URI Couples in Tune with Each Other

A Sweetheart of a Couple

Things are sure golden for Dick and Betty Bogan Kalunian. The couple celebrated both their 50th anniversary and their 50th class reunion last May.

comm-20090517nl-019The pair met in the Green Hall library during the fall of their freshman year. While it wasn’t exactly love at first sight, Betty says Dick “grew on me fast.”Indeed. Shortly after Christmas, she was wearing his high school ring around her neck—a symbol that they were going steady.

Since neither had a car, Dick and Betty dated on campus. They often attended movies in Edwards Auditorium on Friday and Sunday nights. Admission was 35 cents. They bowled in the Memorial Union where they drank “cabinets” and enjoyed juicy burgers. Dick, an ROTC cadet, always took Betty to the military balls, which were held in Keaney Gymnasium. And there was something always going on at Dick’s fraternity, Sigma Chi.

richardkalunianelizabethboganDick “pinned” Betty when they were sophomores. In Sigma Chi tradition, the fraternity brothers stood on East Hall’s front step and sang “The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi” to Betty, who was president of East Hall, then a residence hall for 88 women.

The Kalunians married in 1959 a few months after graduation. Dick, a civil engineer, went to work for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. His crowning glory was being the chief bridge design engineer for the new Jamestown Bridge. Betty earned her degree in elementary education and taught in Westerly and Warwick schools. She also earned two master’s from URI—one in elementary education in 1971 and the other in counseling in 1989. She worked as an academic advisor in University College and as a career advisor in Career Services, retiring in 1996.

The Kalunians now live in Venice, Fla., where they are active members of the URI Alumni Association’s Southwest Florida Gators Chapter. They return each year to Rhode Island to summer at Green Hill Beach.

The couple have four children: Rick Kalunian ’83, Beth Kalunian ’84, Bob Kalunian, and Janet Kalunian, M.S. ’94. If history repeats itself, their two grandsons will one day wear Keaney Blue.

Recording a Fine Romance

correiacoupleadjDavid and Cathy Zangari Correia have been in tune with each other for more than three decades. This year David, a recording engineer, won his second Grammy Award for his work for artist Bill Harley. The album was voted Best Spoken Word Album for Children, beating out works by Gwyneth Paltrow and Tony Shalhoub.

“Becoming a recording engineer is like learning to play a musical instrument, only in this case, the entire recording studio—all of its processing and recording gear, microphones, monitors, and acoustics—is my instrument,” explains David.

cathyzangari2correiadavid1975“Anyone who is successful in this, or any artistic field, also has to possess a natural talent and their own creative instincts. As far as winning a Grammy or two, I’d say sometimes the universe gives you a pat on the back.”

Cathy joined David at his company, Celebration Sound, in 1983. Today the company is located in Warren where David handles the engineering and Cathy manages the business.

They didn’t meet on campus, although they took the same English literature course in 1973. They only realized they were classmates when they compared their transcripts after graduation.

David studied pharmacy before switching to English. Cathy majored in sociology. Both were active on campus.

David was a member of URI’s Jericho Society, helping inmates at the Adult Correctional Institute’s Maximum Security Prison work toward their high school equivalency diploma. He actively protested the Vietnam War and stopped attending classes during the 1970 spring semester. While some faculty stopped teaching, the majority continued to teach until the Kent State University shootings in May. Ultimately, the University agreed to give students whatever grade they had at mid-semester.

Cathy attended rallies and lectures by prominent political leaders that she says have had a lasting effect on her personal politics and view of humanity. She also served on the executive board of the Big Brother Big Sister Program, helping to match URI student volunteers with community youngsters.

The couple met in Providence in 1974 as students of Prem Rawat, also known as Maharaji, and discovered all they needed was love. “We are each other’s best friend,” they say. “We share a deep enjoyment of the adventure of life as it unfolds.”

The Correias live in Seekonk, Mass. with their sons Lucas, 21, and Matthew, 18.

By Jan Wenzel ’87