Office ofAlumni and Constituent Relations

Lute Voices

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"Lute Love"

Lute Voices is a place for you to share your stories about PLU and the ways it has affected your life. The topic of Lute Voices will change throughout the year. Be sure to check back here to see all of the stories fellow Lutes have submitted!

Current Topic:

In honor of Valentine's Day we are looking for all of the Lute couples out there, what's your Lute Love story? Did you meet on campus, share a significant relationship milestone in a special spot on campus, or was it a Lute connection made after school that brought you together?

Browse by Decade

1950's - 1960's - 1970's - 1980's - 1990's - 2000's - 2010's

1950's

Bev (Tranum) Knutzen '55 - spouse Dick Knutzen '55
KnutzenI always have said I left Pacific Lutheran College with more than a BA and a Teaching Certificate, PLC also gave me my best friend-- partner—spouse.

Dick and I met at PLC. Dick likes to brag that he “first laid eyes on me” the August before our freshman year. We both were attending a County Luther League meeting and Dick noticed one of the Salem Lutheran gals (me). During the evening he happened to sit next to a young kid also from Salem Lutheran in Mount Vernon, so he asked him who the dark haired girl was. The young kid was my brother, a seventh grader. He was told more than my name!

We didn’t meet however, until that September when we were both freshman at PLC. I remember the moment well, even though it was 62 years ago! My girl friends and I were out for a walk after dinner. We had spent the day moving into our dorm rooms. When we got to the Southeast corner of Old Main (Harstad Hall) there was my friend from Mount Vernon, (Dick Brandt) and his roommates. One of the roommates was Dick Knutzen. These three guys became my big brothers.

That relationship continued until our senior year. One Friday night in September there was a FREE concert in the CMS (Eastvold) and none of my friends on second floor of South Hall (Hinderlie) had dates. We girls decided that maybe the boys on campus needed some encouragement so we called the boys dorms and sang a song: “Here we sit like birds in the wilderness waiting to go out. .....There is a free concert in the CMS tonight at 7 PM.” and then we would hang up. The brand new boy’s dorm was North (Hong) Hall and each room had a phone. So we began with C17... Dick Knutzen’s room. As soon as the girls hung up the phone my phone rang and it was Dick Knutzen. We went to the concert and by January 29th Dick had proposed marriage. 

During our senior year Dick and I ate dinner together in the cafeteria and then we would take a long walk around Parkland. On special nights we would stop in at Johnson Drug for a pineapple sundae. Dick did not have a car so most weekend dates were on campus. On special occasions we would double date with someone who had a car.

At that time whenever a girl was engaged everyone in the dorm was invited to her room to receive a chocolate and view the ring. Dick had no money for a ring so I did not have that experience. We were formally engaged, with a ring, on August 26, 1955 and married June 15, 1956.

We are both retired now and live on Harstine Island near Shelton. We are the proud parents of four children: Heidi (Dan) Cryer ‘80, Kris ‘82(Lindsey), Paul, and David ‘90(Dawn); six grandchildren: Adrianne Jamieson’09 (Ian ‘08), Danielle Cryer ‘13, and Bryce, Brent, Ryan and Rachel Knutzen. We were thrilled when our two oldest grandkids chose PLU and every chance we get we encourages others to go to PLU. Pacific Lutheran College was a life improving experience for me.

I remember Professor Anne Knudsen once told me how happy she was that I was marrying a Lute because when both husband and wife are alumni they become very strong advocators for PLC. I would say that she was right. Now that we are retired we continue our love for the school that brought us together.

Camille (Emerson) Eliason '59 - spouse Iver Elliason '55
While attending a Luther League convention in Camille's church (Selbu Lutheran, Lacrosse, WA) Iver stayed at her home (albeit 25 miles from church).  Camille was 11 at the time, and Iver was 15.  Seven years later we met up again while Iver was working in wheat harvest with his buddy from Kennewick who happened to be a cousin of one of Camille's High school friends.  The cousin was in Pomeroy one evening and happen to mention his friends name to the group of girls at the ice cream shop and Camille said a guy by the name of Iver stayed at their home several years ago.  So the next day Iver called to visit - the farms were in the same area in southeast Washington.  Iver asked Camille to go to a movie on Saturday followed by a ride to Lewiston, Idaho two days later for ice cream and the next day Iver left for the army, since he was drafted two days after graduation from PLU in 1955.  They corresponded by mail for two years while he was in the army, then dated during college breaks for the next two years while he taught school in Kennewick,  Upon Camille's graduation from PLU in 1959 they were married, both taught in Kennewick that next year, then moved to Parkland and have lived and worked near or at PLU ever since.  Avid sports fans and loyal Lute supporters, whose two children graduated from PLU and now enjoy watching a grandson, Bryce Miller play basketball for the Lutes. 

1960's

We haven't heard from anyone in your decade yet. Be the first to tell your story here

1970's

Bob Adams '79 - spouse Cheri (Lust) Adams '79
adamsOurs is a 30 year Lute love story that almost didn't happen. In fact, we nearly never met and didn't date until the last semester of our senior year. Cheri was a studious double major in music and religion. Bob was a free-flowing "dumb jock" which was a label offensive to both true academics and  actual athletes.   

As our senior year approached Bob was assigned to be Assistant Hall Director in Hinderlie, then called Rainier. After two years in  Hinderlie Bob wanted a change and, thanks to a generous Residential Life friend, was reassigned to Stuen Hall where as fate would have it Cheri already lived. We first met during Fall Check-in but no sparks flew right away. Later on Cheri  was the director for Stuen's songfest production of "Annie" with Bob in one of the starring roles (not Annie) and, while entertaining, still no sparks. Finally on Christmas break we had a chance encounter on the train to our respective homes in Richland, Washington and Great Falls, Montana. During the ride from Seattle to Richland we talked and laughed and the chemistry was evident. In the spring we went to the "Harbor Lights" formal dance and started dating on a regular basis. By the end of the year we may or may not have broken visitation rules once or twice while talking for hours on end. Over 30 years later we are the proud parents of two Lutes, Kelvin class of 2012 and Camille class of 2016.   

People often called us "the odd couple" because our personalities were so different. But, we are proof that opposites can attract.  Our Lute love story is still going strong and we will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary this May.

1980's

We haven't heard from anyone in your decade yet. Be the first to tell your story here!

1990's

Keri (Hendershot) Anderson '97 - spouse Joseph Anderson '99
andersonIt was my second day of classes, 1995, my freshman year. Getting an early start to the day, I was in the UC at 7 am, eating breakfast.  I sat down next to a woman I had met who lived down the hall in Harstad.  Three junior guys she knew sat down across the table from us.  She introduced us, then left to do her student teaching.  I’m not easily intimidated, so we struck up a great conversation that morning, and often enjoyed breakfast together in the days to come.  

I especially noticed Joseph that morning:  he had red sweat pants, a shaggy beard, and his old Asics Gels were held together with duct tape.  He made me laugh, with a sudden sense of humor that snuck up and nailed me with his deadpan puns.  He was computer science major who could also handily quote poetry and Star Trek.  We both grew up in small towns in WA, and enjoyed the outdoors and hiking.  Not exactly love at first sight, but the conversation was so interesting, we kept managing to find each other at meals.

That semester, we ate breakfast together nearly every day.  It only took a couple weeks for his roommate (one of the three original guys) to rightly predict we'd get married.  His exact words: “Keri, you’d better stop talking now, or Joseph’s going to ask you to marry him!” It took us five years to get to that point, but his roommate was the best man in our wedding.

I didn't come to PLU expecting to find a spouse.  In fact, it took some convincing before I was ready to consider dating at all.  We only started dating after Joseph graduated in 1997.  My last two years at PLU were full of long distance phone calls and road trips to visit him in Spokane.  After I graduated in 1999, we both settled in the Hilltop of Tacoma, and have been here, raising our family, ever since.  But I'm so glad we met at breakfast in the UC!  We've had almost 18 years of adventures together so far-- definitely the better half of my life!

2000's

John McClimans '07 - spouse Tina (Reindl) Mcclimans '07
mcclimansMost people don’t expect they’ll meet their spouse in their orientation group on the first day of Welcome Weekend, but that’s what happened with Tina and I. We got to know each other while pulling all-nighters in the second floor Pflueger study lounge for our Freshman Inquiry Seminar but it took until the fall of our senior year for me to muster up the courage to ask her out.

After graduation we both worked at PLU (myself in the Office of Admission and Tina in Alumni and Constituent Relations) until Tina went back to her hometown of Lodi, Calif. for grad school. Shortly thereafter I left PLU and made the move to sunny Lodi, where we got married the following year. Regardless how far we might be from campus, we don’t our PLU roots; from talking with neighbors about the benefits of a PLU education to including an “Atta-way” cheer during our wedding, our blood runs black and gold.

Tawny Clark '08 - fiance Christopher Staudinger '08
clarkOur love story happened in one of the most unlikely of places.  Climbing the largest free standing mountain in Africa comes with its fair share of bragging rights, but after a week without showers and a hellish climb to the summit, it's doesn't necessarily provide a good recipe for romance.   

Chris and I happened to find ourselves on the same 2008 J-term trip to Tanzania.  Having never met before, he thought I was shallow jock and I thought he was an awkward theater kid.  It wasn't until we got to really talk to each other while setting up camp in the Serengeti that we realized we had a lot in common.  After we returned from our trip we became inseparable.  We both have a passion for travel and exploration.  We graduated that same year and decided to continue our quest for adventure.  

We spent two years living and teaching in South Korea.  Together, we have explored Thailand, desert camped in the United Arab Emirates, experienced traditions in Bahrain, sampled balut in the Philippines, road tripped across the US, wandered the Galapagos islands, and so much more.  We started our travel blog (captainandclark.com) and took our relationship one step further.  We were no longer just boyfriend and girlfriend, but coworkers.  If we could survive forging a new business together, we could survive anything.   

Chris took our relationship another step further this past November while on a trip to India.  While staring in awe at the Taj Mahal he got down on one knee and proposed.  We are now eagerly looking forward to our autumn wedding.  We're fully aware that if we never jumped on that J-term trip we not only wouldn't posses the bragging rights on the century, but we probably never would have met and started this incredible life together. For that, we'll always be indebted to PLU.  

Jessica (Luppino) Pagel '08 - spouse Travis Pagel '07
pagelWe both worked at Multimedia Services while we were students on campus. He was the audio guy and I was the video girl, it was a match made in PLU nerd heaven. We worked events throughout the summer together and always found a lot to talk about while we were waiting for the events to start. I remember when he asked me to go get teriyaki with him before an event, I was so nervous! Eventually one thing led to another and the next thing I knew he invited me over to play "Dr. Mario" on Nintendo (again, match made in nerd heaven), it was our first official date and we never stopped. 

Adrianne (Cryer) Jamieson '09 - spouse Ian Jamieson '08
jamiesonWhen I arrived on campus in the fall of 2005, as an excited and eager freshman, I had a pretty high expectation that I would find my husband at PLU. Growing up hearing stories about how my grandparents met at PLU, I wanted that the same romantic destiny. And it only took about 8 months.
Ian and I met at a birthday party in Ordal main lounge on April 8, 2006. I had seen Ian around the hall before – I was a freshman and not only was he a sophomore, but the president of Ordal – and I couldn’t help but think he was something pretty special. I decided to muster up the courage to say hi to Ian at the party, and introduce myself by saying, “I know you’re Ian but you probably don’t know me; I’m Adrianne.”
We stayed up that night until 4am getting to know each other – I learned that his parent’s met at PLU, as did several other family members with their spouses. Though he may not have had quite the ambition to find “the one” during his time at PLU as I did, the family history at PLU was equally important and influential for him. From that first night on, we have been best friends and the loves of each others’ lives. 
We were married a little over 4 years later, on June 19, 2010, at my grandparent’s home on Harstine Island, Washington.
PLU has been a special place for us because it is where we found each other, where our relationship grew, and now where we both work. Every place on campus holds a different great memory for us and we love to walk around campus and remember the details of how we came to love each other so much today.

Laura (Comstock) Dietz '09 - spouse Mitch Dietz '09
dietzMitch and I met on the first day of Freshman year(2005). I was walking with my roommate as we explored a very new campus! Both of us were walking down the hall in Olson Gym as a good looking blonde walked toward us. He was wearing a shirt that indicated the town he came from, which happened to be near the hometown of my roommate. We all stopped to talk, they talked about their hometown. I thought to myself, 'If every guy at PLU looks like this, I am in heaven!' After that encounter, I would wave and say 'Hi' all over campus for the following years. Flash forward to 6 weeks shy of graduation (2009) Mitch and I met, for the second time. This second encounter was on St. Patrick's day off campus. We talked, and I played shy thinking he remembered our first encounter. Turns out, he didn't remember. We had our first date the day after we met, and got married 2 years after that.

2010's

Marta (Larsen) Eli '10 - spouse Drew Eli '09
eliDrew and I love to tell the story of how we met at PLU!  It was the end of my Sophomore year and his Junior year, right before summer.  I was living in a college house on 118th with some pretty amazing roommates (Angie, Jen, Katie, Alyssa, Renata!) while Drew and his gang of PLU buddies (Hi Mike, Pedey, Kurtis!) lived in the house right next door, our yards separated by a mere chain link fence.   

We had been living side by side for several months, but it took sunshine, an outdoor bonfire, and loud rowdy boys for us girls to get up the courage to hop the fence and introduce ourselves to our neighbors.  On that fateful evening, we discovered we were all lutes, and all became fast friends!  

Drew and I saw each other every single day from then on, rain or shine, whether I had nursing clinicals or he had business projects, we never failed to hop the fence and spend time with each other.   

I have so many memories of Drew and I at PLU, there are too many to share.  Some of my favorites include being his best cheerleader for Lute frisbee and tennis matches, meeting for lunch every single day, attending the dances, and adopting a pair of ducklings by the pflueger pond who had no mother.  We still tell people we met "all because of a fence" ;)  

Drew proposed my senior year on Valentine's Day, after he had moved back home and we had written letters back and forth to each other all summer.  I think amongst my senior preceptor-ship, capstone, and stress over graduation, he wanted to give me something to really look forward to :)  We took engagement photos on campus as it is a special place to both of us, and were married that year on 10-01-10.  

Drew works at PLU now, as he just couldn't stay away.  I love it, because I love having an excuse to come back to campus frequently.  My favorite is meeting him for lunch on sunny days and strolling campus like we did when we were students!

Jamie (Williams) Lindberg '10 - spouse Matthew Lindberg '10
lindbergWhile eating dinner in the University Center after choir rehearsal one evening, I leaned over to my buddy Carl and told him that I thought his roommate (Matt) was cute. In his response he told me that Matt was single. Being a little shy, especially when around so many other friends, I decided to poke Matt on Facebook. One evening while I was working in the ASPLU office I invited him to watch a movie with me on Valentine's Day. The movie we watched was Muppets in Space sent in a care package by my parents. Unfortunately for me, I was on duty for the long President's day weekend. While most of the campus was off and away finding fun things to do, Matt willingly came to visit me each day to keep me company. In that time spent together that weekend we really got to know one another. That Sunday I invited Matt to go to church with me. This meant that he would be going to my childhood church and helping me as I taught a Sunday school art class. Later that day I had a babysitting job and Matt had decided to go home to see his parents for dinner. When I returned to campus, Matt returned shortly after, bringing with him a bouquet of yellow roses (my favorite). We have since been together for five years, and have been married for just over 1.5 years. And those yellow roses still remain, although dried, in the vase that I first put them in.

Jeremy Loween '12 - spouse Laura (Henninger) Loween '11
loweenDuring my freshman year, Laura and I were in the University Chorale together. I noticed Laura prior to choir starting and was THRILLED that we were placed in the same choir. According to Laura, she first noticed me on our very first day of rehearsal when I stood up and introduced myself to the rest of the choir. She claims that she was immediately attracted to me and had to find out if there was a mutual interest.

After several choir dinners, at which Laura and I were joined by a few other members of Chorale on a nightly basis, I finally mustered up the courage to ask her out on an official date. Knowing that her friends had some inside knowledge, I did some research and planned an evening that Laura was bound to love. 

To start the evening, we went to the Spaghetti Factory (Laura's favorite restaurant). After eating our meals and having told our life stories to one another, my feelings for her were reassured. At that point, operation "ask Laura to be my girlfriend" was a go. Being the spur of the moment guy I have always been, I faked going to the restroom to coordinate my scheme. At the end of dinner, our waitress brought out our shared desert with chocolate syrup on the bowl that read "will you be my girlfriend?" on it. She immediately put her hands over her mouth and eventually exclaimed "of course!". 

Laura and I have been together ever since (almost 5 years now) and recently tied the knot in her  hometown of Bellingham, WA on December 29th. It was the most special day of our lives, but I will always look back upon our first official date as the moment that fate took control and made Laura and Jeremy one forever more. We are so blessed and could not be more proud to have shared our PLU experiences and to be Lutes for life!