Wedding bells will ring at Kean

Paige Bollman and Martin Alonso share laughs as they pose for their engagement photos. Credit: AD Photography

Paige Bollman and Martin Alonso share laughs as they pose for their engagement photos. Credit: AD Photography

By Monica Sudfield | Published Sept. 27, 2017

With loved ones among them at Thanksgiving dinner, Martin Alonso passes out copies of his poetry book “Treasures” that he wrote for his girlfriend, Paige Bollman. After he shares a few of his poems, he asks everyone to turn to page 23. Th ere, written on a clean white page, is the question: Will you marry me?

Bollman and Alonso met in 2014 at Middlesex County College while working on the Quo Vadis newspaper. Together they furthered their education at Kean University, where they are scheduled to marry on May 27, 2018 in the STEM building.

“We chose Kean as our wedding venue because overall, academia has been a symbol for us. It is where we grew together in our relationship. It is where we started, and education has become something we have grown to appreciate,” said Bollman.

Alonso graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in English. He is currently enrolled in graduate school here at Kean to continue his education in communications. Bollman will complete her degree in December 2017, graduating Kean with a Bachelor’s in English-Writing and minor in communications.

As students who have taken Event Planning and Management with Professor Carol Stavraka, the couple was familiar with the space the STEM building provides for events.

“At first, we joked about having our wedding here because they off er a student discount. But later, we saw the beauty of the building and couldn’t imagine a more suitable place for us to have our wedding as scholars,” said Alonso.

Kean students and alum are off ered a 15 percent discount when holding their weddings at either the STEM building or Liberty Hall Museum, said Zheng. She has been appointed the Alonso wedding where she will assist the soon to be married couple with their preparations.

As the go-to person throughout the planning process, Zheng provided them with a list of caterers that Kean specifically requests for events planned on campus to choose from, in addition to recommended vendors for floral arrangements and dessert.

The couple’s Kean pride are displayed not only through their location of choosing, but also through their officiant of choosing. Officiating the ceremony will be Dr. Fred Fitch, professor in the department of communications. Fitch has taught both Bollman and Alonso in the past. He is currently instructing the groom once again, as he is enrolled in one of his graduate courses. When asked by the couple to officiate their wedding, he was happy to do it.

“My students are important to me and this is certainly an important step in their lives,” said Fitch. “It’s a real honor.”

This will be the second wedding Fitch has officiated of former students, but the first he has officiated here at the University.

The Alonso wedding will be the 53rd wedding held in the STEM building since 2013, according to Mei Zheng, Professional Services Specialist IV in the Conference and Event Services department.

The bride and groom will be kept on opposite floors in the STEM building where they can get ready before the ceremony, which will take place on one half of the sixth floor. The other half, in addition to the outside area of the facility, will hold the cocktail hour. After the ceremony, the reception will be held on the main floor of the building where Kean will supply tables and chairs.

The soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Alonso have created a website where all their wedding details are posted.

Information about the couple, bridal party, and groom’s party can be found on

For anyone who is interested in planning an on campus event, please contact

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