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Fordham's Secret Wedding

human interest


Fordham University


Fordham's Secret Wedding

What happens at Lincoln Center stays in Lincoln Center


Imagine: a collection of friends and family scurrying through the halls of Fordham University’s Lincoln Center, on their way to an undercover wedding. This isn't one of those picturesque stories frequently documenting the fairytale weddings at Rose Hill, with tears being shed as doves flock from the University Church. Instead, this is an untold love story remembering some unconventional moments of a couple who met and married at Fordham in the late 90’s.
The happy couple, Elizabeth Ramos-Boyce and Kevin Boyce, worked at Fordham at the time, and met when he was 27 and she was 28. Elizabeth was a secretary in the MBA department, while a few floors down Kevin managed the campus bookstore of the Lincoln Center high rise. She had a young son named Ariel, and in October 1993, as she searched for inexpensive decorations for his first birthday party, she stumbled across a Pepsi display featuring Frankenstein and his bride under the glowing light of the Fordham Bookstore. Though her request to borrow the cardboard cutout was strange, Kevin surprisingly agreed to give her the display, probably because October was nearing its end and the Frankensteins would soon become homeless.

A friendship began to grow between the two. She’d attempt to set him up on a date with her friend. Then he’d throw out an obscure flirt to test the waters. Obviously, the whole “just friends” thing eventually ran its course, because they started dating in 1994. They quickly moved in with each other in 1995, and lived together for a year and a half before expecting their first child together. They decided to take the next step in their relationship and get married.
“I remember he said [it], very nonchalantly, it was not romantic at all.” Elizabeth remembered with a smile. “We were going to go to lunch, he was pushing the door open to go out of Lincoln Center, you know that front area there, and then he just turned around and said 'Well why don’t we get married?'”
Within a month of the proposal, she had found a dress for around $75, and booked the 12th floor lounge at Lincoln Center for their wedding day on November 8, 1996. The duo was not allowed to get married in the Fordham University Church, since Elizabeth had previously been divorced. The only problem was that personal events, especially weddings, have never been permitted at the school’s conference room. Ernest Scalberg, the dean of the University’s Graduate School of Business Administration, had a secretary at the time that happened to be Elizabeth’s close friend, Lisa Green. She was the one who was able to ensure the room was secured for the ceremony when she got Scalberg’s signature approval.

Scalberg would be the only member of Fordham’s administration to know about the wedding to take place that day.
“I miss what we had back in the day”, reminisced Lisa Green.“I think at that time, the culture was that we were there to help each other out as a team; we appreciated each other.”

The small ceremony happened on a Friday after work hours with no more than fifty guests in attendance, all of whom were instructed to tell the security guard they were on their way to the 12th floor for a “business meeting”. The beaming bride got dressed in the President’s Suite directly across the hall from the 12th floor lounge, while the groom simply got married in the same old suit he wore to work.

Nearly every guest was able to sneak through, with the exception of the DJ, one of the most important parts of any wedding. With no time to find a replacement, one of Elizabeth’s good friends suggested that she should instead use the small vintage radio she had kept on her work desk downstairs. Instead of the classic tunes of “Here Comes the Bride”, Kevin watched his bride walk down the aisle to the off-key hums of their close friends and family.

“You know when like you’re so wound up, you’re doing so many things.” Elizabeth laughed at the wedding mishap, but back then was a different story. “ I had managed to do so much. I cooked all the food, I went to work, helped decorate the joint! The whole event was perfectly imperfect back then and still is so.”

The wedding was officiated by Curlee Rumph, a strange name for a minister. Yet, it was a strange occasion to begin with. They found a way to get married at their beloved Fordham, despite the rules standing in their way. Like any good members of the Fordham family, they found a way around the administration and had the ceremony on campus anyway.

Things in life never go exactly as you plan, but the surprises often bring so much more than originally expected. The newly married couple and their guests danced the night away to the tunes of their tiny radio. The bouquet and the garter were tossed among laughing friends and family. Six months later they welcomed a daughter: me! Did I forget to mention they were my parents?

Nearing the 21st anniversary of that special day, their relationship has withstood the test of time and the aggravation of two kids in their early 20s. So now you know about the first and only wedding to ever happen behind the closed doors of the 12th floor lounge at Fordham University's Lincoln Center Campus.

Remember: don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.