Orange Crush: Third Time’s a Charm for Tara and Paul Moonan


Paul and I first met during our freshman year on the 14th floor of our dorm, Lawrinson Hall. I was on my way out for the evening with friends, while Paul was just coming back from swim practice. It was a very brief introduction! We met again during our sophomore year; still, neither of us made a move. Finally, after spending a semester abroad in Australia, I returned to Syracuse to find Paul at my apartment with his friends during the start of the second semester of our junior year. We started dating that day and have been together for the past 10 years. In June 2014, we were married in Brooklyn.

Our first official date was on the Valentine’s Day blizzard of 2007 during which the University shut down classes for only the third time in history. Being from Atlanta, Paul couldn’t drive us to our reservations downtown, so we ended up staying in and ordering Franco’s instead.

During our college years, we spent a lot of time at Archbold Gymnasium, since Paul was on the swim team and I worked for the National Youth Recreation Program on weekends. We also spent a lot of time at the Dome using our season tickets. Of course, we loved attending Chuck’s happy hour! Our favorite restaurant in Syracuse is Pastabilities, with Dinosaur BBQ being a close second. Luckily, there is now a Dinosaur BBQ in New York City, and we can order the spicy tomato sauce from Pastabilities online.

We’ve made it a point to stay in touch with everyone whom we grew close to at SU, even though we are now spread throughout the country. Our social circle in New York City is comprised mostly of Whitman and VPA grads, which is great for seeing Orange games at Madison Square Garden, and we try to attend Whitman Alumni Club events hosted in New York City. Paul is a member of the Varsity Club for SU student athletes, and he goes to the ACC men’s basketball tournament every year with his father.

Tara and Paul Moonan

Tara and Paul Moonan

Tara Helms Moonan graduated summa cum laude from the Whitman School of Management in 2008, where she majored in supply chain management and marketing. She also holds a master of science degree from Columbia University in sustainability management earned in 2015. Tara currently works for L’Oreal as a product development manager, following eight years of supply chain management experience in both the energy and beauty industries. Paul Moonan earned a bachelors’ degree in finance from the Whitman School of Management in 2008. He was a member of the Syracuse University Varsity Swim Team from 2004-2008. Paul started his career at Merrill Lynch within the Global Wealth Management division and has spent nine years with the firm. He currently works for Bank of America Merrill Lynch as an enterprise business specialist.
Tara and Paul Moonan

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