Our C250 Wedding
Columbia College 1988
School of Law 1991
On October 19, 2003, during C250 kickoff weekend, I married fellow attorney Paul D. Getzels, CC '85, on campus at St. Paul's Chapel. We held our reception at Faculty House. The Chapel had special significance for us beyond its Columbia location. I had studied organ with George Stauffer and Mary Monroe while I was at Columbia College, and I served as assistant university organist while at Columbia Law School, which meant I played for many other people's weddings. Accordingly, I spent many happy hours in the Chapel during my seven years at Columbia, getting to know some great people (including the Columbia students who were Chapel building managers), showing off the wonderful Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ for campus visitors and prospective students, and always being touched by the majestic serenity of that beautiful place.
While Paul and I never met during our undergraduate years, we can pinpoint the Chapel as the first location where we were definitely under the same roof at the same time: Paul was a guest at the wedding of Jeffrey Oing, CC '86, in September 1989, for which I played.
We did not actually meet until more than four years later through the City Bar Chorus, a community outreach ensemble of singing legal professionals performing throughout New York City. Even that meeting was shaped by my Columbia experience: if I had not sung with the Barnard-Columbia Chorus or served as musical director of the Columbia Law Revue show, I might never have joined the City Bar Chorus. Paul and I got to know each other better as officers of the chorus, and the relationship developed from there. We remain active in the City Bar Chorus: Paul as bass section leader, and I as musical director.
The Columbia ties ran even deeper at our wedding. Bryan Barnett, Engineering '85, CC '86, served as best man. I met my maid of honor, Lisa Robinson, through Lisa's cousin, Christina (Takahashi) Sasamori, Engineering '87, who was my sophomore-year roommate in John Jay Hall. Other Columbians in attendance included Deans Jim Milligan and Karen Blank; Columbia Law alumni/ae Lloyd Constantine, Carol Wallis Duffy, Matthew Grieco, Sofia Hubscher, Nicholas Lobenthal and Warren Schneider; Columbia College alumni/ae Louis De Chiara and Katerina Antos Hulme; and Barnard alumnae Miriam Kadragich-Harwood, Nancy Lang and Pauline Sherman. Former university organist George Stauffer (now dean of Rutgers' Mason Gross School of the Arts) returned to preside at the pipe organ for our ceremony, and Professor Scott Thornburg (now at Western Michigan University), my collaborator in several trumpet/organ concerts at the Chapel, flew in from Kalamazoo just to add his wonderful Baroque trumpet to the festivities. Finally, our co-officiant at our interfaith (Protestant/Jewish) ceremony was Rabbi Burt Aaron Siegel, with whom I had worked several times doing weddings at the Chapel more than a decade ago.
As you might imagine, it was very moving for Paul and me to see so many threads of our lives come together in our wedding at Columbia—and during the C250 year, yet!