Penn State Love Stories: A White Out Proposal Live On College GameDay

Despite Penn State’s soul-crushing loss to Ohio State a little less than two weeks ago, White Out weekend wasn’t all bad, at least not for one pair of alumni.

If you followed along with College GameDay’s coverage of Saturday morning’s events, you likely already know who we’re talking about. In a video that has since exploded online, meteorologist and Penn State alumnus Anthony Chiavaroli proposed to his longtime girlfriend, alumna Vanessa Melendez, on air and in front of thousands of pumped up fans.

In case you haven’t seen the video yet, here it is. And yes, it’s just as adorable as you’re expecting.

Chiavoroli and Melendez met several years ago when they were still Penn State students. Like all good love stories, the two met at a State College bar — Café 210 West. It was the Maymester of 2016, so an outdoor drinking venue like Café was a natural choice.

Sparks flew instantly, and the two set up a date for the very next day at The Deli.

“She had never been there, but I had with my all PSU alumni family often, and she loved it,” Chiavaroli said. “I definitely impressed her when I picked her up in my blue convertible mustang.”

While they didn’t start dating immediately, things soon became serious between the two. They both knew that their connection was something special, and didn’t waste time trying to fight it.

Chiavaroli said he knew he wanted to marry Melendez from the first day he met her. The College GameDay proposal was something he had been working on for some time.

“We had talked a little bit about getting married one day, but she was so surprised as you can see in the viral proposal video from ESPN,” Chiavaroli said.

After exchanging several emails with one of the producers from College GameDay, everything fell into place. He had the location, the scene, and the ring — all he needed was for Melendez to say yes. Thankfully, she did.

The two have been together for a little more than two years now. They moved in together earlier this year and adopted an orange tabby cat named Nittany. With a home and a small family already started, the College GameDay set during a White Out seemed like the perfect place and time for an avid Penn State fan to pop the question. State College, after all, is the location of many of the couple’s firsts.

In fact, Chiavaroli first confessed the extent of his feelings for Melendez during a night out downtown.

“We really loved Indigo, which is where I first had the courage to tell her that I loved her, after a couple dollar Long Island Iced Teas,” he said.

While no definitive wedding plans have been set yet, the pair hopes to be married in the fall of 2020. For now, they’re taking the engagement slowly and enjoying their time together as a couple with rings on it.

And if you think proposing to the love of your life in the middle of a college football tailgate is a bit much, Chiavaroli has only one thing to say to you:

“Go big or go home!”

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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