When Francesco Met Rebecca

Technically, Woodbury alumni Francesco Boccuzzi ’16 and Rebecca Disarro ‘15 – now engaged and planning a May 2019 wedding — met through the Greek system, but for those who believe in kismet (as well as Valentine’s Day), they were probably destined to get together.

Consider: both were born and reared in Burbank. Both are of proud Italian heritage. Both have been known to frequent comedy clubs, and both are confirmed cat people. They have what she calls “somewhat” mutual friends. And between them, there was substantially less than six degrees of separation. Not just because she graduated from Burbank High and he from Burroughs. Remarkably, their grandfathers happened to know each other; one managed Pinocchio’s, the popular Burbank restaurant, and the other ran a deli.

Fate may have skipped a generation but what was meant to be was meant to be. Even before they actually met in January 2013, Rebecca saw Francesco daily.  He was, after all, the official campus greeter.

“I remember as clear as day,” she recalls. “He was the guy who worked at the front of the school.  We bonded over laughter.”  They spent that summer hanging out.  And they’ve been an item ever since.

Last December 2, as he prepared to pop the question, the university took on a supporting role. Having worked out proposal logistics with her best friend and a member of the faculty, Francesco activated the plan.  “It’s hard to surprise her,” he says.  “She wants to know everything.” Her friend took her out for the day, ostensibly to celebrate Rebecca’s recent hiring as a teacher, and one of her favorite professors asked her to briefly stop by a student/alumni panel.  With the P.A. cranking out their song – Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” – in the courtyard in South Hall, near where the couple first met, friends and family cheered them on.  “I knew it was coming soon,” she says.  “I’d been dropping hints like crazy, but I didn’t know he was going to do it the way he did!”

Rebecca, a psychology major, is now a teacher and a fulltime master student. Francesco, a business management major who minored in psychology, is currently working as a claims examiner for an auto insurer.  They live in the Burbank area, roughly mid-way between her job in South L.A. and his in Calabasas.  They’ve adopted “two beautiful kittens,” and a third may be on the way.  In addition to planning the wedding – set for May 25, 2019 at Calamigos Equestrian in Burbank – you’ll find them immersed in game nights, cooking and wine-tasting (“hey,” she says, “we’re Italian!”).  In keeping with their mutual cultivation of the comedy gene, they recently saw Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias. 

 Their grandfathers couldn’t have predicted. Or could they?

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