For the past 50 years, thousands of students have attended Penn State Scranton to further their education and get their college degrees. In some cases, students who came to Penn State Scranton also met their soulmates.
By: Amy Gruzesky
Since Penn State Scranton opened its doors back in 1968, the campus has been a place for students to come and get an affordable, quality education, while also a place for them to grow personally--gaining mentors, valuable guidance and forging lifetime friendships.
In some cases, students who came to Penn State Scranton also met their soulmates.
One of the more renowned love stories at Penn State Scranton is that of David and Ann Hawk. During the 2010 ribbon cutting ceremony for the David and Ann Hawk Student Success Center, Mr. Hawk shared the story of how the two met as undergrads in the campus library back in the campus’ early years and eventually married, raising a family and staying involved with the campus.
They were the first of many couples who would come to the campus and gain not only an education and a college degree, but also a life partner. And, with the campus in the midst of its 50th Anniversary year, a call was put out to Penn State alumni on the campus and alumni Facebook pages for those couples to share their stories.
Here are the stories some of our alumni shared with us.
A Valentine’s Day Date
Shelley Hines met her husband Pete Buselli in 2000 in English class. They started out as friends, as both of them were seeing other people at the time. Eventually, they both became single and had their first date on Valentine’s Day, 2001.
“We made it official on February 23, 2001,” Shelley writes. “We have been together a total of 17 years, married for nine of those years.”
Shelley is a teacher at Mid-Valley Elementary School, in Throop, and her husband works for Dickson City Hyundai. They have a six-year-old son.
“We have so many great memories of that campus,” Shelley said. “We met some great friends! We talk about the game room and playing pool and South Park Pinball ALL the time. Oh, and of course, foosball!
A Campus Tour
Bob and Melissa Armstrong met at FTCAP on May 16, 2006 during a tour of the campus.
“We talked a little bit over the summer and we went on our first date in October of 2006,” Bob recalls. “We were both Lion Ambassadors at Penn State (Worthington) Scranton.
The two, who were both engineering majors, got engaged at the top of Old Main at University Park on April 13, 2011 and graduated from Penn State’s College of Engineering on May 13, 2011.
The pair moved to Maryland in July 2011 and began their careers in engineering with Melissa working for Volvo Group Trucks Technology as a mechanical engineer and Bob working for ABEL Consulting Engineers since July, 2011 as a structural engineer.
They got married on Sept. 13, 2014 and are now the proud parents of a beautiful little girl, born on April 27, 2017.
Sometimes, it pays to be early for class
Shawnna Meyers met John Kresge in the campus’ Gallagher Conference Center in 2015. “John had a class in the same room I had my meterology class,” Shawnna recalls.
“John was always hanging around after class talking with the professor and I was always early to every single class I had, so our paths just happened to cross every Tuesday and Thursday.”
The two started talking, with John poking fun at Shawnna for being so early all of the time. “We just hit it off from there,” Shawnna said.
“John asked me to be part of the Toastmasters’ Club on campus as vice president, which I think was a ploy to score a first date. I suppose it worked, because here we are today!”
The two attended sporting events together, some of which were firsts for both. They also took some of the same courses together, giving them a unique opportunity to work on projects and presentations together, along with helping each other study. The two were able to motivate each other to take the workload of classes they needed to graduate together.
“John had his internship at The Hub at Grace Bible Church during the same semester I had my internship in the Community Relations Office. "When I would finish, I would always go visit The Hub and John would make me a delicious blueberry latte with a cute heart shape on top."
The pair graduated in May, 2016 and worked full-time jobs, saving to relocate to South Florida, a goal they had both shared since meeting.
In February, 2017 they realized that goal, packing up all of their belongings and moving to Florida, where Shawnna is now a full-time mom to their beautiful 18-month-old daughter Gabriella Grace.
John works in management at Alsco Linen and Uniform Rental Services.
“We had quite the journey moving from Scranton, Pennsylvania to Delray Beach, Florida to now residing in Naples, Florida,” Shawnna said. “We have been together for four years total and married for two years this coming May.”
There are many other couples out there who started their story at Penn State Scranton.
Over the years, campus alumni have returned to campus to take engagement or wedding photos at the Lion Shrine. There have even been some proposals at various spots on campus – usually where the two first met.
We also have alumni couples who are active with the campus Alumni Society, and others who attend campus events with their spouses and children in tow – many of them sharing similar stories to the ones shared here.
Their experiences add to the sense of community and family that Penn Staters embrace and value.
As the campus looks forward to its next 50 years, and many more Valentine’s Days, we are sure that Penn State Scranton will serve not only as a place to get a great education, but also as a place where some lucky individuals will find even more – a partner, a soulmate, love.