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He Said, She Said

He said, She said #LoveOCU

In honor of Valentine's Day, we asked alumni Zack Travers and Virginia Newsome-Travers some questions about the beginning of their relationship. 


How did you meet?

Zack Travers and Virginia Newsome-Travers dressed up for a formal event

Zack -  We first met at Stars Week, in the gym when we got placed in the same OCUReads group. We were also in OCULeads together, which is really how we got to know each other better

Virginia - We were in the same OCU reads group at Freshman Orientation! 

What first attracted you to him/her?

Zack -  I loved the way she would light up when she talked about the things that were important to her, like performing or helping people through the nonprofit she started. I could tell she had a big heart for people, and she was really kind and beautiful, so what wasn't to like?

Virginia - Seeing the way he interacted with his friends and family. He’s a person everyone goes to for support and advice and he’s really good at giving it, and making people feel loved. It’s one of the things I love most about him still.

What was your first date like?

Zack Travers and Virginia Newsome-Travers with cups of frozen yogurt from Orange Leaf

Zack - We had been friends for all of freshman year, but we didn't talk much over the summer after freshman year. But then, we reconnected at the Greek Life Picnic sophomore year, and there was definitely a spark, so I asked her if she would like to "catch up" - we weren't even sure if it was a date going into it - over fro-yo at Orange Leaf after her auditions were done. So I picked her up outside Alvin's and we drove over to Orange Leaf on 23rd, and we got to talking, and ended up closing the place down, but we weren't quite ready to be done with the night yet. So I saw the mural on the wall at Orange Leaf that had all the landmarks of the 23rd street neighborhood, so I said, "Hey, I'm not quite ready to go home yet, how about we go try to find all those places?" So we went and found all but the poodle, which we then drove by a few months later accidentally and laughed about the night.

Virginia - He took me to Orange Leaf after auditions Sophomore year.  We stayed so late talking that Orange leaf was about to close. Neither of us wanted the “date” to stop so we took a picture of the map on the wall and went exploring through the Downtown 23rd St. area! 

When did you know he/she was the one?

Zack Travers and Virginia Newsome-Travers in black, gray, and yellow outfits at Virginia's senior recital at OCU

Zack -  It was very much a gradual thing, as I came to know and love more and more parts of Virginia, but I remember we were actually spending Thanksgiving apart in 2016, and all weekend I couldn't stop thinking about how I wanted Virginia to be a part of all the major holidays and events in my life, and everything in between the good moments, too. So if there's a specific moment, that's probably it.

Virginia - It will sound cheesy but I remember looking at him when we were hanging out in a group of friends freshman year, before we were dating, and thinking to myself “that’s the kind of guy I want to marry”.  I had to shake the idea out of my head because I was about even dating him yet. Lol. But after that, every time I saw him with his family, or my family.  Watching how he treated and cared for the people he loves always made me feel so lucky I got to be his person and always made me realize I never wanted that to end.

How did Zack propose?

Zack Travers and Virginia Newsome-Travers in Times Square, Virginia is holding up her hand to display her engagement ring

Zack -  We had plans to spend the second half of Spring Break together in NYC our senior year, but I surprised her by coming a few days earlier. When she was walking through Central Park with her friend to their alleged dinner reservations, I surprised her and walked her to Wagner Cove overlooking the lake, and told her that there was a lot I didn't know about the future and how everything would work out, but the one thing I knew was who I wanted there with me when all the dust settled. I almost wasn't able to make it, because winter storm Stella was happening and cancelling all the flights in and out of New York on the day I was supposed to be there.

Virginia - We were supposed to be in New York together for the 2nd half of Spring Break, but a few days before he was supposed to get there my best friends and future maid of honor tricked me into thinking we had reservations at a restaurant in Central Park. When we got to the entrance of the Park Zack was there and guided me to a sweet little Gazebo by the lake, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

What memory stands out from your wedding day?

Zack Travers and Virginia Newsome-Travers kissing on their wedding day with their dog standing by their feet

Zack - It's hard to nail one down, but definitely the moment I saw her walking down the aisle, with all our friends and family there in one place celebrating us, that moment was unbeatable. 

Virginia - Walking down the aisle. For sure.  Seeing him surrounded by all of our best friends and family was a moment we’d be imagining for the past 5 years so for it to finally be there and have it all come together was SOO special.