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Penn State Love Stories: A Family Tale

We know it’s not Friday, but we couldn’t wait any longer to bring back Penn State love stories. This week’s a little different, however: it’s a family affair.

The Cwenar family’s Penn State love story began in 1981 with a simple meeting in West Halls. Betsy was an RA in Jordan Hall, where Dan was a resident.

Over the course of the semester the two became friends and as fall came to a close, Jordan Hall hosted a winter formal. Needing a date, Betsy asked Dan, as a friend, to go with her. A few weeks after formal Betsy went to The Diner with a group of friends, and Dan happened to be included in the group. After Betsy and her friend “ran the check” Dan was left to pay, but this wouldn’t be the last time he offered to foot the bill.

As Betsy’s twenty-first birthday approached, Dan asked her out to the Allen Street Grille to celebrate; their first official date. The date went well and the rest is history: Dan graduated in 1983 with a degree in Computer Science and Betsy graduated in 1984 with a degree in Industrial Engineering. The two married on August 11, 1984, only a few short months after Betsy’s graduation.

After the wedding, the two settled down in Pittsburgh where they raised four children — two of whom went to Penn State. Betsy and Dan are living their happily ever, but this isn’t where the Cwenar’s Penn State love story ends.

One of the two Cwenar children to attend Penn State was Colleen Cwenar. In 2010 Colleen was taking Security and Risk Analysis 211 when the professor assigned seats alphabetically. As fate (and Penn State love) would have it, Colleen was seated in the front row next to Frank Csech, who unknowingly would become her future fiancé.

The two exchanged banter over clothes and professors, but nothing substantial came of their friendship, at least until the following spring. The two ran into each other at the Creamery for a summer internship meeting they both happened to be apart of. Thanks to mutual friends and classmates, the two ended up living in the same apartment complex over the summer and eventually carpooling to work everyday, per Colleen’s suggestion.

The two had their first unofficial date over a sushi lunch, during which Frank taught Colleen how to use chopsticks. Those chopstick skills came in handy for their first “real” date: Chinese food in Washington, DC. After dinner the couple walked past the monuments on their way to the metro, a spot that would later become symbolic to their relationship.

After spending the summer together, Colleen and Frank officially started dating, and have been inseparable ever since. On a summer day in front of the DC War Memorial, one that the couple walked past a few years earlier, Frank proposed.

Colleen and Frank will follow Betsy and Dan to the 412 and marry in Pittsburgh with their families on October 8, 2016.

If you’d like to share your Penn State love story, fill out the submission form here.

About the Author

Caitlin Gailey

Senior from just outside the city of Brotherly Love. Yes, I am one of those Philly sports fans. I bleed blue and white and have since birth. Maybe someday you will see me on ESPN and then again maybe not. If you ever want to inflate my ego email me at [email protected]


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