Governor Murphy’s first act: Officiating at FDU alum’s wedding

Governor Murphy officiates
The (Monmouth County) Two River Times ran a photo and caption of the governor-elect officiating.
By W. Scott Giglio

Alumnus Jeff Hemschoot, BS’05 (Flor), and his wife Gretchen Dewyngaert Hemschoot did not have a run-of-the-mill celebration for their November 10 wedding. Newly elected New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy officiated at their vows.

The wedding was the first Murphy has ever conducted. It took place at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank, N.J., three days after Murphy’s election.

Governor Murphy with wedding party
The Hemschoots after the ceremony: Gretchen, Jeff, Andrew (center), and Matthew.
The bride’s connection to Murphy goes back several years to when Gretchen, who is a teacher, was recommended by a mutual friend to tutor Murphy’s children. She has been tutoring them ever since, and has become close with the Murphy family.

“Phil is an awesome guy, very down to earth, the kind of guy you’d like to sit down and have a drink with,” says Jeff Hemschoot who earned his bachelor’s of science in marketing at the Florham Campus and is currently the marketing director at Jersey Mike's Subs. “When he heard Gretchen and I were engaged, he said, ‘What can I do to help?’”

Governor Murphy officiates
Governor-elect Murphy poses with the Hemschoots.
Hemschoot was a standout basketball player for the Devils, scoring 1,132 career points and was the Tri-Rookie of the Year for the Freedom Conference his freshman year. Gretchen is a special education teacher at Robertsville Elementary School in Marlboro, N.J.