A Hurried Encounter in Smith Hall Leads to Lasting Love

by Nora Luongo


Germine Desir (formerly Gracius), Biology '11 and Nick Desir, Math '13

Germine and Nick on their wedding dayGermine Gracius and Nick Desir both attended Irvington High School at the same time, and even shared a homeroom, but the two never spoke with each other or interacted in any meaningful way until Germine's third year at RU-N, when a mutual friend, Abed Gabaud (Biology, ’10), reached out to Germine to let her know that Nick had transferred into RU-N, and asked her to make him feel welcome if she saw him.

One day, while she was rushing to get to her class in Smith Hall, she ran into him and briefly said hi before continuing on her way. “Later,” she says, “I felt a little embarrassed at brushing him off, and decided to say hi to him via Facebook chat.” He responded and they became friends. Germine says that Nick was “gentle and sweet, and he was easy to talk to,” adding that the fact that they both shared a strong Christian faith and similar values also made him immediately attractive to her. They went on a date, but the timing wasn’t right and it wasn’t long before the two drifted apart. They didn’t share any classes at RU-N, and “we never really saw or heard from each other for some time after that,” she said.

All that changed during Germine’s last semester at Rutgers. Nick sent Germine a friendly text. A part of her continued to have feelings for him, so she responded, and the two chatted back and forth. Soon, they were spending almost every day together, and within two months, had rekindled their romance. Nick says, “I was attracted to her personality and how she carried herself. She was a strong woman and her faith in God made her glow. It was nice to reconnect with someone who shared my passion, if not more, for God.” Before the year was up, they made their relationship official.

Germine graduated in 2011, and they remained a couple while Nick worked towards completing his bachelor’s degree in math, which he received in 2013. A year later, Nick proposed. “It was a few days before my birthday,” Germine says. “We were on our way to an early birthday date, but to my surprise, he had gathered all our family and friends at his home for a surprise party, and proposed to me there!”

The two were married on July 23, 2015, at their church, the First Shiloh Baptist Church in West Orange, NJ. Abed, who remains Nick’s best friend, and has become one of Germine’s closest friends as well, shared the honor of best man with Nick’s brother. They held their reception at a nearby country club.

Germine and Nick are now the parents of a five-month-old daughter. Germine works in the regulatory compliance department at a confectionary company and Nick is in his fourth year as a high school math teacher.

Germine fondly remembers her first encounter with Nick as an undergraduate. “Until this day, I reminisce about the day we ran into each other in that hallway of Smith Hall at Rutgers. That day was the beginning of the best days of my life!”