It was Halloween 2006 and one of Owings’ roommates had just asked Downer why he had not yet asked Owings to be his girlfriend. Downer had assumed it was implicitly understood that they were together, but on the way back from a party, when he ran into someone he knew, he introduced Owings as his girlfriend.
Downer and Owings had met earlier that semester at the activities fair held each year, where Owings was tabling for STAGE, a student organization that promotes theater in local public schools. He ended up joining the group and they started dating shortly afterward.
“I was walking around looking for new extracurricular activities and found one for the rest of my life, I guess you could say,” Downer said.
Girlfriend became fiancée while the two were on vacation with Owings’ family in Jamaica this past Christmas break, after the couple had been together for over two years. Downer and Owings had just watched the Dallas Cowboys lose a game and a playoff berth.
“I started to cry because it was really, really sad for Josh that his team had lost and I knew it would have been really fun to watch the playoffs together,” Owings said.
The conversation evolved into a discussion of how lucky they feel to care so much about each other’s interests and passions.
Downer had been planning on proposing in Jamaica and had asked Owings’ parents for permission beforehand. He knew that Owings did not want a grand gesture and thought the moment was right.
Their wedding this July will certainly befit their Harvard beginnings: the ceremony will take place at Memorial Church, with the reception at the downtown Harvard Club.