Finding love in the library

Robert Rubin, a 1983 graduate of GW Law School, does not just remember Gelman Library as the place that he spent grueling hours studying – he also remembers it as the place that changed his life.

In the summer of 1981, Rubin saw the same familiar face in the basement of Gelman week after week, until he finally began to wonder if he should venture a hello.

“Everyday there was this pretty girl sitting two tables away,” Robert said. “Finally after a couple of weeks, I walked over and introduced myself.”

Robert met his wife, Deborah, while he was working in the legal department of the GW Hospital and taking classes in the Law School. Deborah – who also graduated from GW in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science – had been taking undergraduate classes and working in the D.C. area at the time.

“Neither one of us thought we were each other’s type,” Deborah said. “It was small town meets big city.”

But it turned out that Deborah and Robert did make a great match. The couple continued to date throughout their college days, and said they created many early memories here on campus.

Robert proposed to Deborah in 1985 after a black-tie dinner event.

“I’m pretty sure he had been carrying around the ring in his pocket for a few days,” Deborah said.

Romance flourishes in college and like many other undergraduate institutions, GW has its fair share of long-lasting romances.

Steve Lebau – who received his bachelor’s degree from GW in 1982 – also remembers finding his future wife in between the stacks of Gelman.

“The first time she ever saw me was when I burped on the lower floor,” Steve said

But his wife Elaine remembered the story differently. A mutual friend introduced the two after she unsuccessfully tried to woo Steve’s better-looking roommate.

“So I got more realistic,” Elaine joked about why she chose Steve over his attractive roommate.

Although Elaine denies that Steve’s belch was what sealed the couple’s fate, she did agree that the two spent a lot of time together in Gelman.

“Our biggest memories are probably all in the library.”

Elaine said the first romantic date Steve ever took her on was his Delta Tau Delta fraternity formal.

“We went to some big dance party,” Elaine said adding that she and Steve spent the whole taxi ride home kissing in the back seat.

Steve and Elaine were married 1985 and now live in Baltimore with two children.

For Valentine’s Day, Steve said he and Elaine will celebrate at a Mexican restaurant and he will give her a bouquet of flowers, like he does every year.

Deborah and Robert said they plan to visit their oldest daughter, Rachel, at the University of Florida on Feb. 14.

“We acknowledge it with cards,” Deborah said. “But it’s not really a big holiday for us.”

Robert said. “From our point of view, family is what’s really important.”

-Leah Carliner contributed to this report.

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