Grady College love story: Ben and Paula Bolton

Grady College love story: Ben and Paula Bolton

February 13, 2019

often remind college students to maintain the bonds and relationships built
during years on campus. Usually, they remind an audience how current classmates
will be important to each other’s stories after college. This was especially
true for Ben Bolton (ABJ ’14), from Savannah, Georgia, and Paula Rotondo (ABJ
’14), from Marietta, Georgia, who first crossed paths in Athens in February

The two were
sophomores when they attended an initial meeting to become volunteer staff
members for Grady Newsource, the college’s student operated television program.

“I knew
right away there was something special about Ben,” Paula said.

“Paula was
always sharp,” Ben said. “I enjoyed calling out her last name in the newsroom
to joke with her.”

Ben and Paula both reported for Grady Newsource (left) and professionally after college (right).

remained peers on the same track through broadcast classes and participated in
many of the same student-oriented events. Their first off campus interaction
happened at a Grady sponsored trip.

Ben was
president of DiGamma Kappa, the official broadcasting society of UGA. He helped
organize a group tour of CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Ben offered to drive a
group in his car and Paula quickly volunteered to fill a seat. Those precious
moments on the road between Athens and Atlanta became the foundation of their

Ben and Paula on the DGK CNN tour.

played what I know now to be his favorite bands: Rush, Journey, Tom Petty and
that era.,” Paula said. “I used that as an opportunity to try and win him over.
My mom practically raised me on 70’s and 80’s rock, so I knew how to air drum
my heart out.”

The two
remained friends throughout their tenure in Athens and through the job search

remember a day where Paula was the lead producer for Grady Newsource and a
potential employer was there to watch the show,” Ben said. “I was the director
and had to execute her vision for the broadcast. I admired how Paula handled
the pressure of the moment. The employer did as well because they later hired

graduation, Ben and Paula ended up in different states for their first jobs.
Paula was hired as a multimedia journalist for WMAZ-TV in Macon, Georgia. Ben
began working as a sports reporter for WAKA in Montgomery, Alabama.

They both
fondly remember the dinner where they reconnected. Ben and a fellow Grady
alumnus were traveling through Macon. They reached out to Paula to plan a
dinner. Paula and her co-worker, another Grady alumna, joined for a Mexican restaurant
meal. Ben and Paula locked eyes from across the table and their bond quickly

Ben proposed to Paula at Great Ocean Road near Melbourne, Australia.

remember feeling like a bolt of lightning was sent through my body,” Ben said.
“I knew the conversations, jokes and energy we had that night was special.”

The Boltons got married in Atlanta on Nov. 16, 2018.

The two remained in touch and Ben asked out Paula for a
date. From there, their journey led them together through theme parks,
concerts, sporting events, international trips and many surprises to their
wedding day on Nov. 16, 2018.

“If Grady had not provided us with the tools and
opportunities it did, who knows if our story would exist,” Paula said.

The Boltons attribute much of their personal development
to their time at Grady College.

“Grady gave me the opportunity to meet my future wife, become
friends with her, discover her vast potential and eventually have a reason to
re-connect with her down the road, which led to the blessings I have today,”
said Ben.

The Boltons now live in
Atlanta. Ben is a social media producer for Narrative Content Group. Paula is
special projects manager at Edible Arrangements corporate.