Students to walk, then wed, on campus

Students to walk, then wed, on campus

With four majors between them, Brooke Golden and Lewis Bivona celebrate Commencement and a bright future together.

This one’s kind of a fairy tale.

Brooke Golden and Lewis Bivona love Rowan. And they love each other. So they’re getting married on campus after Commencement because it was here that their happiness really came full bloom.

Lewis and Brooke, who dated in high school at Cherry Hill West and grew ever closer after coming to Rowan, will celebrate Commencement May 17 and wed outside Hollybush one week later.

The couple, graduating with four majors, three minors and two concentrations between them, will honeymoon at Bonnaroo, a four-day music festival in Tennessee, then relocate to Portland, Ore., where Lewis will start graduate school in the fall and Brooke found a position with an international aid organization.

“It’s going to be a giant adventure,” said Brooke, 22, an education and history dual major with concentrations in Africana studies and international studies. “The summer starts with commencement, then our marriage, then our honeymoon, and then we’re off to Portland. That’s the plan!”

While he’s in school, Brooke will run a food truck for an organization that supports education in Africa. The truck, for a non-profit called the Red Sweater Project, builds sustainable schools in Tanzania.Accepted into the urban & regional planning graduate program at Portland State University, Lewis is graduating with a planning and political science dual major and minors in Spanish, environmental studies and GIS (geographic information systems, which involves computerized mapping and analysis).

“I still want to teach but for now this will be great,” she said.

Busy @ Rowan

Among numerous undergraduate activities, Brooke was president for two years of the Rowan Feminist Club, started and tended the Community Garden, which grows produce for local food banks, and was director of Rowan Gay-Straight Alliance production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Lewis, 23, was president of the Political Science Organization for a year and president of the Rowan Environmental Action League (REAL) for three years.

The couple actually saved REAL from being de-chartered while attending a Student Government Association meeting in 2010. The club, then called the Glassboro Environmental Organization, or GEO, was to be shuttered for lack of membership but Lewis and Brooke volunteered to save it and, by year’s end, recruited plenty of members.

“You need five students minimum for an active club and we ended that year with 20,” Lewis said.

“We ended the next year with 35,” Brooke added.

Both were active in the Rowan Democratic Club, and the two shaved their heads in 2012 for St. Baldrick’s Day, then in its second year, an event in which students loose their locks to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

Though it’s a love match now, the relationship literally had a bumpy start.

“Brooke came to my town in sixth grade,” Lewis recalled. “We were on the same bus but didn’t meet until the summer before my senior year. I was always brooding at the front of the bus and she was one of the louder kids in the back.”

Brooke, who wasn’t exactly sure they met that way, was clear how they started dating. Lewis briefly dated her friend and when that didn’t pan out he inquired to the friend about Brooke.

“Do you think Brooke likes me?” he texted.

“Yes,” she tapped into her friend’s phone. “I like you.”