Augie Sweethearts

There are more than 2,500 Augie sweethearts across the globe. These alumni started their love story at Augustana and eventually married. Some of them even said their vows at Augustana's Chapel of Reconciliation.

Each Valentine's Day, the Office of Alumni Relations asks all Augie sweethearts to share their stories and photos of how they met their spouse at Augustana. Below are some of our favorite Augie love stories. Share your photos and stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #AugieSweethearts.


Viking Sweethearts
Save this image and make this Viking couple your social media profile pic for Valentine's Day.


Your #AugieSweethearts Stories

Lisa McLaughlin Rupert: "My husband and I met after graduation. Brad Rupert ('97) transferred to pursue a major not offered at Augie. He moved back to Sioux Falls after graduating and we met at Jill Slette Koehler's home. I'm glad John Parks decided to bring him along! We have been married for 13 years and have 2 awesome boys! The great relationships still intact today = Augie advantage! ‪#‎augiesweethearts‬" (Shared Feb. 12, 2016) 

Kimberly Ann Christianson: “Kim Olson '81 + Jim Christianson '79 are #augiesweethearts. 9 of our Augie friends took part in our celebration on June 5th, 1982 in LeMars, Iowa!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2015)

Dennis Holzwarth '73:"40 plus years ago and happier than ever." (Shared Feb. 14, 2015)

Tara Fagerstrom Rogness '98 and Jon Rogness '98. From Tara: "We met on move-in day, but didn't start dating until May of our senior year. But in between, we were best friends. The best part is that we are still best friends today, after 15 years of marriage." (Shared Feb. 14, 2015)

Andrew Ellsworth: "On Valentine's Day in 2002, Laura Ellsworth and I went to the movie ‘Monsters Inc’ just as friends. I asked her to go with me the night before in the Bergsaker computer lab. We started dating that next fall and we are still #AugieSweethearts." (Shared Feb. 14, 2015)

Carrie Moritz: "My hubby and I met in Algebra I spring semester of our freshman year, started dating sophomore year, and were engaged on Valentine's Day of our senior year. 😊😍 Still happily married 11 years later." (Shared Feb. 14, 2015)

Amanda Wagner: "Ethan and I met at Augie through a mutual friend and now we are getting married this June. We couldn't be happier." (Shared Feb. 14, 2015)

Kris Matchett Zerse: “I was visiting my sister who was a freshman (I was a junior in high school) and he was a sophomore and in one of her classes. I would later come to Augie as a sophomore, but we didn't start dating until after he graduated. We married a year & a half later - 19 years ago!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Tara Fagerstrom Rogness: “I met my valentine at Augie. We met on move-in day, were in the same new student orientation group, but didn't start dating until May of our senior year. It's so fantastic to marry your best friend! We've been married for 11 years!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Jill Kolsrud Blom: “We worked at the help desk together during the summer of 2000. We lost track of each other after that until another Augie student set us up for a date about four years later. We were married in 2008!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Melissa Engel Dykstra: “21 years ago TODAY I had something in my mail box (#381) at Augustana! It was a Snoopy Valentine's card from Darin Dykstra!!! How random. But, looks like it may have worked. We will be married 20 years in October.” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Gretchen Papik Jepperson: “Ryan and I met in the choir and were friends for a long time before we started dating during my senior year. We have been married for almost 10 years and have 4 beautiful children.” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Shannon Bjelland Viereck: “I met my husband at Augie in the fall of 2001. However, we didn't start dating until a few months after graduation in 2005. I still remember the first conversation we ever had. His girlfriend at the time introduced us and said ‘Shannon, this is Tom.’ I said, ‘I'll remember that name - my uncle's name is Tom.’ Tom then famously answered, ‘Does he have a cabin? 'Cuz then it would be Uncle Tom's Cabin!’ I guess the line took about 4 years to grow on me, but I did end up marrying him so I guess I must like corny jokes! We have been married for 4 1/2 years and are expecting our first child (a girl!) in May!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Erin Bennett Horstmeyer: “I met Jeff during welcome week my freshman year. We became great friends and started dating in February of that year. We have been together over 16 years and married for 13. He is definitely my greatest Augie advantage!!!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)
Megan Olson Johnson: “I met my valentine, Nathaniel right before Valentine's Day 9 years ago. We started dating after having a J-term class together & going on choir 'ter.' We got married after I graduated. It has been 6.5 years! We now have 2 kids & have gone through a lot. I feel very blessed to have an amazing Augie sweetheart!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Sharla Shurr Krell: “I, too, met my valentine at Augie. Matt and I were in the same NSO group as freshmen and became good friends but didn't start dating until our junior year. After graduation, we got married in the Augie chapel almost 17 years ago! It's still a great day to be a Viking!!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Lisa Christensen Pole: “Andrew Pole and I met in the Augie band when I was a freshman, 19 years ago. Even though we had gone out to dinner with 2 other friends, he still had no idea I was interested in him! I asked him what he thought would be the perfect Valentine's Day gift--he said a bag of Cheetos and a kiss. So I had his best friend put a bag of Cheetos in his locker along with a note from me. That finally gave him a clue! We just celebrated our 15th anniversary last summer and have many happy memories of our time and friends at Augustana.” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Andy Vander Linden: “I met Kendra (Neu) Vander Linden junior year in a psychology class. She was skipping class that day and she asked me to turn in her paper for her. From there, we began studying together and eventually went on our first official date to the Spicy Pickle (so sad it is no longer exists). We were official as a couple on Valentine's Day 3 years ago. We were married in August 2010 and we will both soon have full-time jobs after 6 years of school! Wohoo!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Deb Piehl Lund: “We did not meet there, but we were students there when we got engaged, and enjoyed our first year of marriage as seniors at Augie!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Becky Blue: “Dan and I met in our freshman chemistry class in 1977. We sat alphabetically and I sat behind him. Our first date wasn't until Interim when he took me to the UBG movie in GSC and then on to the Crack'd Pot (yes, that was really the name of the restaurant) for pie.” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Corey Camp: “I met my wife at Augie as a result of my college roommate and my wife's college roommate are siblings. Thanks Reisters!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Jason Glaser: “Becky (Stromstad) and I had several classes together, including one taught by Ron Robinson in 1995. Fun fact: Ron Robinson also taught an English class where my parents met in 1967. Ron is apparently responsible for two generations of Glaser Augie romances.” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Rhiannon Johnson: “I met Jason at the end of freshman year in Bergsaker and started dating at the end of sophomore year. We got married a year after we graduated and have been married 10 years. And I didn't even have to change my last name!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Jennifer Thomas: “Vance and I were in band together -- brass and woodwinds on opposite sides of the room and we had a few mutual friends. we started dating at the end of our freshman year, were engaged on valentine's day our senior year, and married after the first year of seminary. We've been married 15 years! a side note, the first time I remember seeing him in the Huddle he was fresh from an art studio and looking a little scruffy! A diamond in the rough!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Jessica Cooper Graumann: “Aaron ('06) and I ('07) met my freshman year at a friend's house. He says that I didn't notice him at first but I did ;) We started dating the next year and got married in 2008. Our years at Augie have been some of the best memories for both me and my husband!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Carrie Leber Erickson: “Chris and I met during fall camp our freshman year (he as a football player and myself as a volleyball player). We soon found out that we were both athletic training majors, sharing many of the same classes. We became the best of friends but didn't officially start dating until mid-way through our senior year. We got engaged less than a year later and then married 1 year after that. We both have very fond memories of our Augie years and beyond!” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Brandi Koester Sestak: “ Tim and I met the first week of our first year at Augie during the first year theatre production, but didn't connect until J-Term our junior year. Our second ‘date’ was going to see the UBG-sponsored movie ‘The Ring’ on-campus. We will be married 5 years in March.” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)

Jonathan Toso: “Mary (‘90) and I (‘89) met the fall of 1986 (yikes) at a Halloween Party. I chased her around for the next few weeks until she said yes to a date. Married in August of 1990 at the Chapel, we have now pulled off twenty years of Augustana wedded bliss. Ha! We have four wonderfully unique children. Now that's Alumni Relations.” (Shared Feb. 14, 2011)