Penn State Love Stories: Part Six
This is it, folks: The last installment of Penn State Love Stories. I’m sure this feature will continue for years to come, as there are so many incredible stories to share — however, this will be my last one, as I graduated a week ago and will be off very soon to do grad school type things. Thus, I put down my Love Stories pen.
Someone pointed out in the comments of the last post that JoePa and SuePa are the original Penn State Love Story, and they truly might be. I know that many of us look up to the Paterno couple as inspiration in many regards. Reading over all the submissions of Penn State Love Stories has been incredible, and I’m so happy I’ve been able to put such wonderful proposals, engagements, and sweet moments into writing.
We all, in a way, have our own JoePa and SuePa love.
Michael and Caitlin
They say you shouldn’t date your professor — but Michael first caught Caitlin’s eye in KINES 403, where she was a student and he was a TA. In the Emergency Medical Technician course, Caitlin said that she always noticed him, but they never really struck up a conversation.
However, a few months later, the two began working together at Centre LifeLink EMS, teaching their EMS course, as well as teaching Penn State’s course. Outside of the classroom atmosphere, they began talking and became friends.
Very simply, one night, Michael messaged Caitlin, asking if she wanted to hang out sometime. The rest is, as they love to say, history.
Now they’re adorably engaged. (Photo: E. Ashley Photography)
It’s been four years since they graduated from Penn State, and they are now engaged and preparing for their wedding, which is only nine days away!
Congratulations, Michael and Caitlin. May your wedding be beautiful, and may your life together grow more amazing every year.
Mike and Rachelle
Talk about a freshman year sweetheart.
Rachelle met Mike during the first week of her freshman year at Schuylkill campus, at a luau party hosted by the orientation committee. Mike was just beginning his sophomore year, and Rachelle and her roommates quickly befriended Mike and his roommates. Following the luau party, they all hung out in a dorm room and got to know one another.
By the following Sunday, according to Rachelle, Mike had gotten everyone’s number — except for hers. “What is he waiting for?!” she thought to herself. Finally, before she left for her dorm that night, Mike asked for her number. They proceeded to spend time together every day after class, and before the first week of classes was over, Mike asked Rachelle to be his girlfriend.
They’re still together, six years later.
Mike and Rachelle at a football game.
After Rachelle and Mike both graduated, Mike wanted to bring her to State College for a visit — he wanted to show his friend’s girlfriend around the campus, and visit some of their favorite spots downtown. “Little did I know something special was going to happen,” Rachelle said.
It seemed like an innocent trip; but at the Nittany Lion statue, in the middle of taking pictures, Mike got down on one knee and proposed to Rachelle. Of course, she said yes.
Mike proposes to Rachelle in front of our dear lion.
The proposal happened in November 2014, and Mike and Rachelle are now happily engaged. Congratulations to the both of you! We wish you all the blue and white love and happiness.
David and Jessica
This story starts as all good ones do — at a drunken St. Patrick’s Day party.
Dave was throwing the party at his apartment on North Allen, and was wearing an oversized “Kiss Me, I’m Irish!” necktie when Jessica first met him. “I was making an overall ass of myself,” Dave said, “but she somehow thought I was funny and cute, and we ended up playing pong all night.” When she forgot her purse at his place, he walked it to her dorm that night around 3 a.m.
That was it, for a while. Dave said he had nothing but “vague memories of a girl who I played pong with.” Finally, more than six months later, some mutual friends had them hanging out at more parties. “She even ended up cooking me and my roommates dinner — twice!” After the second time, Dave decided to return the favor and ask Jessica out.
“It was the best thing I’ve ever done,” he said.
They held hands for the first time at a Penn State football game. For their one-year anniversary, Dave arranged for Todd and the Vamos! Lion Chariot to drive them around campus before ultimately settling in at the duck pond for a candlelit supper of McLanahan’s subs, accompanied by some boombox tunes.
Dave recently attended Jessica’s Penn State graduations, and the two will be spending the next two years together in Boston as they pursue their master’s degrees. They’ve been together for more than two-and-a-half years, and look forward to many more.
And I’ve never been happier.
Dave and Jessica (me!) at the Pinstripe Bowl, rootin’ on Penn State.
Feature Photo: E. Ashley Photography | All photos provided by the respective couples.