Before they ever met, Gillian (Brody) Zachary, CCAS BA ’09 and Noah Zachary, CCAS BA ’09, had something in common: they both come from GW Legacy Families.
Gillian’s parents both graduated from GW, as did Noah’s mom. But when it came time to choose a college themselves, they both gravitated towards GW for its unique urban location.
Midway through their freshman year, Gillian and Noah met in their Introduction to American Studies class.
“It just so happened that Gillian took the seat over from me in that class,” explains Noah. Soon after, the two began talking and going to the American History Museum together for class assignments.
As their friendship grew, Gillian and Noah became a couple. One of their favorite spots on campus is the now-closed Tower Records.
“After our first date, we got back to campus, and, without even saying anything, went to Tower Records and started looking around. We spent a lot of time there before it closed!”
Gillian and Noah share many GW experiences, including the 2008 Presidential Inauguration. “I remember thinking how lucky we were to be living on campus for this event,” says Noah. Another special memory is the Midnight Breakfast tradition, held during finals each semester.
After graduation, the couple moved to Noah’s hometown of New York to begin their careers. Gillian, now a teacher at a private nursery school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, is pursuing a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. Noah has been working in public relations since 2010.
After settling into their careers, Noah knew it was time to pop the question. At the same time, the couple had been looking for apartments, but hadn’t been able to find the right fit. While out of town, Gillian spotted a listing and thought it might work, so she asked Noah to look.
“The apartment in question was being renovated,” remembers Noah. “There were no floors, and no doors or sinks.” But after hearing the unit would be ready in six weeks, Noah signed the lease. “I told Gillian that I hoped she’d like it when it was done.”
A week before the lease was set to begin, their new home was ready, so the couple took a tour. With Gillian in another room, Noah stashed the engagement ring in the freezer.
“When Gillian walked back into the room, I said, ‘Did you see this freezer? It’s amazing!’ She didn’t get it, but I persisted,” recalls Noah. After some additional persuasion, Gillian opened the freezer, saw the ring, and the rest is history.
“I feel so lucky to have the history and memories I have with Noah, and a large part of that started with our time at GW,” says Gillian.
“We have really grown up together,” adds Noah.
Though they didn’t know it at the time, Gillian and Noah were adding a new layer to their GW legacies when they met each other in that Introduction to American Studies class. The couple tied the knot on November 2, 2013 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and they look forward to a lifetime of new adventures as husband and wife.