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Penn State Love Stories: The Real Life Jim And Pam

When most students hear the word “Willard,” they think of the building or the preacher. When Jordan Thompson hears the word Willard, he thinks of meeting the love of his life.

Thompson was a junior majoring in film in fall 2013. A majority of the film classes he took were located in Willard, so he was there several times a week. However, he was wasn’t prepared to see Mary Kate McMahon walk in on the first day of class. McMahon was also a film major and it turns out the two had scheduled the same class that semester.

Thompson described the first time he saw her. “One look at Mary Kate and I thought, ‘That girl is stunning…and she’s also definitely out of my league.'”

Thompson was hesitant, but through a mutual friend group the two got to know each other better.

One of Thompson’s friends — and coincidentally, McMahon’s roommate — threw an apartment party in October. The night went great, but in the morning Thompson awoke to find that his car had been towed.

For anyone else this would be an awful start to a morning, but for Thompson it had a positive twist. McMahon gave Thompson her number in case he needed help retrieving his car. Although his car was gone, Thompson didn’t care — he finally got the gorgeous girl’s number.

For weeks, Thompson brainstormed how to begin texting McMahon. He didn’t want it to seem too obvious, so he sided with the safe bet of sending her a picture of his Beagle puppy. It was perfect timing. After a long hard day, a picture of a puppy was just what McMahon needed. She even posted about how much she appreciated it on Facebook.

After seeing her post about him, Thompson was more determined than ever to get this girl. Luckily he had the chance to spend more time with her thanks to their film class.

As part of the film class, the students were assigned to pitch script ideas for a final group project. McMahon’s idea was a hit and was chosen by the group. The professor wanted fully written scripts by the next class so McMahon reached out to her group members for help. Thompson was eager to spend time with her and automatically volunteered to assist.

The two settled into the library and began working. Thompson suggested that McMahon watch It’s Kind of a Funny Story, as her idea reminded him of the film. She had never seen it before, and this was Thompson’s perfect chance.

He invited her over to watch the movie at his apartment later that week. The two ordered sushi, watched the movie, and eventually held hands.

“We were both petting my dog while the movie played, and after ‘accidentally’ bumping my hand against her several times, I started holding her hand. Luckily for me, the girl who is way out of my league held mine back,” Thompson said.

After their date, they began seeing each other after almost every class. At one point she came with Thompson to his hometown to help his brother and sister-in-law move into their new house. She got along incredibly well with his family and that sealed the deal for him. On November 16, just a few months after meeting each other, he asked McMahon to be his girlfriend.

The two became inseparable after that, and within no time their first anniversary approached. Instead of going on a fancy date the pair decided to throw a party for all their friends on November 15, 2014. McMahon didn’t know it yet, but the party was about to take an unexpected turn.

The morning before the party was set to happen, Thompson proposed.

McMahon’s favorite TV show was “The Office,” so it made sense that Thompson took a little inspiration from Jim and Pam in his proposal. There is an episode where Jim gives Pam a green tea-pot filled with reminders of the things they had done together. Thompson loved the idea so he did the same.

He gave McMahon a green tea-pot with little reminders of their first year of dating along with a flash drive of a video he had made for her. The video showed him walking past places where they had important memories in their relationship, like their first kiss and where they started dating.

Of course she said yes.

McMahon and Thompson graduated in May 2015 and have set June 18, 2016 as their wedding date.

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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Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

If you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

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