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Penn State Love Stories: An East Halls Romance

While many freshmen don’t care for the cramped quarters East Halls provides, one perk of the close quarters is that it can force you to become friends with the people around you. Or, in some cases, it might take you step past friends.

Kelly Concannon and Steve Golembiewski had no idea that their living situation in McKean Hall in 2010 would lead to them meeting their future spouses. The two shared the same group of friends, and like most freshman friend groups, they all did just about everything together. Kelly and Steve would see each other when they’d all go eat at the commons at night, they played IM sports together, and they’d go out with the group — but never did anything just the two of them.

Kelly and Steve became good friends as the semester progressed, and quickly found that they shared the same sense of humor and were constantly sarcastic with one another. Steve liked to bust on Kelly for being a traditional “Philly fan” and for her love of country music. The pair didn’t immediately hit it off, though.

One night, the entire group of friends headed to dinner as normal, but Kelly quickly noticed Steve wasn’t there. She then learned that he was at Mount Nittany Medical with a broken foot. So, Kelly did what any girl would do in the situation.

As a *cough* “friendly” gesture, Kelly brought Steve a milkshake from the Creamery the next day to cheer him up. It didn’t take long for Steve to realize that maybe Kelly was hinting at something more.

Unfortunately, freshman year came to an end rather quickly. The two left school on good but somewhat uncertain terms. They spent their summer apart, but Skyped once a week to keep in touch. As soon as they returned for their sophomore year in fall of 2011, they made it official and have been doing life together ever since.

After graduation, Steve moved back to Pittsburgh and Kelly moved back to the Philly area. To make the bearable, they would return to their alma mater on weekends to spend time together.

Six years later, Steve decided it was only right to make it official in the place where it all began. The 2017 Homecoming football game marked the fourth time the couple had returned to campus that year, and while Kelly always hoped that Steve that would propose on the Penn State campus, she was unsuspecting.

After getting coffee on Sunday morning, Steve suggested taking a walk around the Arboretum.  They walked over to see another couple taking engagement pictures and Steve was forced to patiently wait for them to finish before getting down on one knee. He proposed underneath the Arboretum pavilion — right across the street from where they’d met almost eight years before.

When it came time to choose a spot for their wedding, it didn’t take much thought. No other place would do except the Nittany Lion Inn. Of course, they had to work it around Penn State football. Kelly and Steve’s wedding is scheduled for Saturday, September 22 and the couple plans to be watching the Illinois game Friday night from their rehearsal dinner.

For all the freshman who are wishing their days in East Halls would already come to an end, don’t wish so fast. You just never know who you’re going to meet.

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About the Author

Janelle Rothacker

Currently a senior studying Kinesiology, Janelle is proud to call upstate NY (the real part, not the 30 minutes north of the city part) home. She's an avid runner and enjoys everything and anything sports. She also has a love of pancakes, avoids the HUB like the plague during the in between classes rush, and can quote the majority of Friends episodes from memory. If you want to hear all the embarrassing things she does daily, or want to contact her, follow her on twitter at @janellerothack or email her at [email protected]

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