By, Katie Heneghan, Senior Writer
The Farrelly and O’Brien families are pleased to announce the engagement of Ms. Clare Murphy Farrelly to Mr. Timothy Vincent O’Brien.
When Clare and Tim met at orientation weekend in the fall of 2018, they never could have imagined they’d soon be engaged. The first opening weekend of college is filled with excitement, nerves and maybe even your future husband or wife.
Tim and Clare’s story is not unlike many MC alums, who have found love on our Riverdale campus. Their story began in Locke’s Loft.
“I remembered her from orientation and opening weekend and saw her at Tex-Mex so I decided to just go up to her and asked her for her number. After that, we talked for about a week or two and then went on our first date a short time after,” said O’Brien.
A little over 3 years later, Tim proposed before Clare’s family and friends in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, while on a study abroad trip. They shared and celebrated this special moment with friends and family both in Paris, and back home here in the Bronx.
O’Brien shared details of the events leading up to their special day.
“One night I got out of class early and she was at cheerleading. I was able to drive her car to her house in Yonkers where I asked her dad’s permission to propose. After that, I was able to pick out a ring,” O’Brien said.
Transporting an engagement ring to Paris without anyone noticing is no small task.
“The hardest part was transporting the ring to France without her noticing. I was worried airport security might take it out of my backpack, where I had hidden it, to examine the ring and the whole surprise would have been ruined but luckily we got through with no problems and I was able to surprise her in front of the Eiffel Tower,” O’Brien said.
While Clare and Tim had always planned to get engaged around the time of their graduation, Farelly was anything but expecting a proposal in front of the Eiffel Tower.
“When it was actually happening we were up on the ledge under the Eiffel tower for a bit taking pictures with my family and then Tim came up to take a photo with me but turned me around. He was facing me toward the tower and trying to make sure I soaked in the moment. I only knew it was happening as soon as I saw the ring. I was in complete shock,” said Farelly.
O’Brien was able to keep his proposal plans quiet leading up to the day. They were met with love, excitement and many congratulations.
“Most of my friends’ reactions were surprised since I hadn’t told anyone and the only people that knew were my family and Clare’s family. Telling everyone was really fun and exciting and everyone couldn’t believe it but it was nice to finally let the secret out,” said O’Brien.
Following the excitement of the moment, Farrelly and O’Brien were able to celebrate with their friends and family in a Parisian restaurant, followed by champagne with their peers on the trip.
O’Brien and Farrelly shared some of their favorite memories together, and although fans of rival sports teams, they’ve created some of their best moments together watching football and baseball alongside one another.
“My favorite memory with Tim was watching the Bills v. Chiefs game a couple of weekends ago. I am a Giants fan and Tim a Packers fan so neither of us had a team in the game but we were both rooting for the Bills. It was an exciting game and jumping up and down screaming for Josh Allen and the Bills has to be my favorite memory,” Farrelly said.
As for Tim, he shared a fond memory of their first drive-in movie.
“My favorite memory is the first time we went to the drive-in movie theater together. We picked up food from our favorite restaurant and drove to Poughkeepsie to watch two movies back to back in a huge open field,’ said O’Brien.
Although Clare has finished her undergraduate degree, she is currently working towards her Masters of Business Administration in professional accounting with plans to work full-time at Andersen following her graduation in 2023. As for Tim, he’ll be graduating with his degree in Business Analytics in May of 2022. The two plan to wed in December of 2022.
As for maintaining happy and healthy relationships in college and beyond, Farrelly and O’Brien shared a wise piece of advice.
“I think our best advice for students on finding and maintaining healthy relationships in college is to be each other’s best friends. Our friendship is what has made our relationship so fun and easy-going. When you are best friends you will want to spend a lot of your time together and make each other laugh. I think both of us would agree that making each other laugh is the most important thing. Don’t take each other or life too seriously.”