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Penn State Love Stories 2015-16: Part 5

Happy first Friday of fall, Penn State! The leaves are starting to change, pumpkin spice lattes are back, and it’s the perfect sweater weather. There’s so much to FALL in love with right now… get it? So grab a mug of apple cider and enjoy this week’s segment of Penn State Love Stories! This week’s stories include a casino night, a first date of pizza rolls, and a marriage of over 32 years!

Tyler Merica and Rachael Deckman

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Graduation dates: Tyler: 2015; Rachael: this December

My best friend, Alexa, and I decided to go to the Earth and Mineral Sciences annual casino night. Professors, THON families, and fellow students all attend, play silly casino games, win fake monopoly money, and bid on raffles.” Rachael explains. “I spotted a group of guys across the room, and took particular notice to the man in a black suit and red tie. All night long, I glanced in his direction, trying to muster up the courage to go talk to him. Alexa thought that he had some cute friends, so we decided to strategically place ourselves at the raffles close to where they were sitting. The guy in the red tie and one of his friends finally approach us. The guy in the red tie opens his mouth and ask, ‘What did you put your raffle on?’ Shocked by this odd questions, I reply, ‘Uh… uh….a sweatshirt.’ His friend proceeds to smack him up side the head and say, ‘You idiot, ask her to dance.’ The guy in the red tie proceeds to ask me the obvious question, and I come to find out that his name is Tyler. He is studying Materials Science and Engineering, and his friend, dancing with Alexa, and Gabe. Tyler tries to impress me with his course load and says, ‘I’m taking this awesome Quantum Mechanics class.’ To which I respond, ‘I love Quantum Mechanics. What are you learning about?’ All the color drains from his face and he admits, ‘I wasn’t planning on you knowing what that was.’ From there, we talked about all of our classes and what we hoped to do after school. After a half hour or so, Gabel pulls on his shoulder, telling him that their bus is on the way and that they have to leave. Before he leaves, he asks for my number and we agree to meet up later that night.”

The two have been together since that Casino Night on January 25, 2015. Since then, they’ve been to Las Vegas to see Tiesto in concert and camped in the Pennsylvania wilderness.

“Just over three weeks ago, Tyler took me on a sunrise walk on campus. He told me that we have never been on campus when it is just the two of us. We bring my dog Abby along and walk toward East Campus. We stop just in front of Old Main, and he gets down on one knee. He proceeds to tell me he loves me so much that he wants to spend the rest of this life with me. He pulls a ring out of the hood of his sweatshirt, one that his has picked out all by himself. The most beautiful ring I could possibly imagine. Of course I said yes, and we have been happily planning our wedding for the Fall of 2016.” Rachael explained. 

Current status: Engaged!

Debbie and Rick

Graduation year: 1985

“I met Debbie when we both transferred up to our respective PSU branch campuses in 1983. We met at a welcome mixer at the HUB and became friends right away and starting dating shortly thereafter.” Rick explained.

“We were married in 1988 and we have three children. Katie our oldest graduated from PSU in May and our son Dan is currently a junior at PSU. We are all PSU fanatics!!” he added.

The two have since been together for 32 years, and are excited for many more. 

Current status: Happily married

Kelsey Lewullis and Alex Malinsky

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Graduation dates: Kelsey: 2015, masters degree 2017; Alex: masters degree 2017

Kelsey first met Alex at a party at the gymnastics house. “We first met at a party and started talking for a while. Neither of us felt like partying that night, so we decided to leave and a big group of us went back to Alex’s dorm and ate pizza rolls and watched TV. The next day I texted Alex wishing him luck at his baseball scrimmage and he thanked me and asked me on a date to the creamery. I remember being SO nervous, but when the time came he made me feel so comfortable. We had several dates after that (mostly waffle shop and watching movies), but it took Alex a while to figure out what he wanted. Then one day he said his feelings for me hit him like a truck and he realized he wanted to be with me.That night he asked me to be his girlfriend and I couldn’t have been happier!” Kelsey said.

Ever since we started dating, I’ve gone to every one of Alex’s baseball games. I’m always there to cheer him on and he supports me with everything I do. Summers can be tough because Alex is from North Carolina and I’m from Pennsylvania, but we always have Skype dates and try to visit as much as possible. We’ve made it through 3 summers so far and we’re hoping this summer will be the last one!”! After college, we plan on trying to move somewhere new and start our own adventure together.” she said.

Current status: Dating. The two have been together for two and a half years.

To submit your own story, fill out this form. And be sure to check out our previous Love Stories, parts one, two, three, and four.

About the Author

Brandilyn Heckman

is a junior majoring in Secondary Education (English). Though she commutes to class from her home in Penns Valley, she refuses to be called a 'townie.' Along with Onward State, she currently interns with the Centre Daily Times. In her spare time, she is unafraid to show her love for Penn State, Landon Donovan, and Captain America. You can follow her on twitter at @Brandilynh or contact her via email with [email protected]


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