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      She Said "Yes"

      Widener Alumni Get Engaged at the Place They Met – Wolfgram Memorial Library

      A Perfect Proposal

      Taylor Crocetto tearfully says 'yes' to Michael Howanski's proposal.

      Michael Howanski remembers his junior year at Widener University starting out like any other school year. Early in the semester, Howanski, a nursing major, was in the Wolfgram Memorial Library printing out course materials for class – an ordinary task on an ordinary day.

      But, on this particular day, Howanski met Taylor Crocetto, a fellow nursing student.

      “My life changed when I met her that day in the library,” he said.

      On Saturday, Dec. 16, the couple was once again back at the library – the same location where they first met as undergraduates. Howanski ‘14 got down on one knee and asked Crocetto ‘14 to marry him.

      With family, friends, and former teachers secretly watching nearby in Kirkbride Hall, Crocetto tearfully and enthusiastically accepted Howanski’s proposal.

      “It was perfect,” she said. “The whole event was better than I ever could have imagined.”

      Howanski couldn’t think of a better place to propose than at Widener.


      A Family Affair

      Taylor Crocetto and Michael Howanski, both 2014 graduates, were joined at the proposal by family and friends, many of whom are also Widener alumni.

      “I always knew I wanted to go back and do it there when the time was right,” he said.

      Howanski also knew he wanted to share this moment with loved ones because Widener runs in the family for both he and Crocetto.

      Crocetto was the second in her family to attend Widener after her sister, Brittany Crocetto ‘08. As for Howanski, he is the youngest of three generations to graduate from Widener. He followed eight family members including his two siblings, Raymond John Howanski ‘07 and Kendall Karyn Howanski ‘11, his grandmother, Betty Howanski, and his father, Raymond Francis Howanski, who both earned bachelor's degrees in 1988 when Betty went back to school.

      Looking back, Howanski knew instantly that Crocetto was the one. But like all great romances, their relationship needed time to grow before they officially became an item.

      “For me it was love at first sight, not for her,” explained Howanski. “It took months of courting her before she would go out with me.”

      Howanski and Crocetto still laugh at some of the outrageous stunts Howanski pulled to get her attention. Take, for example, the time at midnight breakfast senior year when Howanski stood up in front of 200 of his peers to expertly lip sync NYSNC’s “Bye, bye, bye” in an effort to simply make Crocetto laugh.

      Howanski and Crocetto will celebrate five years together this June. After graduating in 2014, the two entered the workforce as registered nurses. Taking what they learned from their studies at Widener, the pair are currently working at Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia; Howanski is an OR nurse and Crocetto is nearby as a nurse on the post-surgical unit.

      Widener served as the backdrop for so many pivotal moments in Crocetto and Howanski’s lives. It’s where they came to pursue their passion for nursing and earn a degree from a top-tier program. It’s where they learned the importance of using their degree to serve others and to have a positive impact on the community.

      But, they were reminded on Dec. 16 that Widener will always be where they found their soulmate.

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