At first, Gina Nappi, JOUR ’06, thought it was weird that she was being asked to appear in a new Temple Made commercial.
Her boyfriend, Brian Soscia, BTMM ’05, is a DJ on Mix 106, so it seemed obvious to her that he should be in it. He quickly convinced her that she was successful, too, even though she doesn’t work in media; she’s in the policy and management office at the Environmental Protection Agency in New York.
But there was really no commercial. It was all part of a surprise marriage proposal.
They arrived in Annenberg Hall July 19 and met up with Media Studies and Production Assistant Professor Bill Mooney, who helped arrange the surprise. He took them into TV1, where they first met in Professor Rob Stoller’s class.
Then they moved on to TV3, the site of the faux commercial shoot, led by George Cummings, TUTV’s production manager; Matt Repino, MSP ’13; and student Jake Rasmussen.
Cummings had Soscia go first, telling the camera how he thought he’s “Temple Made.” After a few takes, Nappi followed. And then they paired up for one final take.
That’s when the magic happened.
They gathered their thoughts about what they were going to say. Right before action was called, and without Nappi noticing, Soscia reached into his right pocket one last time, ensuring the ring was in place.
“Temple has brought me great success in my radio career at Mix 106.1 in Philadelphia and it also brought me a lot of fond memories. You know, Temple also brought me my wife,” he said, getting on one knee. “That is, if you’ll marry me.”
The look of shock on Nappi’s face was priceless. She laughed, made sure Soscia was serious, kissed him and said, “Of course.”
Ten years in the making
The decade-long journey to get to this monumental day began as a friendship.
“He was an intriguing character,” Nappi said of her new fiancé, then a long-haired guy who dabbled in professional wrestling.
The interest went both ways.
“I liked that she had a little spunk to her,” Soscia said. “If I made a joke… she would come right back at me.”
Their relationship evolved the year before Nappi graduated. Then she went off to work with the Peace Corps in Paraguay for two years. They talked one the phone every week. “He was my slice of home,” she said.
When her Peace Corps service ended, Nappi and Soscia met up in Cancun for four days before she returned home to her family. They were worried that things might not be the same for them, but once they reunited in the airport, they knew they were meant for one another.
Nappi admits she was “getting antsy” waiting for an engagement ring. “I guess you could say that I’ve been growing impatient. I’ve been trying to be patient, but was I expecting it today? Not at all. We only see each other on the weekends, so God only knew when it was going to happen.”
The couple planned to spend the weekend in Wildwood as they rev up planning for their Temple Made wedding. Maybe the bridesmaids will wear cherry and white?
Here’s how our fake commercial film crew saw the moment unfold. (The real fun begins at the 2:20 mark!)