enduring legacy

Branden Hollinghurst '17, MBA ’18 and Brinti (Grohosky) Hollinghurst ‘17, MBA ’18 with their daughter.

Britni (Grohosky) Hollinghurst ‘17, MBA ’18, and Branden Hollinghurst ‘17, MBA ’18, first connected during first-year orientation. When fall classes began, they found themselves sharing the same residence hall and attending numerous classes together. Quickly becoming best friends, they formed a tight-knit friend group.

Britni kisses Branden on the cheek at their graduation.
Branden and Britni at their graduation.

“One of our favorite Quinnipiac memories was winning the intramural volleyball championship our first year,” she said. “We loved being able to play a sport together that we both enjoyed and hang out with our friends at the same time; winning the whole thing was just a plus.”

Britni said their paths converged at Quinnipiac, coming to Quinnipiac from different states.

“Quinnipiac has provided education and internship opportunities to set us up for successful careers in finance for me and internal audit for Branden,” said Britni.

Since graduating, Britni and Branden have brought their daughter — a future member of the Class of 2045 — back to campus to reminisce and walk around the campuses.

“She got some Quinnipiac swag from the bookstore and even got her picture with Boomer,” she said.

Four decades of friendship turned romance

Howard Boyd '86 and his wife Carol (Benedetto) Boyd '87 during their time as Quinnipiac students, side by side with a recent photograph of the alumni

Howard Boyd ‘86 met his future wife, Carol (Benedetto) Boyd, ’87 during her first-year move-in weekend in 1983 and they have been best friends since. Howard participated as an orientation leader, welcoming Carol to campus and forming a special bond that has lasted for the past 40 years.

When Howard stopped by Carol’s dorm room to invite her and her roommate, Barb, to attend a social event, they hit it off immediately. For the next four years at Quinnipiac, the two became best friends and were inseparable. Carol would often visit Howard to watch their favorite soap opera, “Guiding Light,” and support each another throughout their Quinnipiac experience.

“Our friendship continued to grow while at Quinnipiac and beyond,” said Carol.

Carol studied respiratory care and proceeded to complete the advanced-level board examinations, pursuing her career in the healthcare field. Now, she works as a regional multi-state manager of pulmonary and ventilator programs in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Howard’s love for business drew him to study at Quinnipiac and ultimately used his college education as a steppingstone to earning his MBA and starting his own consulting business. He launched Brave Husky Consulting, LLC in 2012 and continues to manage the company today. The alumnus also currently works for Grant Thorton LLP in their advisory practice.

After they graduated from Quinnipiac, they remained friends for another four years before beginning their dating journey across different states.

“Carol and I have been friends for more than 40 years therefore there is little we do not know about each other,” said Howard. “Our Quinnipiac time was the foundation of our friendship that carried us from college life to post-college life and into nearly 30 years of married life with four children.”

Now as proud alumni, the couple stays in touch with their roots. Howard remains heavily involved with his fraternity, TKE, and the two often attend alumni events together.

Love at first sight

Zach Boroson '12, MS '20 and wife, Ali Boroson '12, with their two children

When Ali Boroson ‘12 first laid eyes on Zach Boroson ’12, MS ’20 at the recreation center, she knew that she would spend the rest of her life with him.

Ali's arms and legs are wrapped around Zach for a piggyback ride.
Ali and Zach enjoying time together as students.

“I saw Zach at the gym sophomore year and had a crush from afar. I told my best friend that I was going to marry this guy. Fast forward to senior year, it turns out he also had his eye on me.”

Senior year arrived and they bumped into each other at a nearby restaurant and hit it off. The two bonded over fraternity and sorority life as they have tons of shared memories revolving around philanthropy events and formals.

“Neither of us were expecting to end up at Quinnipiac and when we look back, it’s of course it was the best decision we ever made. Our relationship, for one, is the foundation for our lives and now the lives of our kids. We also have the very best friends in the world and can both attribute that to Quinnipiac. They stood by us at our wedding, and are still with us every step of the way through all of life’s milestones,” said Ali.

With relatives living a close distance to Hamden, it makes taking a trip back easy for Ali, Zach and their two kids. “When we take trips home it is the best getting to drive into Hamden, stop at Whitney Donut and Corner Deli and show our kids the place that means so much to us, " said Ali.

From pizza to marriage

Milind Shah ’02 and Anjali (Desai) Shah ‘04 hugging on the Quad.

Milind Shah ’02 and Anjali (Desai) Shah's ’04 first date was at a pizza restaurant in New Haven, Anjali still remembers how nervous she felt, but that her nerves quickly dissipated as a result of Milind’s approachable and friendly nature.

Milind and Anjali Shah in current day, smiling.
Milind and Anjali enjoying marital joy today.

Concerts, semi-formals and hiking Sleeping Giant are among some of the cherished moments that Anjali and Milind share.

“My love for hiking started at Quinnipiac, being able to walk over to Sleeping Giant was one of my favorite pastimes,” says Anjali. We live in North Carolina now and have been on plenty of hikes all around the state! It’s a great way to explore.”

Post-graduation Milind proposed on the Quad near the Arnold Bernhard Library steps after stopping by the restaurant where they had their first date.

“We walked around the campus until we ended up in the Quad,” said Anjali. “Right around the area of the library steps he proposed with a ring that he had designed himself. I was not expecting it and said 'yes!'”

Milind and Anjali have since revisited campus with their daughters, where they shared past memories.

“We’ve visited the campus with our two daughters, showed them all the places we hung out, the cafeteria, library, the dorms, the bookstore where we first met! They seem suitably impressed.”

A second chance at love

Sheila McCarthy '85 and Robert Quarz '84 enjoying the recent holidays.

When Sheila McCarthy ’85 transferred to Quinnipiac, she looked forward to a welcoming academic experience, but little did she know there was romance awaiting her arrival.

Sheila met Bob Quarz ’84 through mutual friends one night at a local spot and they clicked immediately.

Unfortunately, their time together ended upon graduation but their bond remained strong. Sheila moved to Boston and Bob stayed in his native Connecticut. Many years later, the two reconnected on Thanksgiving eve.

“That time everything was perfect and we got married two years later,” said Sheila.

Aside from their success of the heart, the two enjoyed successful professional careers as well. Bob studied business management at Quinnipiac and went on to work for Pitney Bowes. He has now retired after many fulfilling years. Sheila is a committed member of the SAP company as the senior global director, bringing new cloud software solutions to the market.

The two love to attend alumni reunions and connect with fellow Quinnipiac friends. Bob often supports the basketball and ice hockey teams with a friend he made at Quinnipiac. Sheila participated as a member of the CIS advisory council for many years, as well as guest lecturing within the program. She also recently spoke at a career development panel.

“Quinnipiac is a terrific school to prepare you for a rewarding career and fulfilling life,” said Bob. “There’s lots to do and the academics will prepare you well for the working world. I still am in touch with many of the friends I made at Quinnipiac, making lifelong friends is priceless."

Athletic ties

Jenn Whaley ‘16 and Matt Rothbart ‘12 at Jenn's graduation.

Connected by their roles as student-athletes, Matt Rothbart '12 and Jenn Whaley '16 discovered a lasting connection. Jenn on the golf team and Matt on the soccer team forged a bond rooted in a shared appreciation of the time commitment and dedication demanded by Division I athletics.

Jenn is wearing a long white wedding dress, standing on the steps with her husband Matt.
Jenn and Matt at their wedding.

Their first date was off campus at a nearby restaurant, Jenn recalls

“Matt, who had previously graduated but was living nearby, came and picked me up at my York Hill dorm. There was a snowstorm that day, but nothing could deter us.”

“We cherish the lifelong friendships we made at Quinnipiac. We remain incredibly close with so many people from Quinnipiac, such as my Quinnipiac golf teammate, who officiated our wedding in November. There are so many incredible people in our lives thanks to Quinnipiac and we are forever grateful.”

Venturing into a fresh chapter, Matt and Jenn made the move to Southern California for Jen's job in August. This marks their first venture living away from the Northeast, and they are enthusiastic about embracing this new adventure side by side.

“We continue to share our love for Quinnipiac sports and attend related events whenever we can such as watch parties and going to live matches," said Jenn. "We continue to wear our Quinnipiac gear almost every day. Go, Bobcats!"

A romance born in the rink

Gabrielle '17 and Joseph Coppola '18 captured at their wedding.

In the winter of 2014, Gabrielle (Swan) Coppola ‘17 an IceCat was prepping for an ice hockey game by practicing dances and warming up her skating. As fate would have it, Joey Coppola’s ‘18 connection to the IceCats, where his mother served as the coach, became the catalyst for a blossoming romance. Joey asked his mom about Gabrielle, sparking his eagerness to invite her to a party the following day.

Gabrielle in her ice cat uniform with Joey at the rink.
Gabrielle Coppola sporting her IceCat uniform, enjoying time at the rink with now-husband, Joey.

“I almost didn’t go but I’m so glad I did. We hit it off and he asked me on a date for the following weekend,” said Gabrielle.

Their first date was on Valentine's Day.

“I was so nervous and I went to my friend’s room before so she could help me pick out my outfit,” says Gabrielle. “He picked me up at her dorm and brought flowers and my favorite, chocolate-covered strawberries. After that night, we started spending all of our free time together and have been inseparable ever since.”

Gabrielle recalls Joey going to every ice hockey game to support her being an IceCat. The tradition of post-game visits to a nearby restaurant became a ritual she eagerly looked forward to each time.

“In the spring of 2014, shortly after we started dating, we were in the cafeteria and looking out on the Quad we saw a couple get engaged. I remember thinking back knowing that some day that would be Joey and me,” said Gabrielle.

“We never would have met if I did not go to Quinnipiac. It had truly altered our lives for the better. We are so thankful Quinnipiac brought us together and think back on all of our early memories together often.”

From first weekend to forever

Jeff Philibert ’91 and Christina (Niro) Philibert ’91 spending time in the residence halls together.  

Christina ’91 and Christina (Niro) Philibert ’91 seem to have been destined for each other from the start of their college careers. The two met during their very first weekend at Quinnipiac and hit it off immediately.

Jeff and Christina Philibert smile for a selfie.
Jeff and Christina today.

In classic first-year fashion, many students were making new friends by visiting residence halls and making friends. Christina was enjoying the festivities when she met New Hampshire natives, Geoff and Jeff, on the same night.

However, her future husband Jeff won her heart as they talked for hours, kissed on a bridge on the Mount Carmel Campus that very night and then hiked up Sleeping Giant the next day.

“It was all history from September 4, 1991,” said Christina. “Jeff with a 'J' from New Hampshire and Christina from Massachusetts have been together from that day on.”

Quinnipiac provided the couple with the fundamentals of their successful career paths. Jeff pursued veterinary medicine, specializing in oncology, and Christina entered the pharmaceuticals field post-graduation.

The two routinely attend alumni reunions and constantly support the many sporting events that Quinnipiac holds.

“Not only did we meet each other in 1987, but we have many dear friends we met at Quinnipiac, who have shared big life moments with us,” said Jeff.

Fraternity and sorority life sparks a lifelong connection

Danielle '07 and Scott Wormser '07 in current day.
Danielle and Scott Wormser smile, dressed up as young students.
Danielle (Bruen) Wormser and Scott dressed up during their time as Bobcats.

Fraternity and sorority life brought Danielle (Bruen) Wormser ‘07 and Scott Wormser ‘07 together. They met during their first year at a gathering on campus and bonded over both being involved in fraternity and sorority life, as Scott was in Tau Kappa Epsilon and Danielle was in Alpha Chi Omega.

“Greek life impacted our lives from on-campus leadership to friendships 20-plus years strong,” he said “When we got married, the majority of Danielle's bridal party were sorority sisters and closest of friends.”

Scott and Danielle have visited Quinnipiac several times since graduating.

“Whether it's taking our kids to tour the campus or stopping for an iconic Ray and Mike’s sandwich on the way to a college friend's wedding, it's not just the campus that has memories, as it's the surrounding area that holds permanent moments,” Scott said.

Sweet bets lead to charming connection

Samantha Eisenberg '18 and Anthony Sullivan '18 showing off their engagement.

Embracing the quintessential first-year experience, Samantha Eisenberg '18 and Anthony Sullivan '18 crossed paths doing door-to-door introductions around the Commons residence hall.

Samantha and Anthony smiling together as students.
Samantha and Anthony having fun in Hamden.

On one of their early dates, Samantha and Anthony decided to go out for ice cream. Amid their friendly rivalry, with Samantha cheering for the Yankees and Anthony for the Red Sox, a playful bet ensued. Anthony proposed that the loser treat the other to ice cream.

“I'm pretty sure the Yankees lost the series, but he was kind enough to pay anyway,” said Samantha.

“Attending Quinnipiac was one of the best decisions we both made. We were both involved in different organizations on campus that helped give us leadership opportunities which prepared us for our careers,” said Samantha. “Quinnipiac also gave us some of our best friends to this day, and we are incredibly grateful for that. The experiences we had both in and out of the classroom shaped us into who we are and where we are.”

The two came back for Bobcat Weekend the year they graduated and have recently stopped by campus.

Samantha still remembers how nostalgic it felt to be back on campus and see the many changes,

“It's so crazy to see the new construction and how Quinnipiac continues to grow," she said.

Senior year soulmates

John McCarthy '12 and Alisha (Curzi) McCarthy '12 soaking in a night out together during college.
Alisha and John McCarthy with their two children.
The couple smiling from ear to ear with their two children.

Alisha (Curzi) McCarthy ’12 was captivated by John McCarthy’s ’12 outgoing charm and enchanting presence in the room.

“I can remember exactly the way I felt when seriously no joke he caught my eye,” said Alisha.

They found themselves running into each other at various events throughout their college careers and eventually in senior year exchanged numbers.

Their journey as a couple unfolded in many ways, from kisses outside the Arnold Bernhard Library to cherished breakfast and lunch dates.

Being a part of fraternity and sorority life was one of the biggest reasons their lives intertwined.

“Greek life brought us together and kept us mingling even when we were not 'together' from sophomore year until senior year,” said Alisha.

"Some of our best friends are our friends from the Greek life bond. Many of our friends are still getting together today, married and have kids and the best times are watching all our kids together and I thank Greek life for that bond,” she adds.

Despite life taking Alisha and John to different places, the couple makes it a point to revisit Quinnipiac whenever they find themselves in Connecticut.

“Quinnipiac is a place where we will both forever cherish deeply in our hearts. We have friends from there that will forever be in our lives,” said Alisha. “The memories we have there separate and together are some of the best memories of our lives. Quinnipiac had a huge role in the individuals and couple we are today and for that, we couldn’t be any more thankful for our experience.”

Running mates turned life partners

Emma (Johnson) Mannion '17 and Spencer Mannion '15 at their wedding, showing their Bobcat pride. 
Emma wears a graduation cap and gown, standing next to Spencer.
Spencer supporting Emma at her graduation.

United by their shared passion for running, the love between Emma ‘17 and Spencer Mannion ‘15 blossomed on the cross-country teams. The two spent an immense amount of time with not only each other but also teammates, who all ended up being at their wedding party, which felt like a Quinnipiac reunion, Emma explained.

“We had our assistant coach, Chris Dickerson, marry us,” she said. “He is incredibly supportive of us individually and as a couple — and we knew no better person to ask.”

Spencer and Emma look forward to attending the annual cross country BBQ, a cherished opportunity to foster their shared passion for running and connection with past teammates and coaches.

Stay in the Loop

Sign Up Now