Lakers Find Love on Campus
Did you meet Mr. Right when you both reached for the same piece of cheesecake in the Quarterdeck? Did you find your Lady Love when you were assigned to be lab partners in Biology?
If you went from cap & gown to wedding gown send us your story and we'll add you to the list of Lakers who came to LSSU seeking knowledge and found happiness.
Email your story to email@example.com
Ryan Sharpe '98 has plenty to say about meeting and getting to know his future wife, Carrie (Clarke) '98.
|LAKER LOVE -- Proud papa and Laker Alumnus Ryan Sharpe with daughter Madison Taylor.
"We met for the first time in a class taught by Dr. Richard Conboy, Legal Processes," Ryan recalls. "Carrie sat two or three rows back on the other side of the room. I was always trying to sneak a glance, which was easy because Dr. Conboy, when he teaches, walks up and down the middle of the room. I would use him as an excuse to look back at Carrie. I never could work up the courage to talk to her and when I had planned to go up and speak to her after class, she would always run out and I never got the chance. That whole year passed and I never talked with her more than saying 'hi' to her in the halls or at the Quarterdeck. I did not even know her name."
Ryan didn't know it, but Carrie was doing her own investigation.
"He sat across the aisle from me in Dr. Conboy's class," she said. "The girl who sat next to me told me once that she noticed that Ryan was watching me. I was dating someone else at the time, but I did take notice of the number on his hockey coat. I used his number to find out his name in a hockey program.
"When I returned to campus in the fall I was a resident assistant (RA). The RAs had a meeting with the hockey team to go over the campus rules and I saw Ryan at the meeting. He waved to me as I was leaving the meeting. I recognized him as the guy who was watching me in Dr. Conboy's class, so I left him a voicemail message later that day. He called me back and we talked for over an hour."
Ryan expands on the story:
"Training camp for the start of the hockey season began and I returned in August. One of the first meetings that we had to attend involved the hockey team and the RA staff. It may come as a big surprise to you, but the hockey players were always getting into trouble with the RAs, so we had a meeting to try and 'bury the hatchet.' Ha-ha. The meeting ended, and as we waited for Coach Jackson to inform us of the new rules, the RAs filed out of the room and to my surprise, Carrie was one of them. She waved and smiled at me and I did the same, hoping once again for an opportunity to speak with her. Upon returning to my townhouse I checked my voicemail and heard Carrie's voice over the machine saying that she had seen me in the meeting earlier that day. She wanted to know if I would like to get together and talk sometime. Yoooooooo-Hoooooooo!!!!
"One night later that week I called her and went up to her dorm room where we had a 30- or 40-minute conversation about everything you can imagine. It was very exciting and as I walked back to the townhouses I was already looking forward to another time when we could talk."
Ryan has fond memories of their first date.
"Our first official date was at Aurora's in Sault Canada. Everything was great but I was extremely nervous and I could not bring myself to kiss her at the end of the evening. I was still way too nervous to try. I dropped her off outside of Osborn, being a 'good hockey player' following the after hours rules, and bid her a good night."
"We also watched a movie at his townhouse and went for a three-hour walk in the middle of the night," Carrie added. "We talked about absolutely everything and became great friends immediately."
As she got to know him, Carrie thought that Ryan was a sensitive and caring person. "He always talked with the kids after the hockey games, and stayed at the rink signing autographs long after the game ended. I was impressed with the respect that he showed my dad (He called him 'sir'), plus I thought he was incredibly good-looking!"
Ryan's early impressions were even more effervescent.
"She was the most beautiful woman I had ever laid my eyes on. After speaking with her for many hours on many different occasions, I realized that she was everything that I had ever dreamed of. To top it off, my sister had always told me to find a rich American girl to marry. Man, I thought I hit the jackpot! She appeared to be loaded! She dressed classy. All the residents referred to her room as 'The Penthouse of Osborn Hall.' And it was rumored that her parents had land and gas wells that they received royalties from. After further investigation, I realized that we had more in common than I had first thought. We were both just average people: broke."
Ryan knew Carrie was the one for him after only a few weeks.
"I had been seeing her for about two or three weeks and we (the Lakers) were having our final part of training camp (the Blue and White game) at the Pullar. I took a hit during that game that ruptured the femoral artery in my leg, causing me to have emergency surgery that afternoon in Sault, Canada. When she found out that I was in the hospital, she came over and spent every day by my side. After she was finished with class she would come to my room and spend the rest of her day with me. I had to spend the entire week in the hospital. For someone who had only known me for a few weeks to show that kind of love and support for me made me realize that she was the woman who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. She was the one God had chosen to be my wife."
"I knew that he was the one for me one night when he brought his guitar up to my dorm and played and sang country songs," Carrie said. "Some of my wingmates were standing outside my door listening, saying, 'Ooooh, he can sing!'
"We had a blast being together while in college. Ryan and I went on a ton of double dates with good friends. Oh, and we went to see Garth Brooks (Ryan's hero) in concert one year.
"We were married August 2, 1997, so we lived in married student housing for one year, which my parents also did while my dad attended LSSU. It was nice that Ryan and I got to graduate together. He could have graduated one year sooner, but since I had a year left, he took extra classes to earn a minor. I am such a lucky girl to have met and married Ryan. I thank God every day for bringing us together. We now have a beautiful baby girl named Madison Taylor and we couldn't be happier."
Ryan expanded on his memories of meeting and marrying his wife while at college.
"I proposed to Carrie by the St. Mary's River. It was great! I waited for a freighter to pass by and I got down on one knee and God only knows what I said that night because I was so nervous. Hey, she said 'YES' and that is all that matters.
"She was there for my senior night and for the last game that I played in my hockey career. We graduated together, which was great! We shared many great memories together and we were there for each other through the tough times.
We spent the first year of our marriage living in Marquette Hall (small, yet cozy) while I worked the midnight shift as a janitor on campus. Looking back, it was a time when we grew closer together and it is a time that I would not trade for the world. I am thankful for the time spent at LSSU and most of all for Carrie and my baby girl Madison."
Carrie and Ryan graduated in 1998. Carrie majored in political science/pre-law and is now a stay-at-home mom with their daughter, who was born Aug. 18, 2000. Ryan's major was criminal justice/law enforcement. He is a commercial consultant for ADT/Tyco Fire & Security, where he designs and sells security systems for large businesses.
Tracy (Haller) West '86 said she met Mike West '88 in one of Dan Mugavero's accounting classes during their freshman year. But she dated one of his friends before she went out with Mike.
Mike remembers studying together for Prof. Madan Saluja's Business Law class.
"I was smart enough to pick the smartest student," said Mike. "We kept in touch over the summer and started dating during our sophomore years."
Both remember their first date "at one of Lake State's famous frat parties." Tracy remembers thinking that Mike was nice, thoughtful and cool. Mike's memories are more prolific.
"My early impressions of Tracy were the same as they are today. I realized quickly that she was extremely bright. I also realized that she was highly motivated. She always went the extra mile to complete her work to perfection. She was a perfectionist in school and still is today. She will work on any project until it is done right, regardless of the time and effort that is needed to complete it.
I also noticed how she seemed to need less sleep than everyone else I knew. She is a person who can function very effectively on very little sleep. All of these qualities made her successful in school and in life.
"Tracy and I dated for four years prior to getting married," continued Mike, "so I had a pretty good idea that we were getting married a couple of years before I asked her. We just wanted to wait until school was over."
Tracy said dating at Lake State was easy because everyone knew each other.
"You could walk everywhere you wanted to go. It was like its own little community."
"It was nice to be able to meet your future spouse in college and share years together that were very important in shaping our future," Mike said.
Tracy crammed her bachelor's degree into three years and went on to Michigan State University to earn her MBA. She worked in marketing briefly after graduation and is now executive vice president of operations for Pro Links Sports, a consulting company that manages senior PGA golf tournaments.
Mike, who played basketball for the Lakers, graduated in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in accounting. He is employed by Sudbury Public Schools in Sudbury, Massachusetts, where he teaches keyboarding and an introductory application course to sixth graders. Mike and Tracy have two children, Emerson, 5 and Hayley, 3.
Karen Burke-Shier '87 and Joe Shier '88 met through mutual friends. They hung out with the same crowd and often ended up in the same places. Karen actually dated one of Joe's friends before she first went out with Joe.
When asked about their first date, they both recalled attending a party on Pine Street and playing cribbage. Karen said Joe taught her how to play cribbage that night, "and now I kick his butt." She remembers thinking that Joe was a very nice guy - too nice for her!
When asked when he knew that Karen was 'the one' for him, Joe remembers the summer after graduation, when he was living in Grand Rapids and Karen was in Marquette.
"She drove down to spend a weekend with me. When she arrived, she got out of her car, jumped into my arms and started crying. I knew then."
Karen believes that if they had gone to a big school, their romance might never have happened.
"At Lake State, everyone kind of hung around together; everyone knew each other. And LSSU must have made a good impression on Joe, because he wanted to come back to Sault Ste. Marie (Joe is now a detective sergeant at the Sault Ste. Marie Post of the Michigan State Police.) He still gets together with his buds from school."
"I think I have an easier time staying connected (with my classmates) than I would have at a bigger school. The hockey games at Joe Louis are almost like a reunion."
Karen and Joe were married September 26, 1992. They have one daughter, Courtney, who is in kindergarten.
Beth (Beaugrand) Munsell '71 never planned to attend Lake State.
She had been accepted at three teacher colleges and had no interest in attending LSSU, because at the time Lake State was not certifying teachers. She would have had to transfer to achieve certification. But she visited LSSU with a friend who was planning to attend and fell in love with the campus.
She also learned early on that the ratio of men to women on campus was 3:1, and "I decided that I was going to date everyone one of them my first year and not get serious with anyone."
Then she met Jerry Munsell '71.
"It was Orientation Week, and he was my ship captain," remembers Beth. "They had one of those warm-up dances, and he danced with me. He kissed me on the forehead and then he disappeared."
"I danced with half a dozen girls there," recalled Jerry, "but I really liked Beth, and I kissed her on the forehead after we danced. Then I went off and did the things that sophomores do. The next morning we had breakfast together at CANUSA. I think she sort of arranged that."
"We had breakfast, lunch and dinner together the next day," corrected Beth. "It was love at first sight." So much for her dating plans.
"Yup," agreed Jerry. "We were pretty much inseparable after that."
When asked about early impressions, Beth recalled that Jerry was handsome and very romantic. As an example of his kindness and consideration, Beth remembers a time during her freshman year when she was very homesick and wanted to visit her parents. The ride she had arranged fell through at the last minute and she was very sad. But Jerry arranged a ride with another driver so that she could see her family.
"I never questioned that he was the one for me."
Jerry just remembers that Beth was "a girl I didn't deserve."
Beth recalled one night when Jerry took her out for a really nice dinner, but forgot to bring his wallet. He escaped a night of washing dishes by persuading the proprietor to allow him to go back to the dorm for the money.
Jerry said that Beth used to help him with his studies.
"She kept me on track. She used to fall asleep on the couch while I studied, but she always got better grades than I did. "For a study break, we used to go over to the snack bar and splurge on a hot fudge sundae. I remember hiding back by the payphone in the lobby for good night kisses, because our dorm mother, Mrs. Rudd, didn't approve. We used to time our friends back by the phone and say 'OK, your time is up, my turn.' It was a standing joke."
Jerry and Beth married before they graduated, on Dec. 27, 1970. Jerry, who earned his degree in mechanical engineering technology, is now a senior contract engineer for General Motors. He and Beth have two sons of their own, and have been foster parents for 42 other children. At the time of this interview, Jerry was feeding and burping number 42, an eight-month old boy.
Forest Kallin '48 was on campus at the Sault Branch of Michigan Tech with the very first class of mostly men at the former Fort Brady.
The fort was converted to an institution of higher learning by the stroke of a pen, and little else was done in the way of preparation.
"Things were in disarray when we arrived," recalled Forrest.
In fact, there were so few amenities on campus in 1946 that Forrest opened his own little store in the basement of the dormitory. He sold candy bars and bottles of Coca-Cola, making a pretty decent profit for a college student.
It was during Forrest's second year of school (1947) that Carolyn (Luecke) '49 arrived.
"I remember I saw her at a dance, and I said to myself, 'I gotta get a date with that gal.' So I asked her to the next dance and she said 'yes.'"
The fact that she consented so easily might seem a bit more remarkable when one realizes that at the time there were around 400 men on campus and only about 18 women, by Carolyn's memory, so she certainly had her pick of men.
Carolyn remembers thinking that Forrest was good looking, nice, and even better - he had a car.
"It was a '33 Pontiac," she laughed, "So it wasn't much to look at. But it was a car."
There were no accommodations for women on campus at that time, and Carolyn was staying with an aunt who lived in town. She would invite Forrest over regularly and cook a chicken dinner.
"She was a great cook," said Forrest, "so that was quite a draw."
Carolyn said that by the end of the following summer, she knew that 'Chief' was the one for her. "I didn't go to college expecting to find a husband, although many of the women were there for an MRS degree. But it was an interesting experience."
Forest commented, "We men tremendously outnumbered the women, so that made the chase that much more interesting!" Forest and Carolyn were married Sept. 10, 1949. Forrest transferred to the main campus in Houghton after two years and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He went to work for IBM in 1950 and remained there until his retirement in 1984. They now live in Owego, New York. They have three married sons, Robert, Christopher and David, and seven grandchildren.
Jeremy and I first met during Dr. Dorrity's Humanities II class in the Spring of '97. I sat at the front of the class, answering questions pertaining to the subject. Jeremy on the other hand, sat in the back quietly mocking my involvement with his friends. At that point in time, he lived close to some other people I knew, but he had little interest in me and I had little interest in him. Basically, he thought I was weird.
We met again in the Fall of '97 when I moved into the Townhouses. He lived directly across the street from my residence. My roommates decided that it would be appropriate to set us up. His also felt the same way. But, instead of waiting for our friends, we did the job ourselves. Our first official date was to the movie, "The Game." We later went to another official date to "North 82," a restaurant in the Canadian Soo.
We both graduated together in May 1999. He got a degree in Automated Manufacturing Engineering Technology and I got a degree in Political Science. During the summer of 2000, Jeremy finally proposed. It was July 2nd and we were at my parent's home in Gladwin. We went for a walk by a river in town and he proposed...finally after three years of dating! I was so excited. The ring is an antique from his Grandma. It is very special and represents so much to me.
We have planned a July 28, 2001 wedding in Gladwin. It is going to be in a gazebo by a river at a resort. We will eventually reside in Brighton (his home town).
Shelly Lamb ('99), Jeremy Towne ('99)