IU East Sweethearts: Alumni couples share how they connected through campus

Connections to Indiana University East are strong. IU East alumni receive a great education here, but this also is the place where some alumni have met the love of their life.

Alumni couples share a very special bond with each other. Both partners being graduates of IU East has its perks – you just know what your partner is talking about when referring to a place on campus, a piece of history or tradition, or that professor who made a major impact. You both have a deep understanding of the IU East culture. College is an unforgettable experience that creates lifelong friendships and for some, a romantic partner or even a spouse.

The Office of Alumni Affairs is invites alumni to share their stories of how they met their spouses or partners while they were students at IU East.

As IU East approaches its 50th anniversary in 2021, Alumni Affairs is hopes to collect at least 50 stories and photos of alumni couples to use in a number of avenues and to incorporate into the celebration. Share you story and photos by filling out the online form at iue.edu/alumni/sweethearts or email Terry Wiesehan, director of Alumni Relations, at twiesaha@iue.edu.

Thank you to some of the alumni who have shared their story for Valentine’s Day.

Shana Lewis and Cameron Jones

Shana Lewis and Cameron Jones

Shana Lewis ‘16 and Cameron Jones ‘16
Cameron and I met freshman year at IU East. We were both on the track team. We were both majoring in business administration. We had mutual friends and spent a lot of time together at practice and while we didn’t get along at first, the more we were around each other, the more we hit it off! We started dating the winter of our sophomore year.

A lot of our time was spent in the Graf (Center) while Cameron played Euchre and I did homework before practice. We had heated debates over our ethics class assignments and bounced business ideas off of each other when we had to do business plans as a final assignment. And every track meet included matching socks for luck!

After graduation, we moved to Indianapolis. Last December made six years since we started dating. It’s fun to look back on those early years and have so many college memories with each other. We learned how to work together.

Hunter Wilson and Brooklyn Hubbard

Hunter Wilson and Brooklyn Hubbard

Brooklyn Hubbard ’19 and Hunter Wilson ‘19
Although Hunter and I went to the same high school, we didn’t start dating until our last year together at IU East. We both played on the tennis team and always had great chemistry. Eventually we realized our feelings were mutual and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

I was actually supposed to graduate in 2020 but took extra credit hours and summer classes to graduate in 2019, so we didn’t have to stay at Chester Heights or live the college life for another year. It was really special getting to graduate college together. On campus, our favorite hang out spot was definitely the Graf. We loved getting milkshakes and playing Ping-Pong.

Out of all of the places we could have gone, we’re so glad we both ended up at IU East!

Brandon Hilbert and Michelle Hilbert stand together

Brandon Hilbert and Michelle Hilbert

Brandon Hilbert ‘02 and ‘11 and Michelle (Spencer) Hilbert ‘02 and ‘14
It was the fall of 1999 when Michelle and I took upon the challenge of completing the final editing of a group paper in our Educational Psychology class at Indiana University East on the third floor of what was known at the time as Middlefork Hall, now known as Tom Raper Hall. It was through this class that we began to develop a friendship that would eventually lead to our marriage in August 2004. As we both pursued our degrees, Michelle’s in Elementary Education and mine in Secondary Education, we would often spend our downtime on campus at the patio just outside Whitewater Hall soaking in the sun and talking about our classes or just life in general. On days when the time would allow, we would go on walks on the woodland trails behind Hayes Hall. It was these walks in the woods that stand out most to me when I think about our time together at IU East. They were a time for both of us to get away from the stress of projects to complete and papers to write. A time for both of us to enjoy each other’s company, learn about our pasts, and dream about our futures together.

Michelle and I both graduated with our education degrees in spring 2002. It was during this time that we went our separate ways striking out on our paths, but our paths were not meant to diverge for long. Our time together both on and off campus kept bringing us back together. Our common friends, experiences, and one slightly determined future mother-in-law made sure we did not stay apart long and we married in August 2004.

Our connection with IU East does not end with our marriage and undergraduate education degrees. We both returned to IU East to complete our master’s degrees in education staggering our academic workloads because of our four young children at the time. I completed my master’s degree in 2012 and Michelle finished hers in 2014.

Today we both teach in the Richmond Community School District. Michelle teaches second grade at Westview Elementary, and I teach at Richmond High School as the Science Department Head working with students in Advanced Placement Biology and pre-engineering classes.

Michelle and I continue to support IU East through our work. Michelle hosts IU East School of Education pre-service students in her classroom throughout the school year. I enjoy working with IU East pre-service teachers as an adjunct instructor for the School of Education, occasionally even teaching in the same classroom that brought Michelle and I together.

When Michelle and I look back at how IU East has influenced our lives together, we are grateful for the many opportunities it has provided us and look forward to the many yet to come.

Chase Eversole and Emily O'Brien after commencement

Chase Eversole and Emily O’Brien

Emily O’Brien ‘15 and Chase Eversole ‘15
We met our freshman year at IU East — we were both English majors, and got hired as Writing Center Consultants at the same time. We were friends first, and spent several hours a day together at work on campus, in classes, and in our roles in several of the same campus organizations including as editors of Tributaries, members of the Honors Program, and officers of IU East’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter.

We started dating during our junior year (it took that long because everyone on campus knew I liked Chase except him).

Chris Werking and Caitlin Boggs after commencement in grad caps and gowns

Chris Werking and Caitlin Boggs

Caitlin Boggs ‘19 and Chris Werking ‘19
Chris and I met sophomore year of undergrad at IU East in Trigonometry class in spring 2017! We became friends in class because we were terrible at math and went to SI (Supplemental Instruction) together every morning before lecture. For spring break we were both going to separate parts of Florida, and he ended up driving 7 hours to come take me on our first date to get sushi. We made it Facebook official on March 25, 2017, and have been dating ever since! After that class Chris and I took many other classes together, and our friends could always find us studying in the computer lab on the second floor of Whitewater.

I am forever grateful for IU East for introducing me to my best friend and the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with. We will always have a special place in our hearts for IU East, all of the great memories we made and all of the amazing people we had the privilege of meeting. We both graduated from IU East in 2019 and were able to start a new chapter of our lives together.

We both wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to thank IU East because without it, we would have never met and now we cannot imagine life without one another.

Lisa Hill Roark and Mike Roark next to each other in black and gold

Lisa Roark and Mike Roark

Lisa (Hill) Roark ‘87 and Mike Roark ‘87
We met in the recreation area playing pool back in the day when IU East had only one building. He was studying engineering through the Purdue program and I was studying business through the IU program. We dated through our time at IU East, graduated with our associate’s degree together in May 1987, married the next month in June 1987.

After our honeymoon to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, we moved into married student housing at Purdue University in West Lafayette. I worked in the Library Business Offices at Purdue to help get Mike through his last two years of his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology degree. We have been married 32 years and have a son, Lukas, who just graduated with a degree in agriculture from Purdue University.

Brittany Wood and Cody Wood

Brittany Wood and Cody Wood

Brittany (Crary) Wood ’20 and Cody Wood
I started out my freshman year, when Cody was a junior, just hanging out in the Graf. I made some friends, and he was part of that group. I had a crush on him and little did I know the crush was mutual. Talked to some of my friends about him. He then found out I liked him.

We started talking early November, our first date was the 2014 Talent Show and Bonfire. The Bonfire is where we shared out first kiss. November 19, 2014, we were “offical”! We lived an hour apart from each other, so at times it was hard being able to see each other. IU East was in the middle for both of us.

We got engaged on spring break in 2017 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee! We got married September 21, 2019, right in Richmond! I do believe it was meant for both of us to attend IU East or we may have never met!

For more IU East Sweetheart stories, read about last year’s alumni couples at go.iu.edu/2i5i.