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Penn State Love Stories: A Fateful Tinder Match In Indianapolis

Tinder has become one of the most pivotal apps in the world, especially across large college campuses like Penn State. But when Penn State grads Alea Kuczynski and Corey Mack swiped right, it didn’t happen anywhere near Happy Valley — a twist of fate in itself.

Kuczynski graduated from Penn State and left Pennsylvania to pursue a new career in Indianapolis, but part of her always hoped she’d find a Penn State husband out in the midwest. Though she knew the chances were arguably pretty low, she kept the hope alive anyway.

“I was in denial that I would probably never find a Penn State guy in Indiana” Kuczynski said.

But as she was scrolling through Tinder one day, a certain profile suddenly caught her eye. Enter Mack, a man Kuczynski noticed wearing a Penn State shirt in his profile picture. She couldn’t believe she had finally come across someone who potentially bled blue and white just like her, and of course swiped right.

“I had to wait for him to swipe for me, and as soon as he did, I immediately sent him a big ‘WE ARE!'” Kuczynski said.

The two decided to meet up at a local Indianapolis bar for their first date, and Mack arrived before Kucyznski. When she asked him where he was, he simply told her “in the corner.” The problem was, the venue had four different large rooms. As time went by and she still couldn’t find Mack, Kuczynski’s first date jitters started to increase.

“I totally thought I was getting catfished by an Ohio State grad or something,” Kuczynski joked. “Luckily, I stayed.”

After the two grads finally met in real life, they spent the evening chatting about their college memories and hobbies. Though they never crossed paths during their time in Happy Valley, the pair discovered they had enjoyed many of the same Penn State traditions and often frequented the same hangouts. They were both surprised at how much they shared in common simply from choosing to attend the same university.

“It was great to have the connection of ‘Well, I wasn’t there, but I can totally relate to that story of getting way too drunk at Cafe 210 before it was socially acceptable in the day (sorry Mom!)!” Kuczynski said.

Kuczynski and Mack instantly knew they wanted to continue to see each other, but their work schedules made the first ten months of dating hectic. Kuczynski’s work at the Indianapolis Zoo often clashed with Mack’s work schedule. Since then, however, the couple has enjoyed traveling around the country together whenever possible — sometimes to Penn State football games, of course.

(Photo: Alea Kuczynski)

During one of these trips, their relationship changed forever. Mack planned a surprise trip for the couple to Savannah, Georgia in August — but the spontaneous vacation by itself wasn’t the only thing he had up his sleeve.

The couple began one of their mornings by taking a horse-drawn carriage to different spots around the southern city. At one of the town squares, the carriage driver told them it would be a good spot to stop and take a few photos.

“As we walked into the square, I saw all these strange people sitting on the benches reading newspapers very close to their face,” Kuczynski said. “One person moved their paper and I realized it was Corey’s brother. This is where he got to one knee and asked me to marry him!”

(Photo: Alea Kuczynski)

The couple plans to marry in the near future — in the meantime, they’ve continued to travel together and have made a pact to visit all 50 states together by the time they’re 50 years old. Though they didn’t meet at Penn State, they couldn’t be happier to share an unbreakable blue and white bond.

“Thankfully, I can confirm after a few years of dating he did not in fact go to Ohio State like my initial first date concerns lead me to thinking.”

To submit your own Penn State love story, click here.

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About the Author

Claire Fountas

Claire Fountas is the student life editor for Onward State, as well as a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and psychology. She lives in a suburb of Chicago and strongly disagrees with anyone who hates the Cubs or the Blackhawks (so, pretty much anyone at Penn State). You can follow her @ClaireFountas or email her at [email protected]

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