Thousands of students begin their college career at one of Penn State’s commonwealth campuses before eventually finishing their journey at University Park. Phil Hromanik knew the change of campus would lead him to an array of new opportunities — but what he didn’t know was that it would also introduce him to the love of his life.
Hromanik became an active member of Penn State’s Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG) once he transferred to the University Park Campus from Greater Allegheny. He was heavily involved early on and quickly earned a leadership position within the organization — eventually, it was up to him to serve as a guide for students who would be interested in the spot once his term was finished.
One day in 2013, Hromanik met up with a student from Brandywine who had recently received a nomination for the position — enter Rosie Owoc. Hromanik was immediately struck by how passionate Owoc was about the university and how great of a fit she would be for the job. Once they began working together on projects for CCSG, the two students formed a fast friendship.
“We helped each other through the struggles of college, stress, student government, friends, and even other relationships,” Hromanik said.
It wasn’t long before mutual friends began to make comments about their relationship potential. But for Hromanik and Owoc, they simply enjoyed each other’s company and the similarities they shared from being involved in the same organization.
“We were just best friends who really got each other,” Hromanik said. “But still, we constantly heard, ‘Will you two just date already?'”
Hromanik would simply brush off the comments from those around him because he enjoyed the friendship just the way it was. But one day, a switch finally went off in his head — he wondered if it was more than just a coincidence that plenty of their peers had all made the same exact observation.
“Finally I realized she’s my best friend for a reason, and that maybe it could really work,” Hromanik said.
He suddenly knew he had to bring his feelings up to Owoc to see if she happened to feel the same way. Little did he know, that conversation would change the course of the rest of their lives forever.
“We talked about it and in January of 2015 we decided to give it a shot,” Hromanik said.
And from that moment on, the two students finally enjoyed a relationship as both best friends and boyfriend and girlfriend. By the time they had been officially together for over a year, Hromanik decided to take another step in the relationship.
“I flew her down to Disney World as a surprise trip for what she thought was an early birthday present,” Hromanik said. “Instead, I asked my best friend to marry me right in front of the castle.”
Hromanik and Owoc plan to get married in May 2018, and the theme of the wedding will center around anything and everything Penn State. For them, the best way to celebrate is to pay tribute to the university that brought them together in the first place.
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