Norse Nuptials

If you're one of the hundreds of Norse alumni who met your spouse or significant other while attending NKU, this website is dedicated to you. Whether you met as nervous freshman on the first day of biology class or as seniors celebrating after finals, we want to hear your story! Submit it along with any photos you'd like to share here. Ain't love grand?
Share your story HERE.
Colin and Deonna

Collin and Deonna Helton

When I met Collin, I was a freshman, and he was a sophomore. I was in the lobby of Norse Commons waiting for choir rehearsal with Anointed Voices to begin. After a mutual friend introduced us (and walked away!), Collin asked me to sing for him. I shyly declined, and he followed me into rehearsal. A couple weeks later, Collin invited me to a jazz concert in the Fine Arts building. Shortly into the concert, I excused myself to the restroom, and could not find my way back (remember, I'm a freshman). By the time I returned, the concert had ended - so embarrassing! Five years later, he proposed to me in his hometown of Louisville, KY, and we married on September 19, 2015. Today, we have returned to the Greater Cincinnati area, and we look forward to reconnecting with our first home. Go Norse!


Jeff & Emily Weckbach

Jeff—Political Science/Criminal Justice, Philosophy and Economics, Minors in Public Administration and Geography (2012)

Emily—Communication Studies, Minor in Marketing (2013)

Jeff and Emily do not recall the first time they met; however Jeff remembers the first time he saw Emily in 2009. Emily was a freshman and Jeff was a Sophomore. The two were at an event at the sand volleyball courts, and Jeff recalls telling a friend that "Emily looks like she would make a good mom." The two began hanging around similar crowds and began dating the summer of 2011. The two were very involved during their time at NKU, and were able to share many great experiences together through shared organizations.

After graduation Jeff went on to obtain his MPA from Northern Illinois University and the two lived in different states from 2012 to 2014. This is when the two knew their relationship was special, because many couples would have not survived living so far apart. Despite the struggle of being so far away, they grew stronger as a result. The summer of 2013, while celebrating two years as a couple they got engaged. Jeff decided to pop the question at the most fitting location, the sand volleyball courts at NKU. The two were married on October 18, 2014 in Cincinnati, OH. They even had some of their wedding photos taken around Loch Norse!


Brittany & Chris Meeks

BA in Music 2010 and 2011


Chris and I met in one of our music classes in 2011. I'm a vocalist and he's a trumpet player, so we didn't have all of our classes together. We quickly became really close friends but didn't date for a very long time. He asked me to be his girlfriend after a long night of practicing in the fine arts building in Lot I on December 1, 2014. We got married on September 3, 2016. He is now a Marine and we will be moving to California in a few weeks!


Shannon Winter & John Morris

John and I both started our higher education journey at Morehead State University in 2012, where we met and started dating. After our Freshman year, we decided that Morehead just wasn't what was right for us. It didn't offer John the major he wanted to choose and it didn't provide me the sort of opportunity that I was looking for as far as gaining more professional experience through a co-op and internship. Eventually, John and I landed on NKU as it was affordable, close to a big city, and had everything that we were looking for.

We transferred to NKU together in the Spring of 2014 and it was the best decision we've ever made together - other than one another. I recently graduated and John still has one more year to go as he's catching up on his Major requirements that were not offered at our previous school. Of all of the places that we've been and will continue to go, I know that NKU will always be our first home


Kevin & Joy (Feichtner) Wood

In April of Joy's senior year of high school, she and her mother were taking a college visit to NKU.  As fate would have it, I was working the front desk at Norse Hall.  This would be the first time we would meet, although briefly, I gave Joy and her mother a tour of the dorms.  I remembered Joy because she was beautiful; Joy remembered me because at the time, she was dating someone named Kevin.

No less than 6 months later, at a Student Alumni Council meeting, new members were being introduced.  Joy was one of those new members.  It did not take long for us to start dating.  We were both heavily involved on campus; Joy was a Presidential Ambassador, a member of Delta Gamma, in Student Alumni Council, and a straight A student.  I was a Residential Advisor, a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, in Student Alumni Council, and a mediocre student.  Needless to say, we spent a lot of time together.  I proposed to Joy in June of 2008 and we were married 7 days after Joy graduated from NKU in 2009. / NKU played a pivotal role in our relationship.  We thank Carol Beirne every time we see her.  She was advisor of the Student Alumni Council when we met and takes full credit for our relationship.



Joe & Monica Wendeln

I met Monica online. She lived in Dayton at the time. It was the weekend before classes started for Fall Semester in 2010. We were just talking online getting to know each other, and we discovered she was going to be working at NKU on that Monday. Monica is a speech to text interpreter for the hearing impaired. She was going to be in MEP on that Monday to support a student's class. It would be the first time she had been to work at NKU for 1-1/2 years. KARMA??!!!! She agreed to meet me for the first time in the hallway before her class. She was kicking herself for agreeing to see me at her work!! I was very excited. I was captured by her picture online and HAD to meet her. She didn't know how we would ever get together with me being in some place in Kentucky called Independence, and her in Dayton, Ohio. What were the chances?

But we did meet, and it was a hit from the start!!!! We saw each other regularly, we had our first kiss in the Welcome Center garage, had a date that first week, and we have pretty much been together ever since. NKU was where it all started. The Gods of Chance looked favorably upon she and I. On May 25th of 2013 we got married at The NKU METS Center -- the only marriage to ever take place at the METS Center -- where I started out working for NKU (2003 to 2011). We have been married now 3 years. I have been a staff employee of NKU since 2003, and am in Griffin Hall with the Office of Information Technology. Monica still does interpreting, working from home now. Monica and I are both students at NKU: I am in the MSCIT program, and Monica is working on her Bachelor's in Philosophy. I am an Alumni of NKU with an A.S. in Electronics Technology, and I also have a Bachelor's of Science in Industrial Technology from Eastern Kentucky University. Monica grew up in Hillsboro, OH and I grew up in Taylor Mill, just over the hills on 275.


Jenny (BS, Industrial Labor Relations, '08) & Thom Roose (BA, History, '95)

I (Thom) was a Resident Assistant in Norse Hall in '94–'95 and it fell upon the upperclassmen to train the new RAs that were selected to come in the following school year.

My sister, Tanya, was one of the newly selected RAs, as was her close friend, Jenny Kennedy. As we progressed through the training, I kept thinking that Jenny was smart, cute and seemed to be a lot of fun. But alas, I was soon to graduate and leave the country with the US Army, so nothing came of our initial encounters that year.

Fast-forward two years...

I came home on leave from Germany in '97 for Christmas and for my sister's winter graduation. I was excited to learn that Jenny would be coming to the graduation party, and was immediately smitten when I got an innocent kiss from her on the cheek. We had a chance to go out one time before I had to return to Germany for another year. Throughout 1998 we stayed in regular touch: emailing, writing and talking via phone. It was a great way to get to know each other better and grow the relationship. We went out a few more times when I came home again that Christmas, and it was clear to me at that point that Jenny was the one for me. But, wouldn't you know it, Uncle Sam sent me back to Germany, and I didn't come home permanently until May of '99.

Upon my return we started dating more frequently and it wasn't long before we were both convinced that we were supposed to be together. We married in 2001 and since then we've had the joy of raising Jacob (10) and Makayla (3) to round out our family. Resident assistant training in Norse Commons is not exactly the most romantic way or place to start a relationship. But the shared experiences we had at NKU, coupled with two years of growing a relationship via correspondence, certainly played a major part in bringing—and keeping—the two of us together!

Autumn Shuler & Logan Smith

Logan and I met in the honors lounge of Callahan Hall when I was a freshman and he was a junior. His circle of friends quickly adopted me as one of their own and, after a while, I noticed myself spending more and more time with Logan.

Through playing video games, watching movies, and talking about books together, we eventually decided to give dating a go. Now we're married and loving it! Logan proposed through a game of Dungeons and Dragons and we just got back from our honeymoon at Universal Studios in Orlando. There we enjoyed being dorky together in the Harry Potter park and celebrated the nerdiness that brought us together in the first place.

Autumn Shuler and Logan Smith - 2012

Phillip & Krystyna Cobb

Phil and I met during the spring 2008 semester in the BEP building while waiting for classrooms to clear so we could attend our statistics classes.

While we were both taking the same class, we were in different classrooms, right next to one another, so we made small talk while waiting. As most Cincinnatians will do, we asked where the other went to high school.

As fate would have it, we went to rival high schools, graduated the same year, and we went to sister grade schools. We knew a lot of the same people, but couldn't believe that we had never met before. Before class started, we exchanged phone numbers.

The rest is history. We started dating shortly after that night and married on June 9, 2012. Although I ended up graduating from a nearby college, Phil graduated in the spring of 2011 with a degree public relations and a minor in marketing.


Julie Berks and Brandon Nesbitt

Julie Burks & Brandon Nesbitt

On the morning of December 26, 2006, I (Julie) was on a flight out of the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati International Airport heading for Minneapolis with a final destination of London, England. It was such an exciting trip, and I was especially happy that I knew a few of the other NKU students on the trip, as we had all attended the same high school.

We arrived in London early on December 27. Instead of letting us catch up on much needed sleep, our chaperones (Dr. Cate and Dr. Marquis) took us on a walking tour around London instead. The rest of that day is a little blurry due to the lack of sleep, the time change and an overall exhausting day. However, the next morning at the hotel breakfast, those of us from the same high school were eating together, and one of the students introduced us to his roommate. I had no idea at the time that I had just been introduced to my future husband!

For the remainder of the trip, our group of five or six individuals was almost inseparable. Together (with my future husband), we saw the Tower of London, Warwick Castle, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Stonehenge, William Shakespeare's birthplace, Buckingham Palace and the Roman Baths, among many other amazing attractions! We were also there for New Year's Eve, on which we all stayed up until 5AM London time just so we could call home at midnight (NKY time) to wish our family Happy New Year.

Most of the days were busily filled with classes and touring attractions, while the nights usually consisted of visiting the King's Arms (the local pub) for a few pints. During these two weeks, Brandon and I struck up a friendship. We found out that we actually both grew up in Fort Thomas (about two miles from each other), and Brandon knew one of my older brothers! On the flight back to the states, we asked a stranger to switch seats with me so we could sit next to each other. On the flight from Minneapolis to NKY, we once again sat next to each other.

Our friendship continued at home throughout the spring semester, and eventually we fell in love. We both graduated with our Bachelors’ degrees in May, 2007. A lot has happened since then, but NKU continues to be a large part of our lives. I graduated with my MBA from NKU in May, 2013, and Brandon now works at NKU!

We continue to be involved at NKU—attending sporting events, lectures and theatre productions, to name a few. On December 21, 2012, Brandon proposed, and we will be married on January 18, 2014, a little more than seven years from when we first met.

We are so thankful to NKU and especially to Dr. Cate and Dr. Marquis for convincing us to attend the London Winter Program! Had it not been for going to London, we probably would have never met! It was a trip that literally changed our lives in the best way possible. To this day, we still talk about London, and we hope one day to return to where it all started!

Julie (Accounting, '07), Brandon (Marketing, '07)


Sara (Mental Health and Human Services/Psychology, '09) Beagle and Tim (Business, '09) Beagle

Tim and I met in 2005 in an Orientation to Mental Health class. I always knew I wanted to be a social worker of some sort and he was taking a few different classes to find out what he wanted to do.

I was 18 and he was 20. We instantly hit it off and started dating that year soon after we started hanging out. We had our first daughter, Zoey, in April 2007. We got married January 2010 and then had our second daughter, Julia, in July 2010. We also have permanent custody of my nephew, Cole, who was born in November 2009. I graduated cum laude in 2009 and Tim reduced his classes to part time and transferred to Gateway after our first daughter was born so he could work full time. Tim graduated in 2012 from Gateway. We currently live in Hebron, KY and Tim works as a brokerage agent supervisor at DHL. I work at the Northern KY Area Development District as a Medicaid waiver support broker for medically fragile children and adults.


Amy & Josh Hawkins

Josh and I (Amy Schoenig) met in the University Suites (Room 117 to be exact) in the fall of 2006. We spent fall break together that year, and we’ve been together ever since. Surprisingly, in the three years we both went to school together, we never had a single class together. In fact, we rarely even were able to walk to class together. We did have brunch together every weekend at Norse Commons.

Both of us worked for the Office of University Housing where we were both desk staff, then desk managers, and then I became a Resident Assistant. We were also heavily involved in the Residential Housing Association as President and National Communications Coordinator. We traveled around the country together representing NKU at the state, regional, and national level at Clemson University, Murray State University, University of Kentucky, and University of Arizona.

I graduated in May 2009, and then moved to Columbus, and Josh joined me in 2010. We moved back to the area in 2011. We welcomed our first child, Ellabelle Louise, in July 2012.

We both loved NKU, and the experiences it gave us. Go Norse!

Amy & Josh Hawkins - 2009 English & Sociology


Amy and Tony Hatfield

Amy & Tony Hatfield

My husband, Tony, and I met at NKU around 1994. I always say I wouldn't have found him if he hadn't come to NKU, as I was local but he came from a small town in central KY, Harrodsburg. He was the president of the Presidential Ambassadors and interviewed me in consideration for membership. I was chosen and our friendship began then.

He had called over the summer about events and plans (I did not realize all the members were not as lucky to be receiving the same level of communication). Through the meetings, tours, social events and volunteer work we did together through the Ambassadors we grew to know each other and many other good friends whom we know to this day.

He also spent his Friday afternoons hanging out with me in the basement of the University Center waiting after my classes before Norse Leadership Society meetings. (I would later be president of NLS and get the opportunity to recruit him this time.) We started dating and he started visiting home less often. The first meal he made for me was in his dorm room (Willow 3021). Simple but nice.

We traveled to conferences with Presidential Ambassadors as part of the Student Alumni Association and were lucky to get to know each other through so many activities and events. We made several NLS retreats together. We cheered on our Norse basketball team many seasons and all the way to the national championship in Louisville. Tony and I only took one real class together during our time there, as our majors and fields of study were too different to overlap, but we enjoyed the rest of our college days together.

He graduated in May of 1996 with a B.S. in Computer Science and thankfully found his first real job in Cincinnati and had an apartment in Ft. Thomas. Soon after I graduated in December of 1997 (magna cum laude with a B.S. in Political Science and Speech Communication) and he proposed to me in a romantic spot on campus—"the pit" parking lot near his last apartment style dorm room. 

We were married in October of 1999. We had purchased our first home a stone's throw from campus in a near subdivision right near the water tower. We started a family there. We both still work in Northern Kentucky, Tony as a systems administrator and myself in human resources. We are happily married and still live very near campus and enjoy events, games, and more on campus with our daughter and two sons. It is neat to have them attend camps and programs there now as well. 

I will always treasure our time and our start together at NKU.

Alyssa & Klaus Schlimm

On the first day of the semester in 2006 I walked in to my first management class. I sat down, prepared my notebook and waited for the instructor to arrive. Behind me I heard several people laughing loudly at one student's jokes and stories. I turned around to see what the commotion was about and the loud but charming student, Klaus, laughed at my confusion and playfully teased me about my cheerleading uniform and first row seat for class.

I can't blame him, I must've looked like a pretty big goodie two-shoes since I was leaving right from class in my uniform to perform at FreshFusion. Nonetheless, we struck up a friendship, especially after having several classes together throughout our time at NKU. I'd make him study with me in the library whether he liked it or not!

All of our hard work paid off when Klaus and I turned in our very last finals together in the Spring of 2009. We lost touch for a little while, but reconnected about six months later and were married on November 11, 2011. Although we didn't date during our time at NKU, the friendship we discovered in each other there was and continues to be the core of our relationship. >

I'm so grateful to NKU for my outstanding education, close friendships, bountiful memories and for introducing me to the love of my life; even if I didn't know it at the time! We now live in Louisville, KY and are expecting our first child in December—a future little Norse! :)

Kristen Sunday & Bryan Baldini

My name is Kristen Sunday and I am writing to tell the story of how my fiancé, Bryan Baldini, and I met while attending Northern Kentucky University. Bryan and I both attended as undergraduates at NKU—he graduated with a degree in sports business and myself with a degree in business administration. While attending NKU both of us also played a sport for the university—he played baseball, while I played tennis.

We did not know each other during our years as undergraduates, but following Bryan's graduation in December of 2011, he took on a role as a graduate assistant for athletics (where he currently works), while at the same time I was in my fifth year student coaching the tennis team and interning for athletics. This is where the love story started.

We began dating in October of 2011 and following my graduation, I too became a graduate assistant for athletics and am now currently employed by Vison 2015. Bryan and I became engaged as of Father's Day 2013 when he proposed as we were soaring high in a hot air balloon.

We are so grateful for our experiences both individually and together at NKU and know that without NKU we would not have found each other.



Raymond Rack and Katherine Hoffert Rack

Raymond Rack & Katherine Hoffert Rack

It was in August of 1972 that I (Katherine) first met my husband-to-be in a 9 a.m. political sociology class at Northern Kentucky State College. We were both seniors, having begun our academic careers at other schools.

Ray often sat next to me, borrowing a pen occasionally, but aside from that, no real conversation. He had shoulder length hair, usually came in a few minutes late (he lived in Sharonville) and had argumentative political conversations with our professor. Frankly, I was a little intimidated, although I thought he was cute.

I wanted to get to know him better, so I asked him to complete a survey I created for another class. It was supposed to be anonymous, so I gave him a red pen so I could later read his responses. I needn’t have worried about finding out how he responded. After class he wanted to critique my survey and discuss each question. I realized that we shared many interests and values and became determined to find a way to see him outside of class.

My chance for that did not come until the spring semester when mutual friends began meeting at Billie’s Skyline Tavern. I soon realized I had a huge crush on him and convinced my girlfriends to find out from his friends where he would be hanging out on the weekends. I just seemed to be popping up wherever he went (stalking maybe?) and finally he got the picture!

It was not all smooth sailing yet, however. Ray graduated in May of 1973 with a degree in History and I needed to take summer classes in order to graduate in August. He decided to leave the area and head west. As much as I knew he and I belonged together, I was smart enough to know I needed to stay put and finish the last few weeks to earn my degree. Ray made it as far as Denver before he headed back a couple of weeks later. Meanwhile, I finished my degree in Sociology, got a job with Comprehensive Care, and moved into an apartment.

Ray and I began seeing each other a lot more that fall. By the beginning of 1974, he began to realize what I knew for a long time—that we belonged together. Ray proposed in March and we married on June 1st. We have three children who all graduated from NKU, and we will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this year.

Raymond Rack and Katherine Hoffert Rack - 1973 Sociology

Liz & RJ Jones

Hello! My husband, Rickey "RJ" Jones and I met at NKU! Here is the story we used on our wedding website in 2011. RJ & Liz met during the summer after their sophomore year at Northern Kentucky University. Liz was a student orientation leader and RJ was the social chair of his fraternity, Kappa Sigma, and on the men's volleyball club team. They both recall meeting in the breezeway of Woodcrest Apartments—how romantic!

Although they didn't start dating until much later, RJ and Liz had many mutual friends and often bumped into each other at college parties and student life functions. Go Norse! In December of 2007, RJ and Liz caught each other's eye at a finals week celebration (it may or may not have been $1 beer night) and RJ called soon after to invite Liz to be his date for a New Years Eve party.

Unfortunately for RJ, Liz was on her way across the globe to study abroad in Australia. He waited patiently and a few months later mustered up the nerve to ask her to be his date at his friend Jimmy's marine going-away party. Liz couldn't resist RJ's charm and humor, and the two soon became a couple!

We were married October 1, 2011.

Johnnie & Chris Hanrahan

It was in a morning chemistry class in the new science building. I walked into class and he was sitting next to the place I normally sat. As soon as I saw him there I knew. He claims that he had noticed me a couple weeks prior and was waiting for an opportunity. We actually had our first kiss (which he used a very cheesy line to get) in the old cafeteria in the old student union building.

I was later in the library when he called me by the wrong name. I immediately left, and he chased me all the way across campus calling out various names! He finally stopped me in the old student union, and got my name correct when a friend walked by calling out to me. (He says he forgot, I doubt that he knew it.) He begged for another chance and we had a date not long after.

That was it; we have been together ever since. Ten years, four kids, and two bachelor's degrees. Although the bachelor's degrees ended up taking a bit more than 4 years—I graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Psychology, and he in 2012 with a B.A. in Organizational Leadership.

Brittany Garera & Aaron Stapleton

Brittany and I met when we had a biology class and lab together. We started talking one day when we were waiting for our professor to open the lab doors.

From that point on I tried my hardest to get her to go out with me and I finally talked her into meeting with some friends up at Skyline Tavern. After a long night there we shared our first dance (Journey’s “Faithfully”) and we had our first date a few weeks later.

We have been together for eight years (married for four) and we have our great memories at NKU to remind us of our start.


Becky & Ryan Ponatoski

We met at NKU in the fall of 1997—my freshman year and Ryan's sophomore year. I was on the softball team and he was on the baseball team at NKU; both of us played shortstop for the Norse. We first met at a Halloween party off campus where he was dressed as a girl and I was dressed as Barney Rubble. Later that week I re-introduced myself to Ryan and the rest is history.

He was a heck of a shortstop and incredibly good-looking. I was infatuated! I knew we'd make adorable, athletic kids one day and have a lot in common with our passion for sports. Both of us have coached baseball, softball, and basketball for a number of years and play co-ed volleyball together.

We married on July 19, 2003 in Cincinnati, OH. We now reside in Ross, OH. Kids: Matthew age 5, Kendall age 3, expecting another girl in July 2013.

I am currently the human resources manager at the old Seagrams plant in Lawrenceburg, IN and Ryan is a P.E. Teacher at Covington 6th District Elementary School.

—Becky ('01) & Ryan Ponatoski ('01)

Kelly & Derick Harper

My husband and I met at NKU via student government back in the late 80s—my freshman year, his senior year. We dated for a short time and I broke it off for another guy. We became reunited a few years later while he was serving in the military and was home on leave.

I actually went to visit him in Germany where he was stationed and we were married a little over a year later.

Michelle & Scott Marston

My husband, Scott Marston, and I met playing basketball for NKU. He was on the men's team and I was on the women's. My name in college was Michelle Cottrell. He was older than me so we dated off and on and ended up getting married June 25, 2005.

I graduated NKU in 2002. Back then the women's team and men's team traveled together on all the road trip so the teams were pretty close. A lot of teammates were at our wedding and three of them were in the wedding.

My main purpose for attending NKU was academics and basketball. I have made great friends and meeting my husband was just a huge bonus.


Jennifer & Daniel Vasseur

I met Daniel Vasseur August 19, 1997—the second day of our freshman year. As luck would have it, we were from the same town in southwestern Kentucky called Paducah. Going to college was a very scary endeavor for me. Having been a foster child, I was unlike other college kids. On move-in day at the dorm, my best friend moved me in, not my parents. I was alone. I woke up around 7 o'clock the following morning and walked to Norse Commons to grab breakfast. As I walked back to my dorm, I looked up and saw a guy wearing a purple "Evansville Aces" shirt.

In passing I said, "Oh, I have a friend who goes to school there," but his response was "Oh, hey, you're Jennifer Shaffer!" I was speechless. But as we talked I realized that while moving through the foster system I had indeed gone to his high school for a brief four months during my sophomore year. I shared more with Daniel in those first few minutes than I share with most strangers.

Just two weeks later Daniel stood next to my baby blue Ford Taurus and told me he loved me. I laughed. How in the world did this person think he actually loved me? But he followed it by telling me never wanted to see me alone in life and he wanted to love me as long as I would let him. He couldn't comprehend the hurt and abuse that I had gone through in life.

While at NKU, we walked to classes together hand in hand; we ate all meals together; and, yes, Daniel even did my laundry for me most weeks. We were president and vice president of Phi Beta Lambda and I was a member of the APB and Norse Leadership Society. I worked at the NKU information center and was on Homecoming court. We made the most out of college, taking advantage of everything on campus. I graduated in 2000 and Daniel graduated in 2001.

The next year Daniel asked me to marry him, wearing the same purple shirt he was wearing the day we met. We married in 2003, and we now have three beautiful children: Morgan, Alec, and Nolan. I could write forever about the kind of person Daniel is. Kind, humble, smart, sincere, reserved, patient—the list could go on.

For 16 years this man has loved me unconditionally.Last summer we traveled to Northern Kentucky to visit our friends—most of whom we met while at NKU. While in town we also drove back to campus, sat under the same tree where we met, and shared our story with our three children.

I am forever grateful to NKU. I got so much more than a great education.

—Jennifer Vasseur (previously Jennifer Shaffer), class of 2000

Lise & Joe Tewes

My husband, Joe Tewes, and I met in the fall of 1976 in Dr. Newman's Calculus II class. We would often find ourselves studying together in the student lounge on the second floor of the science center, now Founders Hall. Steely Library was another favorite study location, for reasons I won't go into here! After a semester of study sessions, Joe asked me out on a date.

It was decided that we would go to downtown Cincinnati to see the recently released movie The Return of the Pink Panther on December 15, after exams were over. After hanging up the phone from our conversation, I realized that I was scheduled to have practice that evening. I was a member of the NKU Golden Girls drill team, and we had several practices scheduled during the holidays. If I went home after the practice, and Joe picked me up at home, we would be too late to catch the last showing of the movie. So I called Joe back and explained the predicament. It was decided that I would ride to practice with a friend, and Joe would pick me up at Regents Hall as soon as practice was over, and we would be able to make it to the movie in time. So our first date started by Joe picking me up at Regents Hall!

In fall of 1981, after five years of dating—both Joe and I had graduated from NKU by this time—Joe decided it was time to propose. We were scheduled to take an excursion on the B&B Riverboats on the evening of Sweetest Day, and Joe decided that would be the perfect place to propose. When he came to pick me up for the riverboat cruise, I delivered the bad news: it was so rainy and foggy that the cruise was cancelled. He seemed unusually disappointed, and said that we had to go somewhere, no matter what. I asked where he wanted to go, and he said he didn't know, but we were going out.

So we got in the car and started driving around rather aimlessly. All of a sudden I realized that we were headed up John's Hill Road. I asked him where we were going. He said I should wait and see. He pulled into the gravel parking lot at NKU right off of John's Hill Road. No one else was there, of course—it was a Saturday night in October and the campus was deserted. But that's where Joe proposed—in the car in the gravel parking lot at NKU. He said later that, when the boat ride was cancelled and he needed to think of a plan B, the best thing that he could come up with was to go back to where our romance began, right on the campus of NKU!

Joe and I celebrated our 30th Anniversary on December 10, 2012. We have seven children, ranging in age from 28 to 17. Our third child is also an NKU alum, graduating in 2009 with a B.S. in Construction Management. NKU will always be a very special place to us!

—Lise (Berling) Tewes ('78) and Joe Tewes ('80)


Michelle & Scott Marston

My husband, Scott Marston, and I met playing basketball for NKU. He was on the men's team and I was on the women's. My name in college was Michelle Cottrell. He was older than me so we dated off and on and ended up getting married June 25, 2005.

I graduated NKU in 2002. Back then the women's team and men's team traveled together on all the road trip so the teams were pretty close. A lot of teammates were at our wedding and three of them were in the wedding.

My main purpose for attending NKU was academics and basketball. I have made great friends and meeting my husband was just a huge bonus.

Rose & Tony Kappesser

It was January 2007 at 5 a.m. Rose had her first morning practice for softball her freshman year at Northern Kentucky University. Tony was assigned to the softball team as a student athletic trainer. Rose remembers doing her five-minute jog around the gym in Regents Hall when spotting Tony sitting on a chair near the sideline. Rose did not think much of it, except he was the only guy assigned to us.

Rose's teammate, Segille, suggested to Rose that she should try to date Tony. Rose once again thought nothing of this and thought there was no chance. Rose was wrong. Tony and Rose started talking though AIM every night. They hit it off, and Tony finally asked Rose to go to dinner with him and his friend. Rose brought her teammate, Karen with her to make it less awkward. Once again, things went well. They soon went out again to go bowling as a way to further get to know each other.

Meanwhile, every practice and game, Tony was always there to stretch Rose's throwing arm. This became a routine for the two. No one besides Tony was allowed to stretch Rose (for a few reasons). Towards the end of the softball season, Rose also found about the rule of athletic trainers not being allowed to date athletes. Rose was worried that the potential relationship with Tony would suffer. It took the first annual NKU athletic banquet to happen before Rose realized that she and Tony could make things work.

Tony was at the table across from her table, and they could just make eye contact. After the event, Tony was nowhere to be found. Rose was upset because she wanted to talk to him. Tony did send her a text afterwards with a very sweet message, mentioning how beautiful Rose looked that night. That was the first time Tony made a strong impression on Rose.

Not too long after, Tony asked Rose out on their first official date. They started dating during the summer of 2007 and continued their relationship long after. However, Tony and Rose had to keep their relationship a secret until Tony graduated from the athletic training program at NKU. That was a long two years for Rose and Tony. They put their trust in one friend from the softball team to help keep their relationship a secret.

During the course of the day, Tony and Rose would meet on the fourth floor of the library at NKU towards the angled windows since not many went there at the time. This allowed them to see each other on campus without anyone seeing them together.

When Rose and Tony went on dates in the Northern Kentucky area, they had to be very careful. They had a few close calls where one of them would have to slip into a bathroom until the coast was clear. To watch Rose play softball, Tony had to hide behind the outfield fence or in his car without anyone getting suspicious. Keeping their relationship a secret kept things interesting and made them very close as a couple.

After two years of a secret relationship, the NKU softball team made it to the Sectional Tournament in Saginaw, MI. On the first night of the tournament, Tony graduated from NKU. This was the go ahead to announce their relationship for the past two years. The next day, Tony drove up to Saginaw to see Rose play softball. This was the first time he sat in the stands since Rose's first season playing softball for the Norse. The team was wondering why Tony drove all that way to come watch the team play.

Once the games were over, Rose went to meet her family as usual. But this time, there was an extra person there—Tony! This is when everyone realized there was something going on. Coach Stewart came over at that moment and was shocked to hear that Rose and Tony had been dating since 2007. This moment was one of the best memories Rose and Tony have from their relationship.

Rose finished her senior year with Tony by her side. The summer following Rose's senior season, Tony proposed. A year later, the two were married and have been happy ever since.

We cannot thank NKU enough for the opportunities that we have been provided! We are especially thankful for being the place that allowed us to find each other.

Kim & Joe Kaufman

My name is Joe Kaufman, 1989 graduate of NKU. I met Kim Tyler, 1990 NKU graduate, on April 2, 1991. I met the girl of my dreams and fell in love that night. That evening, I went to the Albright Health Center (campus recreation) to run track and play some pickup basketball games. From the basketball courts below, I spotted a beautiful girl walking on the indoor track above and I wanted to meet her.

However, I was scared to approach her, so I went to the front desk and broke the law by asking for a photocopy of her driver's license; at that time, you had to turn your drivers license in for a nautilus pin or towel. I took the photocopy of her drivers license, memorized the information and hurried up to the track to meet her and introduce myself. Yes, I know that was a creepy thing to do!!!!

We fell in love immediately and walked around the track at least a hundred times talking and getting to know each other; I would have walked to California that night if she had asked! Six months later in October/1991, I proposed to her at the Cincinnati Zoo. Unbeknownst to her, I told her that my employer was having a picnic at the zoo and we had to be there.

Previously, I called the Zoo and asked them if I could propose to her in the flower garden on top of an was just an idea! There was a long pause by the Zoo Administration, but, thankfully, they eagerly joined in on the fun. The Cincinnati Zoo contacted Channel 9 news and the Cincinnati Enquirer to cover the story; our parents were present, but hiding until the special moment.

The Zoo personnel knew we were coming and played along by asking us both to get on top of "Mythai the Elephant" for promotional pictures celebrating the elephant's birthday; Kim fell for the trick. After a brief elephant ride to the flower garden, I was sitting behind her on the elephant and I reached around her and presented her with a diamond ring and asked her to marry me. She was shocked, stunned and thankfully agreed to my proposal. The Cincinnati Zoo's Public Relations Department and the Elephant Trainer deserve all the credit for their hard work and efforts.

We have been married now for twenty-one years and live in Highland Heights, KY. Kim is employed at WNKU 89.7 and our daughter Kaitlyn is a freshman at NKU. Our son Benjamin is a Freshman in high school with plans to attend NKU as well.

My degree was special from NKU, but more importantly, NKU provided me with the love of my life. To this day, we still watch the news video on VHS Tape and read the newspaper article discussing our engagement and have several pictures.

Yes, the VHS Tape dates us very well and still to this day, works just fine in our old VCR. Today, we are living happily ever after and thank NKU for being such a special part of our lives. )

—Joe Kaufman ('89, B.S. biology); Kim Tyler ('90, B.A. English)


Kimberly & Chris Code

I had just entered my senior year during the summer of 2002. Since I was already on the "five year plan" towards my B.A., I had decided to take a few electives during summer sessions in order to complete my degree the following May (thus avoiding the "six year plan"). Summer classes were often longer than semester classes, and I can recall that by the time my second class would end, I'd be starving.

I would often snatch a quick bite to eat before leaving campus, and on one relatively mild July afternoon in the concrete jungle, I decided to grab some breadsticks from the Pizza Hut Express and eat them outside. I settled underneath the tree in front of the University Center to enjoy a few moments of peace prior to what was sure to be a hectic night at work. I had only been sitting under the tree for a minute when one of my fellow students approached. He greeted me by name, "Hey Kim." I responded with a cool, ""

I searched my mind for his name, but it wasn't there. This may have been acceptable had we been freshman in a general studies lecture course of 200+ students, but we were not. We were in an upper level Literature course: Restoration Drama. This likely goes without saying, but there wasn't a huge population of students clamoring to spend three hours Monday thru Friday in July reading The Country Wife. Our class consisted of roughly eight students; even so, I couldn't remember this guy's name for the life of me.

Luckily, he didn't seem to notice and continued talking. He asked me about my major and the professors I had taken in the past; we both found it odd that we'd never before had a class together. We had enrolled around the same time and had taken many of the same professors and classes, though never during the same semester.

We sat and chatted while I ate my Pizza Hut. I apologized for not offering to share my breadsticks with him, but, as mentioned, I was really hungry. We ended our conversation, and I resolved to pay attention to roll call the next day so that I could find out this student's name.

I followed through on my resolution and discovered that the student I had spoken with was named Chris. We often talked after class and sometimes walked out to the parking lot together. Over the next five weeks of Restoration Drama, we discovered we had many things in common, including a shared fondness of 17th/21st century fusion-phraseology (as in, "methinks that wench has made a cuckold of that dude!").

On the last day of class, a few of us went to Applebee's to celebrate the end of the summer session. Chris asked me for my phone number, citing the fact that we could help one another through the process of applying to grad schools. After we left the restaurant, I said goodbye in the parking lot and just happened to notice that he was empty-handed.

"Did you get my phone number?" I asked.
"Oh crap!" Chris exclaimed, running back into the restaurant to grab the piece of scrap paper I'd written it down on. I stood in the parking lot laughing; I would have written it down for him again!

As it turned out, Chris did end up using the number that he'd almost left discarded and forgotten at the Applebee's in Cold Springs. We started dating shortly after that summer session ended in 2002, we were engaged in 2004, and we married in 2006.

There is a black and white photo in our home of the tree in front of the University Center. One of the first questions new guests in our house frequently ask is, "Why do you have a picture of NKU in your hallway?" We then get to launch into our story about Restoration Drama and the tree, the forgotten name and abandoned phone number.

It's funny, the things that one remembers about college. A few years ago, we were in England and came across a reference to Newgate Prison. In unison, we both exclaimed, "It looks like New-Gate but sounds like a tasty morsel!"—a phrase uttered by our professor during that summer class we took together in 2002 to explain the correct pronunciation of the word.

When we celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary in 2011, Chris and I took a tour of special places from our time together. The first place we went to was NKU. We walked around the campus, marveling at how much it had changed in such a short period of time. We sat down outside of Steely Library, and I pulled out some Pizza Hut breadsticks.

And, do you know what? That time, I shared.

Cathy & Dan Lunnemann

Dan and I met during our time at NKU but never dated while in school. He was a Pike and I was a Delta Zeta and a Pike little Sis so we became friends and had many mutual friends. We both were also involved with Student Government.

We both dated others while at NKU. After we graduated and made our way to the working world we had the same circle of friends that would gather periodically. It was through these social events that we became reacquainted and began to date. Our first date was February 6, 1984 (an anniversary that we still celebrate to this day).

We were married on June 14, 1986, and the rest is history! We both thoroughly enjoyed our time at NKU and being part of the Greek life. Thanks for the opportunity to share our story. s)

—Dan ('82) and Cathy ('81) Lunnemann (nee Sugg)

Evan Downing & Stephanie Lang

During finals week in 2009, my friends and I randomly kidnapped Evan to get cheesecake for our end-of-the-semester party. We talked a bit online, but had not see each other for almost a year.

On April 6th, 2010 he bought me at Kappa Kappa Psi's date auction. He placed the highest bid of the night and we had our first official date a few days later. We consider "Contract Day" to be our anniversary, and got married on the closest Saturday to that date (April 5th, 2014).




Tye & Kristi Mortensen

Not only did we meet at NKU, we got married at NKU! 

Kristi (Britton) Mortensen and I were the first wedding in the Student Union after it opened. 12/27/2008.

—Tye Mortensen '(04, '08)


Sally Stewart & Larry Csernik

I met my boyfriend two-and-a-half years ago at NKU. I was a sophomore working in the scene shop, and I was introduced to him by a friend who said he was a freshman who came to NKU for lighting (just like I had).

We were friends for a couple months—I was in a seriously unhealthy relationship at the time, and Larry really helped me through that break up. We decided to date awhile afterwards, and now we're very happy. He has always been there for me, and I feel like I have been for him. Thank god we chose NKU!


Mary Gayle Hoffman & James E. Parsons

My husband, James E. Parsons, major political science and urban studies, graduated from NKU in 1976. It was not until we both attended Chase College of Law that we met and started dating.

We met when Dean Ovid Lewis assigned us to work together on a project in Constitutional Law II. We married on May 16, 1980, after graduating just a week before. Actually, I graduated in December, 1979, and took the bar exam in February 1980, so I was sworn in as a member of the Kentucky Bar Association and authorized to practice law in Kentucky between graduation, May 1980, and our wedding, May 16, 1980. 

Vicki & Greg Kilburn

Greg and I met at a Sigma Nu fraternity party in 1977. We spent four years as friends, seeing each other at various NKU events and parties. Then, on New Years Eve 1981, we began dating.

We dated for about six months and then broke up. Five years later Greg called me about an NKU Alumni event as I was then a member of the Alumni Council. Five years later Greg proposed, and five months later we were married on November 9, 1991.

Gary & Karen Thompson

The year was 1975, Karen was a music major from Campbell County, Gary a kinesiology major from Highlands. Who would have thought a jock from Highlands would fall in love with a musician from Campbell County?

We were introduced by a Cincinnati legend, Marion Spellmen, who was teaching vocal music at Northern Kentucky State College at the time. We were engaged on 7/7/77 and married on 7/8/78 (easy dates for Gary to remember). Now after 35 years of marriage, six states, nine houses, three kids, five grandchildren and retirement, we are still best friends. Bring on the next 30 years… We're ready!

Joe & Robyn Kellinghaus

Joe and I attended the same high school and when we both went to NKU we often car pooled and studied together. We married after our sophomore year as continued to be fulltime students.

We welcomed our daughter during our last semester. At graduation we had a newspaper article (Post) written about us with a front-page picture.


Stacey Simms & Rob Delap

Rob and I met during the summer of 2012 in our graduate school Human Development class. He had seen me around before but I had never seen nor met him.

The first time we talked was while working in a small group together that summer in class. Soon after, Rob messaged me online telling me something about class. The next time he messaged me, it wasn't about class, but to ask me out on a date. We became closer and closer during the following five months and began a relationship in December 2012. In December 2013, while out celebrating our one-year anniversary, Rob asked me to marry him. The following morning, he graduated from NKU with his Master’s. We will be getting married in June, 2015, and we couldn't be more excited! NKU has personally given me a lot of things. I have been at NKU since 2008. It has not only given me my Bachelor’s degree and upcoming Master’s (May 2014!), but I have made lifelong friends and found the love of my life. Neither Rob nor I ever thought we would leave grad school having found our future spouse. After spending six-and-a-half years at NKU, I am leaving with everything I wanted coming in, and so much more. I couldn't be happier.


Nicole Malott & Nick Walter

We met when Nicole was a sophomore and Nick was Freshman. We would always meet up in the Student Union (only after class of course :D).

After only a few weeks we were inseparable. We will be getting married August 16, 2014. If it wasn't for NKU we never would have met our soul mates. 

Harry Donnermeyer & Kathy Dauer Donnermeyer

It was 1975, the Reds were in the World Series, and I (Kathy) wore my Reds cap all over campus that fall. Harry took pictures for The Northerner, and during voting for Student Council elections, that baseball cap got into the corner of the picture.

That was the first meeting between us, and we began eating lunch together in the lounge in Nunn Hall with mutual friends. We were both dating other people at the time, but those didn't last. Finally, John Denver was coming to town, and I HAD to have tickets. A friend was going to buy a group of tickets, but they sold out before she got them. So I had no ticket. Harry announced one day at lunch that he had four tickets—he was using two and had two extra. I offered to buy them. He said, “Do you want to go?” It took me a while to figure out that he was asking me to go with him as a date! But I did, and that was a beginning of a long romance. All through our college years, I worked at The Northerner as a writer while he was a photographer and photo editor. One night before the all-night newspaper prep, he presented me with a ring and we got engaged. We were married the following spring (1980) and now are going on 34 years. We have four kids, the youngest of which is a freshman at NKU this year. Campus sure is different than it was 38 years ago when we were freshman!


Douglas Harris & Cynthia Pitts-Harris

Cynthia and I met in August of 1993. She was an incoming freshman and I was president of Kentucky Hall at the time, so I was walking around introducing myself to the incoming students.

When I first saw her, I knew we would be friends based on her personality. But as we got to know each other, the chemistry was undeniable. We were, and have been, inseparable every since! I graduated in 1996 and Cynthia in 1998. July 11 of that same year (1998) we were married in Covington, KY, and 16 years later we have a beautiful family and we are still best friends. NKU does and will always have a special place in our hearts. It was truly the foundation of our relationship. 


Jeff & Nicole Cobb

Jeff and Nicole were both in Greek life at Northern Kentucky University, but their paths never crossed until the NLS retreat in 2011.

As the two began to get to know each other, it was an instant connection. Jeff proposed to Nicole after she returned from her semester of student teaching abroad in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The two were wed in Danville, Ky on July 12th, 2014 Go Norse!