A beautiful friendship: Unlikely bond connects retired psychology professor and his doctor, adds beauty to campus

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When Gene Elliott first arrived in downtown Glassboro in 1962 with his wife, Connie, she turned to him and said, “This place certainly needs a beauty treatment.”

When Gene Elliott first arrived in downtown Glassboro in 1962 with his wife, Connie, she turned to him and said, “This place certainly needs a beauty treatment.”

Connie did her part to make the borough more attractive by getting involved in the Chamber of Commerce’s downtown beautification efforts.

Decades later, the Elliotts began seeing Dr. Jeanne Spinosi, a family physician from Underwood Hospital practicing in Glassboro. Over the years, Spinosi grew close to the couple and remained Connie’s physician throughout her battle with breast cancer.

Following Connie’s death in 2009, Elliott and Spinosi’s friendship continued to blossom. However, it wasn’t until Spinosi returned from her daughter, Julie’s, orientation at Rowan that the two discovered an unlikely bond: beautifying the Rowan campus.

“It certainly was green,” Spinosi recalled, sharing her perceptions with Elliott, “but there just wasn’t enough color.”

This conversation ultimately led the pair to meet with University administration to express their desire to assist in beautifying the campus. Within months, the administration added planters to the landscape and the Campus Beautification Fund was created.

Each season, the pair comes together to update flowers in the planters. For Elliott, it is a fitting way to honor Connie’s memory and a welcome trip back to the campus where he taught for more than 35 years.

Flowers, foliage and planters are just the first step in the pair’s beautification plan. Their long-term aspirations include additional sculptures and fountains.

To Get Involved

Interested in assisting the Campus Beautification Committee? Find out more by contacting the Alumni Relations Office at alumni@rowan.edu. Additionally, donations are being accepted. To support the committee’s work, visit giving.rufoundation.org and select “Campus Beautification Fund” as the account designation, or simply click here.

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