OLLI Love Stories

Sweet memories of how some of our
OLLI members met their significant other
"Love is in the Air"
Jothi and Carl Curcio
It happened 30 years ago. A colleague of mine, April, asked me to go to a club, Chevys, on Wednesday, December 7, 1988. As I had never been to a club, out of curiosity, I said “yes”. After sipping a drink and watching the dancers for a while, we went to dance. I noticed a guy dancing next to me. After the music stopped, April and I went and sat at our table. I noticed that guy, after talking to the DJ, came straight in my direction. He introduced himself as Carl and asked me to dance when the DJ plays the song “My Girl”. After dancing to “My Girl”, we sat at the table and talked the rest of the evening. When April and I were ready to leave, Carl asked whether we would come next Wednesday. We both said “yes”. The next day we told the story to others at work. Everyone wanted to accompany us. A bunch of us went to Chevy's on December 14 th . All my friends were dancing. But Carl and I sat and talked the whole evening. Carl asked whether I would go out with him that Friday to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. I agreed. Then we went out a few times. On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1989, at Tavern On The Green in Central Park, we got engaged. Then, we got married on May 3 rd , 1989. Then Carl moved to Plainview where I lived. We both commuted together to NYC, where we both worked. Nassau County was getting too busy and as we saw new developments going on in Suffolk County, we got a house built in Lake Grove and moved in there on January, 1999. I heard about OLLI after I took early retirement. I became an OLLI member in September, 2012 and Carl became an OLLI member in September, 2015. We are taking different courses, as we have different interests, and enjoying our time in OLLI.   
Jean and Lou D’Onofrio
When freshman Jean Giampietro ’75 nervously approached a group of older students in the Light Engineering building, she had no idea that she would find much more than just a new study spot. In that group of students was Lou D’Onofrio ‘73, an Engineering student who struck up a conversation with her. The next week, their paths crossed multiple times, until Lou finally asked her out. The date almost didn’t happen: in her excitement, Jean had given an incorrect phone number, and once that hurdle had been overcome,
her mother had to be sure that Jean wasn’t going out with her cousin’s son (who was also studying engineering at Stony Brook).
The date did happen, though, and as their relationship blossomed the two commuter students learned that they had many similarities. They were both born in Kew Gardens Hospital, were both the firstborn of three children to Italian-American parents, and even both played the accordion. They would also both become part of a Legacy Family, with siblings who went on to graduate from Stony Brook. Shortly after Jean’s graduation from the physical therapy program, and numerous bowling games later, they married.
As their family grew, their connection to Stony Brook remained stronger than ever. As they raised their two children in Mount Sinai, the campus became a popular destination for them for children’s programs, concerts and events.
Today, they’ve been together for over 40 years and they continue to have an active presence on campus. Jean has a connection to the Newman Club.  Lou is a member and workshop leader in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). As chair of the Long Island IEEE (Institute of Electronics and
Electrical Engineers) he has also been collaborating with the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and volunteering for the Career Center. They both enjoy
returning to enjoy a Seawolves basketball game, a Stony Brook Vocalists concert, or an event at the Staller Center.
Stony Brook has remained a frequent location in their love story.
“Who knew that Stony Brook not only would provide us with the foundation for meaningful careers, but also each other?” – Jean and Lou D’Onofrio ‘73
Sharin and Jeffrey Gross
Sharin and Jeffrey Gross met 25 years ago at a singles’ weekend in the Berkshires and it has been love ever since! We moved from Merrick to
The Lakes in East Setauket over the summer after Sharin retired from
30 years of ESL teaching in Freeport. One reason we chose this area was because of the OLLI Program! We joined the program in the fall, shortly
after having moved and we are very happy that we did. OLLI has added
much enjoyment and stimulation to our retirement and we are looking forward to the spring term and beyond together!
Irma and Sol Gurman
It was the year 2000.  Sol had just retired from his computer systems managing job at Con Edison and was looking for something to do while I continued to teach.  He had seen a write up on a new program at Stony Brook called Roundtable and it was a perfect fit since he loved literature, history, the arts and theater.  Roundtable had several courses to choose from.  He signed up for Victorian Novels, history courses, American Plays, Egypt, and Opera among other subjects and off he went to get more cultured.  When the Egypt class was planning a trip to see the country in October, he tried to convince me to go with him, but I could not miss school. Therein began a campaign on his part to persuade me to retire and see the world at our leisure. Three years later, he succeeded and I retired from my vocal music teaching position in Half Hollow Hills.  I immediately signed up for classes including Gigi Durcan’s opera workshop.  When she became ill, I volunteered to help her out.  This was my introduction to running workshops. Unfortunately, she passed away but not before we had developed a lovely friendship filled with fun lunches and much laughter.  Then I heard that a chorus was being organized and I ran a show choir that performed at Roundtable (now OLLI) functions for several years.  
Since then, there have been several changes in Sol and my “careers.”
Sol taught a Woody Allen workshop, I ran ones on Mozart, Stephen
Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein and the Beatles.  When Norman Kass retired from American Plays, Sol and I took over the reins and have been team teaching the workshop for many years.  
On a personal note, we have been married for 55 years, but the time
seems to have flown because we have so much in common and keep so 
busy with family, travel, theater and socializing with the wonderful
friends we have made at OLLI.
Diane and Jeff Hollander
It happened in the Catskills….
Diane met Jeff, her waiter, in a 1963 Borscht Belt hotel but they were both dating others. Fate or Cupid brought them back to the Pinegrove Hotel
in 1965, and this time Jeff, the waiter, asked Diane, the counselor, for a date. Fifty-five years later, our love is still going strong, Yada...Yada…Yada...
Jeff’s OLLI experience began over a decade ago and Diane’s a couple of
years later. He served as President in 2015-16. Diane, with Jeff’s help,
coordinates Conversation Partners.
We both love the variety of SBU’s OLLI workshops but felt something was missing. So, Jeff created the “Business of Sports” for members who read Newsday from the back page forward. We also felt OLLI needed some comic relief. “Seinfeld Revisited” and “Catskills Hotels and Comedians” (our labor of love) were both created to allow members to reminisce about bygone eras.
We are thankful to OLLI for the wonderful experience of sharing our
passions and the many friendships we have made. 
Ginny and Ed Metzendorf
We met on a blind date April 1, 1972 (no fooling) and were married by the end of the year. After long careers in education, we both retired in June, 2009. Ginny was told by a former colleague about the OLLI program at Stony Brook and joined in the fall semester in 2011. She then encouraged Ed to join which he did in the fall semester in 2013. We take some workshops together and others by our own interests. Ginny has been very supportive of his positions as co-chair of the curriculum committee, and currently as president. We look forward to many more years as members of OLLI. The photo was taken this past October in Kenya. Mt. Kenya is in the distance.
Andrea Moon and Larry Wilson
We first met on September 17, 2018 in Dave Tarbell's "On Being Human"
class in SBS. During a class discussion that day, as I was speaking to a
person in the row behind me, my gaze shifted to a person at the back of the room who was smiling and nodding in agreement to what I was saying. 
It was one the prettiest smiles I had ever seen. As I turned back around at
the completion of the discussion, I said to myself "I have to find out who
that is". At the end of the class, I whisked to the back of the room. Andrea
was still seated and I said to her "Thanks for your support during the discussion". That is how we met. We spoke after class that week and the
next and our first "date" was coffee together in the Wang Center before a class. We have been together ever since. We enjoy taking OLLI classes together and separately. Andrea played Bridge when we met so I learned the game
after meeting her and we are currently Bridge partners in the OLLI program. 
We might have been seen holding hands while walking around campus.
Thank you to all of our OLLI Sweethearts for submitting your
"Love Story" to us!

We wish you many years of happiness
and of course....LOVE!
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Stony Brook University
S-101 Social & Behavioral Sciences Building
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4304
(631) 632-6554