The Wind Beneath His Wings

A couple of campus love birds got engaged on May 7 when alumna Stacy Albanese ’08, ’17 MA, said yes to Andy Fagioli ’11. With both graduates now University employees, the surprise proposal saw Fagioli swooping into Albanese’s office area dressed as the University’s mascot, Rocky the Red Hawk.

Rocky proposing to Stacy Albanese.

On bended wing, he held out the ring with a “will you marry me moment” that took school spirit to new heights and went viral, even making an appearance on Inside Edition and “Did I ruin the magic having the (Rocky) head off?” he joked. “It’s hot in this suit.” The bride-to-be, who is the University’s associate director of annual giving and alumni engagement, is used to office appearances by Rocky, but this one was a stunner. “Is this real life?” she asked.

Andrew Fagioli, dressed as Rocky, holding Stacy Albanese's hand with engagement ring.

Fagioli is the web and media developer for Student Development and Campus Life. Since part of his job involves working with Team Rocky – the students who help bring Rocky to life – his office was in on the surprise, letting him borrow the Rocky suit. “Those who know us well, know that this proposal is perfect for us,” says Albanese.