A Valentine’s Day Special: Which of the HC faculty met their spouse in college?

By Mackenzie Miller – Horizon Editor-in-Chief

Twenty-eight percent of students will meet their spouse in college.

Or at least, according to Facebook they will.

Factors such as the size of the school, as well as how conservative or religious a student body is increased the likelihood that students would find their spouse.

In fact, here at Hesston, we have a few of those infamous couples walking around our campus and teaching our classes. And in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it is only fitting to hear their stories.

Kyle and Christy Miller Hesed (Science, Math Faculty)

In December 2006, Kyle and Christy were thinking it was time to be more than friends.

The Miller Hesed’s actually met at Goshen College (Indiana), Hesston’s sister college,while completing their undergraduate degrees. The two met during orientation weekend.

“I was feeling concerned about what college would be like and had gone for a walk by myself,” Christy Miller Hesed said. “On my way back to the dorm I met Kyle, who was on his bike. We chatted for a bit. Turns out we had both been in the marching band and run cross country in high school!

I went to bed that night thinking that I had just made my first new friend!”

Kyle and Christy didn’t go on their first date – seeing the movie WALL-E – until after they were engaged.

“Develop friendships first,” Christy said.

Kyle agrees.

“College is a brief and special time in life when you have the opportunity to form relationships with a lot of people,” he said. “Maybe you’ll end up marrying one of those people, but maybe not–hopefully you’ll learn a lot from those relationships either way.”

Todd and Julie Lehman (Campus pastor, counselor)

The Lehman’s 2006 engagement photograph.

Todd and Julie Lehman have a story of patience.

Though the Lehmans met while at Eastern Mennonite University, they never dated during those years. After Julie graduated and moved to Oregon, the two started dating. And when all seemed to be working out, they broke up!

“Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to ‘find someone’ while at Hesston College,” Julie said. “Life takes a lot of unexpected twists and turns, and there are so many cool experiences awaiting you – especially if your view is bigger than who you’re going to be with in a relationship.”

Andre and Kate Swartley (English, Spanish Faculty)

Andre and Kate Swartley during their time at Hesston College.

But sometimes you will meet that special someone at Hesston College. Maybe you will even meet them in the Lark’s Nest.

That’s how it happened for Andre and Kate Swartley.

“I was studying with a friend and he came over to say hello,” Kate said. “We didn’t really get to know each other until spring when we were both on the HC tennis team.”

Andre chimed in: “She also thought my name was Jason for waaay too long.”

After a summer of letter-writing, the two dated their sophomore year at Hesston and got married three years later on the Hesston College campus. They fondly remember their times at Hesston.

“We walked around town numerous times after dark looking at stars a lot,” Andre said. “Consequently, our son’s middle name is Orion and our daughter’s is Luna.”

So, the boy or girl whose name you can never remember? They may turn out to be your spouse.

But in honor of Valentine’s Day, Andre gave one last bit of advice for Hesston College students.

“Romantic comedies lie to you,” he said. “Let relationships progress in a way that feels natural and healthy for you. Don’t date just to marry. Listen to your instincts, and never let yourself be pressured into any relationship or action that feels wrong.”

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