We received Leonard and Barbara's love story in response to our e-Valentine to alumni who got married to each other. Send your love story to us and it may be published in Currents at a future date!
My husband, Leonard DiBella and I (Barbara Redway DiBella) were actually friends before we attended Fairfield University. We both attended the same high school, but were two years apart. When he was a senior and I was a sophomore, we were both dating each other's good friends, so we would go out on double dates together. It wasn't until we were both at Fairfield that we started dating each other, fell in love and later married.
I can remember at Freshman Orientation in 1981, one of the speakers (University President Fr. Aloysius Kelly, S.J.) told us that we might very well meet our future spouse at Fairfield University. How could that be? It seemed so odd. I could be there with the person I would spend the rest of my life with?
I was a freshman nursing major and he was a junior English major. Because of Fairfield's core curriculum (which I am grateful for now, in my later life), I had to take creative writing. Needless to say, I was awful at it. My brain was for the sciences, not writing creatively. I roomed on Gonzaga 1, and Leonard was in Fareast (I believe it is called Claver Hall now). He would come over to check on me and ask how things were going. Of course, I immediately told him I was struggling in creative writing. He offered to help and that was the beginning. Poor guy - he didn't realize what he was getting into with me - in addition to my terrible writing skills!
For the rest of the semester he corrected the grammar in all of my papers. I even ended up getting an A on a few of them! And from that time on, we dated. The stories I could tell - the dances, Halloween party, the beach.... What great times we had at Fairfield! Even though he was away during part of his junior year when he travelled abroad to Italy, and he graduated two years before me in 1983 - not to mention both of us "growing up" through it all - we ended up marrying in 1986.
I am so happy to report that we now have seven beautiful children (six boys and a girl), and we have been married for 23 wonderful years this September 2009. So, for all those young Fairfield college students, you, too, may find the person of your dreams at Fairfield.
We sure did, and Fairfield will always have a very special place in our hearts.