Love, Marriage and a Pair of Doctoral Degrees
David and Monica Browne met on their first day in the Executive Ed.D doctoral program at the College of Education and Human Services back in 2000. Over the course of the two-year program, they began dating, changed jobs, got engaged, married, moved, and, by commencement, were expecting their first child. The couple, who live in Wyckoff, admit that it was a very hectic time. But as David recalls, “falling in love and getting married made the work easier.” They supported one another and considered reading each other’s dissertations a highlight of their unusual courtship. When Monica began worrying that she might need an extra year to finish her dissertation, David decided that was unthinkable. Instead they hunkered down together and wound up defending their dissertations within two days of each other. “We were not going to walk alone,” said David.
Instead they marched down the aisle of the Izod Center hand-in-hand. They sat together in the front row and kissed after receiving their diplomas. And if that wasn’t enough, there was an added layer of emotion for the Brownes at commencement. David’s dad, a 1957 Seton Hall alumnus who taught physical education for 36 years, watched with tear-filled eyes, as his son and new daughter-in-law graduated from his beloved alma mater.
Today, the Brownes have two girls, Katie and Maggie, ages 11 and 9, and are superintendents in Randolph Township (David) and Upper Saddle River (Monica). Despite their busy lives, they’ve continued to stay involved with Seton Hall. Both are active in the New Jersey Superintendent’s Study Council, a professional development program for district leaders based at the College of Education and Human Services. Monica currently serves as vice president of the study council and has been an adjunct professor in the Executive Master’s Online Program in Education Leadership, David and Monica return to campus regularly and have even had a chance to play frisbee on the Green with their daughters. “I think they liked being at Seton Hall as much as we did,” says Monica.