Celebrate your #OrangeLove this Valentine’s Day

Adam and Kelly Capozzi pose with Otto on their wedding day in 2018.

Celebrate your #OrangeLove this Valentine’s Day


Weddings celebrate a couple’s love for each other, a commitment to loyalty and devotion, regardless of illness or health, until death separates them.

Weddings are filled with time-honored traditions. A common one is the best man’s speech, which can serve as a platform for the groom’s best friend to describe the bride-to-be’s significant impact on the groom’s life.

In the case of Adam and Kelly (Brand) Capozzi, it was an opportunity to combine their love for each other with their love for Syracuse University and its beloved mascot, Otto.

On March 31, 2018, Adam’s brother Aaron fumbled in his pocket for the words he had carefully written as he prepared to address the crowd at the Space Armory in downtown Syracuse.

there is nothing.

Adam and Kelly Capozzi pose with Otto on their wedding day in 2018.

Adam and Kelly Capozzi pose with Otto on their wedding day in 2018.

Suddenly, Aaron turned on the microphone, declared that his speech was misplaced, and called on a friend to help him break free: Otto dashed down the aisle with his trademark enthusiasm, delivering a speech himself, to the cheers of the audience. .

“I was shocked. I’m not a traditional person at all and I was so excited when I saw Otto running out. Otto definitely lightened our mood and put a smile on our face, which is special for us It was a fun feeling for the day,” recalls Kelly, Assistant Director of Development, Leadership and Annual Promotions and External Affairs.

“Syracuse University has always been a very important underlying theme in our lives and the lives we’ve built together, and we’ve always held Syracuse University in high regard. It made sense that my fraternity teamed up with DJ to have Otto come to our wedding ,” added Adam, Director of Career Services, Assessment and Student Success at Central Career Services.

On Valentine’s Day, Syracuse University is sharing the stories of three employee couples who share a special bond with each other and with the University. Do you have a Syracuse-themed love story too? Couples from the campus community are invited to a virtual vow renewal and commitment ceremony on Thursday, February 10 from 6:30pm-7pm ET.

Presenting #OrangeLove!

Erica Blust G’94 and Shawn Rommevaux ’06, G’12

When it comes to wedding spoilers, no one is more popular than Otto, who attends about 25 weddings a year and sometimes travels long distances for the couple’s special day.

Such was the case with Erica Blust G’94 and Shawn Rommevaux ’06, G’12, who wed on July 10, 2015 in Cooperstown, NY, nearly 100 miles from campus.

“Otto was our surprise guest, he got the crowd to their feet and led the dance to cut the cake with me. Our wedding gifts were little boxes filled with orange candy and Otto stickers. Our wedding definitely had a Syracuse theme! said Erica, Director of Communications and Media Relations at the School of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA).

Erica Blust and Shawn Rommevaux in men's basketball.

Erica Blust and Shawn Rommevaux cheer for the Orange at the men’s basketball game.

The Orange story for Rommevaux started with basketball. Sean was born near Jamesville, NY, while Erica grew up in Stittville, NY, just outside Utica. The two grew up cheering for the Orange, and Erica, an avid male basketball fan, bought season tickets for the 2007-08 season.

As the season begins, Erica faces a dilemma: She needs a new season ticket partner. Sean joined VPA’s recruiting and admissions office in 2007, he volunteered to accompany Erica, and the rest is history.

The couple started dating in 2007, married in 2015, and have been sharing season tickets in the stadium’s block 313 ever since.

“We’re both from Central New York and grew up cheering for the Orange, but none of us realized the big role college would play later in our lives. It was the backdrop for many of our memorable moments. We’ve made many friends here over the years. Good friends, this is the best part so far,” said Sean, Deputy Director of Development, Office of Philanthropy Engagement Promotion and External Affairs.

Erica has been with the university for 25 years and Shawn for 14 years. That doesn’t include when they both work at Krause College and drive to campus together — “One of us was getting ready to go out in the morning faster than the other, so no one left the house happy,” Erica says – Bringing the couple closer as a colleague of Orange.

“As much as we loved the 313th seat, we had the best time playing summer intramural softball at Hookway Field with friends from the SCRU-Balls softball team…not to mention the postgame party at the hotel. Done,” recalls Erica.

Vanessa St.Oegger-Menn G’14 and Jesse Menn

Internet and social media users are fascinated by Wordle, an online word puzzle with more than 3 million users racking their brains every day to solve five word puzzles.

The Syracuse University Marketing Department on January 28 launched an Orange counterpart named Otto and Ottle.

Marketing Web Development Director Jesse Menn and his marketing colleagues built Ottle to test your knowledge of Syracuse University with a new word a day.

Hoping to help Menn develop a rich database of Ottle words, Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn G’14 used her role as a college archival assistant to provide Jesse with Orange trivia and potential word suggestions.

It’s only fitting that the couple’s love of English is intertwined with their love of Syracuse University.

Jesse Menn and Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn

Jesse Menn and Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn

The two met 14 years ago while attending a linguistics program at Humboldt State University (now Caltech Humboldt) in Arcata, California. In 2012, they traveled nearly 3,000 miles across the country to further pursue their academic pursuits, with Vanessa earning a master’s degree in library and information science from the Institute for Information Studies (iSchool) and Jesse pursuing a Ph.D. in the College of Arts and Sciences. English program.

The couple married in July 2013 on California’s Central Coast. While there is no direct Orange connection to their special day, Vanessa credits the university with giving them the flexibility to take time off, travel around the country and enjoy their wedding.

“We absolutely realize how lucky we are to work at the same university. We carpool to campus and we know a lot of the same colleagues and reference points, so it’s easier to talk about our days. The friends we both made while working at SU and The connection also really helps us feel less like a transplant and more like we’ve found a new home,” said Vanessa, Pan Am 103 Archivist and Assistant University Archivist at the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC)

In his role, Jesse assists Vanessa with Memorial and Lockerbie Scholars, from providing website updates to welcoming families back to campus for Memorial Week each fall.

“We were really lucky that we found a place that not only accepted us for graduate studies individually, but also gave us the opportunity to build our careers. We were in different departments, but we still had a lot of opportunities to work together. At the university One of the great things about working is that the SU community often gets together to support each other,” Jesse said.

Among their favorite campus locations, Vanessa and Jesse like to meet for lunch on a bench at the Einhorn Family Walk.

Adam Capozzi and Kelly (Brand) Capozzi

It didn’t take long for Adam Capozzi and Kelly (Brand) Capozzi to realize they were made for each other. The pair matched on Tinder on a Friday night in 2014, chatted for six days straight, and went on their first date overlooking Hanover Square.

Almost immediately after their first date, they removed themselves from the online dating pool, Kelly deleted Tinder, and Adam cleared several dating apps from his phone.

“We knew it was the real deal,” said Kelly, who worked at the university for five years.

“It was absolutely love at first sight,” added Adam, who worked at Syracuse for eight years.

Kelly and Adam Capozzi at the stadium.

Kelly and Adam Capozzi cheer on the Orange men’s basketball team at the stadium.

Growing up in Seneca Falls, New York, Adam and his family were big fans of the Orange movement, so when Adam got the chance to work for the college, he jumped at it and accepted Martin in March 2014 The work of the J. Whitman School of Management.

Kelly waited almost three more years until her orange opportunity arose and accepted the law school job on January 13, 2017. A day later, as his beloved prepares to start her working career at Syracuse University, Adam asks the question, returning to the scene of their first date: Clinton Plaza near the ice rink.

Like many Orange couples, Capozzis shares a love for Syracuse basketball. So much so that when the calendar turns to November, their social calendar is set for the men’s basketball game.

“Kelly was the first to make an interesting comment on how our lives revolved around Syracuse basketball from November to March. We watched as much as we could, whether it was on TV or in the stadium,” Adam said.

In addition to playing a game on campus, the Capozzis love to take their dog, Tux, for walks on the Quad in the fine summer weather.

“It’s great to be able to rally behind something bigger than yourself. Neither of us went to Syracuse, but we feel like we did because we work here and we’re so invested in this university. We’ve gotten to know each other. With so many different alumni and students in our roles, we feel like we’re all bleeding for Orange and earning an honorary degree from Syracuse University,” Kelly said.

Otto holding a red heart balloon and orange love celebration

Whether you’re in love with someone at Syracuse University, met your significant other because of Syracuse University, or just love everything orange, members of the Syracuse University community are invited to celebrate their #OrangeLove this Valentine’s Day .

Join Hendrix Chapel and the Office of Alumni Engagement for a virtual vow renewal and commitment ceremony on Zoom on Thursdays from 6:30pm-7pm ET and celebrate your #OrangeLove this Valentine’s Day!

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