Seven Ball State Alumni Love Stories That Stole Our Hearts

Images from the winners of a Ball State Valentine's Day contest are seen in a collage

(Photo illustration by Gail Werner)

We received hundreds of great entries in our “Love Story” Facebook campaign, which will be featured in the June issue of Ball State Alumni Magazine. We intended on picking three winners, but with such a great response, we couldn’t help but choose a few more. Here are the winners in their own words:

A. Their twins have the same initials: BSU

Amy Betzner Upp: I met my husband Jason Upp at BSU and we had our first date on January 17, 1997. We got married in 2001. In 2005 we celebrated the birth of our twins Brooklyn Sierra and Braxton Storm whose initials are BSU in honor of where it all started.

B. A love of words leads to love of a lifetime 

Pam Kiser-Records: My husband (Mark) and I met at the first Orient yearbook staff meeting my first week of my freshman year, 1978. He was a sophomore and working in the Orient business office. I spent every possible spare minute in West Quad and it wasn’t just for the love of words and journalism. By January we were dating. By spring we knew we had the found the “right ones.” We got married the following summer in 1980 and lived in Scheidler apartments for two years. Fast forward to today: Our three children have all attended Ball State. The oldest, McKenzie, graduated in 2014 and our twin sons, Clay and Sam, are seniors now. We are a family of five Cardinals, and our love of Ball State started it all — and hasn’t faded a bit.

C. From rejection to ‘I think I’m ready too’

Laura Medcalf: Fall 2008: I fell hard for Daniel Potash after meeting through mutual friends. I remember anxiously asking him out the first time and he rejecting me. Normally I give up, but for some reason I persisted. A month or so had passed and we continued to hang out with our group of friends. We often all hung out at the library. This is where everything changed.

Daniel and I began exchanging handwritten notes under the table. It was so sweet and innocent and we thought our friends didn’t notice…. they obviously noticed. (FYI: he kept all of the notes we exchanged. 😊) All I remember is when I was with him, the rest of the world seemed to disappear. I just remember looking up from my textbooks smiling and thinking to myself, “I just know I’m going to be with him.”

The week of Halloween, after one of our group library sessions, we hung outside Noyer. I stated that all of our friends are going out of town that weekend so maybe we should “Umm, hang out. You know. Just the two of us…?” “You mean like…an activity?” he asked. I said, “Yes, an activity people do. Like a date.” He finally said yes!

Our first date was on Halloween. We were planning on going to Thai Smile, but when we got off the MITS bus, there was no curb cut to the restaurant! I thought oh he isn’t going to want to date me now… it’s already a disaster! But he didn’t give up; he suggested we just head to Scotty’s in the Village. We had a nice dinner then sat by Frog Baby staring at the stars and talking for a little while. We couldn’t stop smiling. We then went back to my dorm room and played Scrabble (I love word games!) then watched a Walk to Remember.

It was perfect.

November 1, 2008 he and I “snuck out” to go behind the quad to stargaze (it was our favorite). On this night, Daniel lifted me up out of my wheelchair and gently laid me on the dewy grass. I could not stop smiling from ear to ear! We laid on the grass for some time staring up at the velvety blanket of stars. Time stood still. Then Daniel broke the silence and asked (SO anxiously!) “I don’t know how you’re feeling, but I’m ready to be in a relationship with you….”

With the biggest grin on my face I said, “I think I’m ready too.”

The past 8+ years haven’t been easy as we’ve had to overcome more obstacles together than most do in a lifetime. But when I am with him, time seems to stop and the butterflies in my stomach flutter madly. We aren’t a perfect story, but I do know the unconditional love we share can overcome anything.”

D. The winning play: A handshake with a football long snapper

Sarah Smith Muhlenkamp: Cody Muhlenkamp and I met Homecoming night back on Sept. 27, 2008. At the time, I didn’t know he played football but come to find out, he was a 4-year letter winner (long snapper) on the football team. My roommates and I decided to stop at a house party on Neeley Ave. and my friends Jillian Wander and Laura Anderson insisted I meet him. Right before we left, I found him in the kitchen. The moment I shook his hand saying, “Hey! I’m Sarah!” I KNEW he was ‘the one’. I will never forget the smile that came over my face and hearing a little voice in my head saying ‘he’s it!’ Not only do I love Muncie but I love Ball State and am so thankful to be a Cardinal! Thank you for helping me find the love of my life! ❤️Here is a photo collage captured from our wedding day back in 2015! We had to stop at Scheumann for a dance on the 50 yard line and remember our college years!

E. Sibling revelry

Heather Cavette: I met Charlton Cavette in Health Science spring semester 2008. What started as a little crush turned into us hanging out but never actually dating until 2012 when we were both working in Indianapolis. And here we are married 😍

My sister and brother-in-law met when my brother-in-law moved into the apartment below us. Sean Cox asked Sarah Cox to a movie and they’ve been together since. They’ve been married for 3 years and have given our family the best gift ever… their adorable daughter.

Our family often talks about how different our lives would be if just one of us decided to go to a different university!

BSU ❤️ Chirp, Chirp 

F. It started in the laundry room

Dan Burnside: I lived in Studebaker my freshman year in 1992. The individual in the dorm next to me was Jody and we became friends right away. We decided we should do laundry since we had not since we checked in. While in the laundry room we had much difficulty with the washing machine. Two girls happened to be in there and noticed our struggle. They helped us, of course, and that is the day I could not stop thinking about this beautiful girl (Erin). I would see her every day in the dining hall or on my way to class or at off-campus events. After much flirting and clearly strong feelings we began dating that year. We dated all thru college and beyond. We married in 1999 and this Oct. will be 18 years of marriage and 25 total that we have been together. We have lived on the East Coast now for 14 years as this is where she is from. We have 3 beautiful kids. If not for Ball state I would not have met the Love of my life and I am so thankful our paths crossed at Ball State. God works in crazy ways. And if it was not for my friend Jody, who I am also still friends with and stay connected via social media, I would not have shared the story as he sent me the link since he is proud he was their for the moment I fell in love with my wife. The picture is our senior year at Ball State.

G. Coupling up at CAP 

Luke Kamp: My wife and I met in the CAP first-year program. On our first day of class, the dean said “Look to your right, look to your left. You will spend a lot of time with these people, and you might end up marrying one of them!” Well, that we did! (We’re now one of 5 couples from our class (’15) of architecture students, and several of us are married.)