2017 Stories


Emily Schares Armbruster ’13 and Kaileb Armbruster ’13

Our love story began on August 31, 2009. It was a few weeks into our freshman year of college and I was walking back to Douglas Hall after being in the library. As I was going past the sand volleyball court (used to be next to Armstrong Hall) I heard two guys yelling in my direction to come play. I laughed awkwardly and kept walking, thinking they probably weren't shouting to me, especially since I didn't know who they were. I found they were in fact talking to me as they both started walking up the hill towards me. They said hello, introduced themselves as Kaileb (Armbruster, '13) and Tim (Ahline, '13) and said I should take a break from studying and come play with them. After some book stealing and convincing, they got me to join in the volleyball game and Kaileb and I hit it off. I never thought that August day of my freshman year I would be meeting my future husband. Months passed and Kaileb and I continued to get to know more about each other and our similarities. He asked me to Homecoming, and we fell in love. We were often found together throughout our four years on Coe's campus. We enjoyed playing the piano outside of The Caf, going to the library together in the evenings and making memories.  Before we knew it, our senior year had arrived. It was March 21, 2013, the day after my 22nd birthday, when Kaileb took me out to a nice dinner to celebrate. After dinner, he said we should go on a walk around campus, stating how unreal it was that we were graduating in less than two months. On our walk, we stopped by the old sand volleyball court and Kaileb said we should have some fun and re-enact how we first met. I went along with it, and had no idea that moments later he would be down on one knee asking me to marry him. I said yes and had no idea Patton (Hofer, '13) had been hiding down by Murray and got it all on video. We celebrated, graduated, planned, bought a home, and then got married on August 16, 2014. We happily reside in Raymond, Iowa, and we are both utilizing our degrees of nursing (Emily) and teaching (Kaileb) that we gratefully obtained from one of our favorite places ever, Coe College.

Janet Maresh Bowersox ’64 and Ward (Don) Bowersox ’64

Ward and I met our freshman year because of a spilled bottle of sloe gin that stained my new white coat! I'd gone to a dance venue with another freshman date. The group supplied transportation and booze so my date chose sloe gin that was a Pepto-Bismol pink color. I loved to dance and was a nondrinker, but my date overindulged. Coming back to campus we squeezed into the big backseat of an upperclassman's car (there were big cars in the ’60s). When I got out there was a huge pink stain on my white coat. My date had not tightened the bottle top and it leaked! I was furious. My coat was new and next weekend was Parents Weekend and my folks were coming. I went to the boy’s dorm (rooms over gym) and thoroughly reamed out my date. Ward said he overheard my diatribe and decided "that girl has spunk - I want to meet her!" We started dating and eventually married a year after Coe graduation - now 52 years ago!

Stacie Tvedt Eastman ’93 and Andy Eastman ’93

I first met Andy freshman year when he was dating my best friend, Heather (Wallace) Rey ’93. To say that I was unimpressed is an understatement. Here was this gangly, squirrely freshman boy and my elegant, funny friend. He drove me nuts. Both Heather and Andy liked each other but both had a boyfriend/girlfriend back home in Illinois. Christmas break came and Heather returned. Single. Andy, not so much. It made me really dislike him. Flash forward to Heather getting married to another Coe grad (Dave Rey ’91) and my senior year. Andy and I were both in the musical group, COLLAGE, as well as a sociology class with Prof. Fisher. We were set to bus on down to Disney World over Spring Break to perform with the group. It was on the bus that I learned to play Euchre and Hearts, and chewed gum obnoxiously, and it was on the bus when I started to realize Andy had, ahem, matured. I found him to be funny and goofy, yes, but thoughtful and kind. It was on that trip we both realized we wanted to get to know each other more. We graduated in 1993, got married in 1994, and will celebrate our 23rd anniversary in June 2017. I learned later that he HATES gum chewing but he managed to look past on our trip. Oh, love. We are still good friends with the Lambda Chi guys who were on the trip with us and still keep in touch with a lot of people we wish we could see more via Facebook. Heather is still my best college friend and yes, before we started dating, I made sure it was okay with her. In fact, we were in each other's weddings. Andy and I honeymooned at Disney World in Florida, COLLAGE and the friends who were part of it have a special place in our hearts.

Kallie VandenBerg Herink ’14 and Alex Herink ’13

Alex and I met through one of his friends, Thomas. I was supposed to be going to Zio Johno's for dinner with Thomas but when I got to his dorm room he told me his friend, Alex, would be coming along, too. I didn't think much of it but while there I thought Alex would be the perfect match for my roommate. Long story short, I was wrong. Alex and I started running into each other while out with friends and on St. Patty's Day I finally made my move and got that first kiss. We talked all the following summer and started dating the next school year. The rest is history! We married September 2015 and just this August welcomed our first baby, a little girl, into our family.

Mark Jorgenson ’81 and Mary Cook Jorgenson ’80

Mark was my tour guide when I visited the campus as a high school senior in the Spring of 1976 for the Presidential Scholarship Weekend. We started dating October of 1976 (John Strohm ‘79 helped set that up) and were married in July 1980.

Sarah Gierach Kesler ’13 and Ryan Kesler ’12

I met Ryan in 2010 during my freshman year through our mutual friend, Angelea. Ryan picked me up at Armstrong Hall for our first date and we went to the Presidential Ball together shortly after. Over the next few years, Ryan visited me often in Marquis Hall (I was a Music Education major) and attended many of my concerts and recitals. I studied with Ryan in the chemistry library (he was studying biology and chemistry) and also went to his basketball games. We got engaged during my senior year and married in July 2014. Now we live in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and love to take road trips back to Iowa!

Lola Dodder Lehman ’51 and Gil Lehman ’51

We met at St. Paul's Methodist Church. A sorority sister invited me to go to Sunday school with her and I met Gil there. We attended summer school together and found we were meant for each other. We became pinned, then engaged the following summer, and had three separations before realizing we couldn't live without each other. That wonderful decision will have lasted 67 years in June of 2017.

Chris Leyva ’01 and Rachael Riggs Leyva ’04

We worked together in the Coe Writing Center. Rachael was the only fellow consultant willing to read my 100+ page honors thesis. We spent a lot of time laughing. I thought she was hilarious, but didn't realize most of the time Rachael was just quoting episodes of The Simpsons. We were engaged with a handshake in March 2002 and married in July 2005.

Sarah Hemming-Meyer ’05 and Joseph Meyer ’07

It was the spring of my junior year when my roommate, Lindsay, and I were walking around the Quad enjoying the sunshine. Lindsay was listening to me complain about how I was sick of being single and how I was going to have to attend another wedding solo because I hadn’t found that fairy-tale love. That’s when we walked by the outdoor basketball court by Greene Hall and she said “What about Joe Meyer?” I replied, “Dauber? No way.”

Fast forward to winter of my senior year and our basketball season was going well. Per usual the Kohawk crowds tended to be smaller for the women’s game, so it was easy to notice who was in the crowd cheering you on. I always seemed to have some roommates, friends and my parents. There would also be occasional athletes working the games and Joe always seemed to be working during the women’s games. I also noticed that Joe was always in the library (not sure if he was studying or socializing) and he always managed to say “hi” and chat for a few minutes about life and basketball.

It was the end of February and I had just finished my final college basketball game. I was at a loss as I had no idea what to do with my time now that there was no longer another season to prepare for. I spent hours upon hours studying in the library and I enjoyed time with my new chocolate lab puppy, Lizzy.

It was a Thursday night while studying in the library for a nursing exam when Joe stopped by to chat. He could tell I was on edge about tomorrow’s test and that is when he asked me to coffee. I didn’t hesitate to say “yes” and we walked to Brewed Awakenings, our first “date.” We talked about my upcoming job interviews, Spring Break plans and about Lizzy. Joe asked if he could train Lizzy to retrieve and hunt and I said “sure.” It was the beginning of our love story. Click to read more>>>

Chip Moore ’64 and Sally Gibson Moore ‘65

We met in the Spring of 1962 at a TKE party out in a woodsy area (it wasn't Flunk Day) and that was the start of our life together. We got engaged during Voorhees pillar time, married in August 1964 and life has been good. I'm also a KD Sweetheart.

Joel Nagel and Tara Ely Nagel ’06

When I was a freshman in the Coe band back in 2002, I remember Dr. Bill Carson at one of the first rehearsals telling us to look around because we may just meet our match – he had seen it happen time and time again over the years! Time passed and I didn't meet my match in the Coe band. Yet. I graduated in 2006 but kept going on the Coe band tours as an alumna. I went on the trip to China, then on the cruise, and then there was the Coe tour to Poland in summer of 2014. Washington High School Band director and Coe Adjunct music instructor, Joel Nagel, was along as Coe faculty. I again was along as an alumna. On the trip we became friends, sitting together on long bus rides, staying up till the wee hours chatting even though we had rehearsal in the morning...sitting just a couple rows apart in the band. He sat back with the brass, I sat up with the flutes. But it was as Dr. Carson said, “the Coe band could provide you your match.” And, that had begun to happen. Adjunct music instructor Greg Morton on bassoon and his wife, Wendy, (also regular attenders on Coe band tours) went on our first non-official “official” double date, taking a moonlit carriage ride around Krakow, Poland to a castle. Coe professor Steve Shanley and his wife, Val, also played matchmaker by saving seats for us to sit next to each other on the bus rides and orchestrating dinner plans together! Once we returned from the Poland tour, we decided that we liked each other back in Iowa, too. We dated for a year and a half then both went on the Costa Rica Music Department Tour over New Year's 2016. We got engaged shortly after and all the people in this story got to attend our nuptials in Des Moines at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates on November 5, 2016. It truly was a Coe-spiracy of music educators to get us together, and we're so glad they did! And it was just as Dr. Carson said back when I was a freshman, “the Coe band is good at bringing couples together!”

Kelly O’Rourke ’15 and Kaylee Mehrhoff O’Rourke ’14

Our love story began in the winter of 2012. Kaylee was entering the second semester of her second year at Coe College and I had just transferred to Coe after spending the first semester at the University of Iowa. We spent three special years at Coe making amazing memories with the best of friends who are now more like family. In my last year, December 20, 2014 to be exact, we made our most special memory of all when I popped the question to Kaylee on campus. On June 11, 2016, we officially became Mr. and Mrs. O'Rourke. As we celebrated with fellow Kohawk alum, chants of C-O-E rang through our reception venue adding to the perfect day and night. Our love story began at Coe College and we will always be thankful for Coe and the family it gave us.

Eric Radley ’08 and Molly Rawdon Radley ’10

Eric “Boo” Radley and I met in October 2007 when I was a sophomore and he was a super senior. We met through mutual friends and spent several weeks of game night in the Sigma Nu Chapter Room playing UNO before we really noticed each other. Our time together started with casual time spent marathon watching the Saw movies in preparation for Saw 6 which was being featured for the Coe late night movie. Upon going our separate ways for Winter Break, I think it was then we both realized that whatever this was could turn into something special. Though it took him awhile, Boo finally took me out on our official first date in January 2008 where we went to dinner and a movie. A little over a month later we made our relationship official when Boo asked me out on Valentine's Day (I know, so cliché). Upon graduating from Coe in 2008, Eric stuck around Cedar Rapids to develop this relationship we had going. In November 2009, Eric proposed to me and we married in Manchester, Iowa on October 15, 2011. We settled in Marion, Iowa and both began working in Cedar Rapids. On November 8, 2013, we had our daughter, Rowen Radley, and to this day our family continues to grow as we are expecting the arrival of our second daughter in late February 2017. Our love story is one of my favorites from my time at Coe and I think I speak for both of us when I say that sharing it with our children/grandchildren one day will be very rewarding.

Amelia Smith ’15 and Shishir Bajracharya ’15

Shishir and I met in the Voorhees Circle while waiting for a bus for the Target trip during orientation week. Shishir had just arrived in the US that week and his father had given him $100 to buy necessities. Unsure about the value of $100 in the US, Shishir was asking for advice on whether he had enough for the items on his shopping list. After watching him ask several people, all of whom were also international students and were unsure, I offered to help. I took a look at his extensive list and told him, unfortunately, he may not have enough. After that, he felt I was very mean and was afraid of me for much of his freshman year. Fortunately, we eventually bonded over pool. Shishir is a pool genius and I had never even touched a pool table. So, he spent many hours teaching me. The rest was history. Four years later we are still together and expecting our first child.

Paul Stover ’81 and Deb Culver Stover ’82

We met the first semester of Deb's freshman year at a dance in the basement of Murray Hall. Deb told me that I looked like Greg Brady of The Brady Bunch, and that was it! We got to meet him this past December and shared the story that he was responsible for our marriage!

Carol Rodenberger Wooldridge ’69 and Robert Wooldridge ’69

Bob and I arrived on campus in September 1965. We both lived in the Freshman Dorm - men on one side and women on the other – with a common lobby that connected the two wings. The card game of bridge was very popular from the beginning and there was always a bridge table or two going. The first weekend of our freshman year, Bob was playing with friends when one of the players had to leave and they needed someone to fill in. I joined the table and that is how we met. That same evening, we went for a walk around campus which was the beginning of our journey together. We dated all four years (except for a short breakup during our sophomore year), graduated from Coe in 1969 and were married in February 1970. We have many wonderful memories of fraternity parties, sitting in the lobby at Voorhees, going to sporting events, celebrating Flunk Day, attending Greek formal dances and studying together at the library. Bob was a biology major and I majored in history and education, therefore we didn't have many classes together, but we ate most of our meals together and saw each other almost every day. We now have three grown sons who have married their soulmates and they each have two children of their own.  Life has been good to the Wooldridges. We were very fortunate to have been at the right place, at the right time, in our lives to find each other. For that we are most grateful to Coe College and our families and friends who were always there for us.