Penn State Love Stories: Part One
Ah, springtime. There may be allergies galore, and it may rain on all the warm days, but at least love is in the air. Now that the sun is starting to shine again, it seems fitting to bring the bright cheer to Penn State, and present the first installment of Penn State Love Stories.
We asked, and you delivered: Penn Staters simply have the best love stories. From discovering your future partner in the middle of a physics class, to finding love at a drunken State Patty’s party, to bumping into destiny on the floor of the BJC during THON, there have been many situations in which two Penn Staters have been struck by the love bug.
This week kicks off the first part of the newly resurrected feature, Penn State Love Stories. Each Friday, three couples will have their stories featured for the Penn State community. Be sure to submit your story if you’d like to be featured!
So, without further ado, here are our first three love stories.
Mike and Katie
These two Penn Staters have THON to thank for their fated meeting: Mike was the morale overall chairperson for THON 2005, and Katie was one of his morale captains — although there was “no dating, no funny business at all during the THON season,” Mike was quick to add.
Members on the same overall committee, Mike and Katie spent a great deal of time working together and preparing for THON weekend. However, even after THON was over, they continued to hang out.
“We realized how much we loved spending time with one another,” Mike said, “and the rest is history!”
For their first date, they went to see Dane Cook’s standup at the BJC and began dating soon after, just before Mike graduated in spring of 2005. Despite the distance, as Mike had graduated and Katie had another year left, their relationship was far from finished.
“Katie and I would alternate visiting each other each weekend,” Mike explained. “True love is worth the effort.”
Once Katie graduated in 2006, she moved to New Jersey to be with Mike, and they truly began their lives together. They were engaged in 2007, and married each other in Eisenhower Chapel on campus, with the reception taking place at the Atherton Hotel. One of their friends even borrowed a Nittany Lion costume and made a special visit at the reception.
This month, Mike and Katie will have been together for 10 years, and their daughter, Rosie, will be turning two.
Happy anniversary, Mike and Katie. All the best to you and your little family!
Dan and Courtney
This happy couple met in the most unlikely of places: A Halloween party in 2001. Although the party was Austin Powers-themed, no one really dressed up for the event — except Dan, who was dressed as one of Dr. Evil’s henchmen. Courtney was invited by a mutual friend, and, upon her arrival, found her friend talking to none other than Dan.
“Thank god I’m an extrovert,” Courtney reminisced, “otherwise we never really would have connected.”
They hung out at the party, and ran into each other once more at a football game, but it wasn’t until a random encounter in November outside EE East Building that their spark really ignited. During that random run-in, Courtney and Dan decided to go to the last football game of the season together.
“I convinced him to come back to my apartment for hot chocolate,” Courtney said. “He also let me dye his hair! Looking back, it was so juvenile — but we were young and in the start of a new relationship.”
And something must have clicked. Dan graduated in 2002, and at Courtney’s graduation in 2004, Dan proposed. The two are now happily married and have been together for 14 years total. Living only an hour from Penn State, they still attend nearly every home game.
They also have a five-year-old son, who they bring to campus often to visit and walk around during the summer. According to Courtney, he even knows all the Penn State chants.
Meeting your soulmate at a Halloween party… Who could’ve imagined?! Wishing your family all the happiness.
Jason and Breanne
This is a story of Penn State love, but it just goes to show you: Both partners don’t have to attend Penn State to be part of a Penn State love story.
The first time Jason and Breanne knowingly met was at a mutual friend’s Fourth of July backyard party in 2009. Breanne’s friend introduced the two of them, and as part of the introductions, mentioned that Breanne went to Penn State. As Breanne was about to move on to greet others, Jason said that he actually used to volunteer at THON.
That’s when Breanne realized that Jason had served her a meal six years earlier, at THON 2003, when she herself was dancing.
“I instantly remembered him,” Breanne said. “Jason’s red hair makes him stand out — and I love redheads!”
The two talked late into the evening of the party, sharing Penn State and THON memories. The meeting was destiny; the two have been inseparable ever since.
With Breanne being a Penn State grad from the class of 2005, and Jason growing up in Syracuse, the friendly rivalry of the teams brought them closer together. “Some of our earliest dates were Penn State football games,” Breanne said. In fact, her first tickets of that season were for the Penn State-Syracuse game.
However, the rivalry has never been too intense. “Jason’s admiration for Penn State grew into love,” Breanne revealed, “and football weekends on campus are now something we look forward to every year.”
In dedication of their first official serendipitous meeting, the favors at their wedding were donations to THON, attached to a box of Hershey kisses, in honor of the Hershey Medical Center.
Jason and Breanne are nearing the six-year anniversary of their Fourth of July meeting, and are happily married. They also have a daughter named Caileigh.
Congratulations to the both of you! You may not both be Penn Staters, but you share a special Penn State love nonetheless.
Do you have a Penn State love story to share? We’d love to hear it!
Featured Image: Joe Dantone; all other photos provided by the respective couples