Penn State Love Stories: One Fateful Party

Nothing brings people together like a good party…and fate, of course. For Penn State alum Chris Snook and his fiance, Shayla Heimbach, one fateful party was all it took to bring them together.

The couple went to high school together but never crossed paths. They went their separate ways — Snook to Penn State and Heimbach to Susquehanna University. It wasn’t until one fateful night at a mutual friend’s New Year’s Eve party in 2015, after Snook graduated from Penn State, that the couple finally met.

From that night on, they began talking. A few months later, Snook and Heimbach went on their first date. From there, their relationship only continued to grow.

“From the very first day, I could just tell that he was a really nice guy. Just really kind and super easy to talk to,” Heimbach said. “He was kind of shy and quiet at first, so I definitely was the one that made the first move.”

Snook and Heimbach share their love for Penn State by catching a few football games each year, including the Blue-White game, taking trips to the Arboretum, and stopping by the Creamery for a much-needed ice cream break.

Despite being a Penn State alum and fan, Snook didn’t intend on proposing to Heimbach at his alma mater.

He had the ring since February, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but the timing didn’t work out and pushed back his proposal plans. Once things started to reopen in the State College area, Snook and Heimbach decided to drive to Penn State.

The couple strolled through the Arboretum while also searching for geocaches using an app on Heimbach’s phone. After discovering the location of a canister geocache, Heimbach asked Snook what they should put in it.

“I had the ring in my sling backpack, so I got that down and was searching through there trying to find something,” Snook said. “I pulled out the ring, and I was like, ‘We could put this in there.'”

From there, Snook got down on his knee and proposed. Naturally, Heimbach excitedly said yes.

Courtesy of Shayla Heimbach

While Snook and Heimbach discussed getting engaged before, Heimbach was still shocked when Snook popped the question.

“I was most definitely not expecting that at all, especially that day. It was just like another normal ‘Let’s go for a drive, and check out Penn State,’ like [there] was nothing off,” Heimbach said. “I was so surprised. I think I asked him if it was real like at least 10 different times.”

Ironically, the day before Snook proposed, Heimbach commented on how pretty it would be for a wedding to happen at the Arboretum.

“When she said that, I was trying to keep a straight face, and I was like, ‘Oh this would be pretty neat,'” Snook joked.

Snook and Heimbach are in no rush to make official plans, but they’re excited to start wedding planning when the time comes. The couple has talked about setting the date for sometime next year potentially.

However, both Snook and Heimbach agreed that they would love to say “I do” at the Arboretum. Maybe fate will bring them back to the same place where they got engaged.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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