Thanks to Ronald Donchez, GWSB BBA ’92, and Meredith Donchez, CCAS BA ’93, for sharing their story!
Where did you meet on campus? We first met in the Marvin Center, where he was eating lunch with his group of friends and I was at the next table with my group of friends. We had one common friend at his table.
What were your first impressions of each other? Ron was very blond, with blue eyes and fair skin. I thought he was Scandinavian. He dressed casually but with an understated style that was intriguing. He had round wire rimmed glasses and looked thoughtful and intelligent. I was surprised when I found out he was American and from Pennsylvania! I thought he was just adorable. Ron thought I had a noticeable kindness, humility, and a great sense of humor.
What only-at-GW moment did you share as a couple? We had so many only-at-GW moments as a couple. One that was particularly memorable was when we took professor Ganz’ literature class together. It was the only class we ever had together and we loved it. We took an exam that most of the class did poorly on. Professor Ganz told the class he would read aloud the essay of one student (who would remain nameless) because the essay was exactly on point and we should learn from it. I glanced over at Ron to see if it was his and he smirked. Sure enough it was Ron’s and it made me smile. He was a business major who excelled in the humanities. We left class that spring afternoon, got sandwiches at Au Bon Pain at 2000 Penn, hopped on his motorcycle, and took a ride through campus. We stopped at the Lincoln memorial for a “picnic” taking it all in. It was a gorgeous spring day in D.C. with the sun glistening, the cherry blossoms blooming, and the distinctive architecture demanding your attention.
Tell us about your last visit to GW together or how GW has remained important to your life. Our last visit to GW together was the summer of 2016. We brought our oldest child to do a campus tour for prospective students. Ron and I were so impressed with the growth of the university and how beautiful it had remained. Walking around campus and seeing Thurston Hall truly brought us full circle. Thinking back on what it felt like to be a freshman while having a child now that age was shocking. Ron and I felt very nostalgic telling our three children every story we could think of related to each building we passed. We reminisced about spring fling on the only grassy area we had on campus. We loved our urban school! We visited the campus in its entirety, went to the National Gallery, toured the memorials and ate at some of the amazing restaurants on 14th Street. It was fascinating to see that GW had not lost its unique charm and powerful energy. We peeked inside The Red Lion and showed our kids exactly where we sat on our first date. It had not changed much but we sure have.