May 23, 2024

By the middle of February it becomes apparent that the time between Christmas and Valentine’s Day is the most common time of year to pop the question.

Exquisite diamond rings have emerged on the left hands of numerous women across campus and throughout the country.

Most people enjoy a good proposal story, regardless of their relationship status. Whether romantic, creative, spontaneous or disastrous, each narrative is unique and brings out the romantic side in even the most cynical audience.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, proposal stories were collected from a variety of people across campus, including students and staff.

Julie and Jared Dobbins
Julie (Woudenberg) Dobbins graduated from California Baptist University and works on-campus as an Undergraduate Admissions Counselor. Her husband, Jared Dobbins, is the Assistant Director of Global Mobilization.

While co-leading a USP team to New York, Julie received an incredible surprise during a day of sight-seeing.

“We were walking across the Brooklyn Bridge in the afternoon with the team to meet our field worker,” Dobbins said. “As I approached the second tower, I heard someone call my name. Jared was standing in the walk-way just smiling at me.”

Julie explained the joy and the shock she first felt when seeing Jared. “I thought he was checking on USP teams…Then he told me to walk toward him and I realized, ‘Oh my gosh, I think he is going to propose’,” she said. “He got down on one knee and people on the bridge started clapping. It was perfect.”

“The best parts about the proposal was the fact that he had a video on this phone from my parents and everything that he said. He explained what he had learned about love, serving and growing and how he wanted to continue to do those things with me,” Dobbins said. Julie and Jared were married in September 2010.

Paula and Lee Sherman
Paula Sherman has served as a Residence Director in the University Place apartments since August 2010.

Fireworks literally filled the sky on the night that Lee proposed. The couple had spent the day celebrating July 4 with family and friends in Paula’s hometown of Urbandale, Iowa.

“We had a huge barbecue and as soon as night fell we went out to the front porch to light sparklers,” Sherman said. “During that time, Lee asked me if we could go on a walk and enjoy our last night in Iowa.”

As an added personal touch, Lee took Paula to a neighborhood park at which she had played as a child. “As w stood under a weeping willow tree, he got down on one knee and proposed,” Sherman said. “Then we walked back and enjoyed the fireworks. I was totally surprised.”

Caitlin and Dustin Schanaker
Caitlin (O’Neil) and Dustin Schanaker, both seniors at CBU, were married on Jan. 1. Their proposal story is comparable to a classic fairytale.

While on a family vacation to Ireland, Dustin Schanaker selected a garden at a large manor as the perfect location for a picturesque proposal. He had spent the day with Caitlin and her family, touring the beautiful grounds of the mansion.

“At the end of the tour her family went inside the manor and watched from the second story,” he said. “I told Caitlin I had one more place I wanted to take a picture…I told her I had bought something for her the day before and I told her to close her eyes. I got down on one knee and told her to open them.”

He presented the ring and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him. She said yes. “The weather was awful, the timing was unexpected but the moment couldn’t have been more peaceful, intimate or romantic,” she said.

Bethany and Terence “TK” Scott
Bethany Scott is the Residence Director of College View Apartments and the Houses.

Her husband took her back to one of their favorite beaches, where they frequently went to go on a walk and sit on a specific beach. He had secretly arranged for her best friend Gina to fly out from Minnesota, with her daughter Addison, to partake in the special moment.

“We were sitting at the bench after our walk and he told me to look to my right,” Scott said. “I saw my goddaughter, Addison, walking towards me. She got so excited when I turned around that the next step she took she face planted in the cement.”

Scott ran over to help the little girl, and noticed a small box in her hand. She immediately knew what was going on and turned around to see Terence kneeling beside her. He asked her to marry him and she joyfully said yes.

“I turned around to pick her (Addison) up and she had taken the ring out of the box and was holding it up,” she said. “After that he took me to lunch where our family and friends were waiting. He did a great job.”

Britany Haynes and Bryce Harrison
Britany Haynes and Bryce Harrison are both RA’s and seniors at CBU. When Harrison asked Haynes to be his wife, he took her to Disneyland for a magical evening.

After surprising her with preferred viewing tickets for California Adventure’s show, World of Color, Harrison announced that he had more in store. “Bryce proposed on the private balcony of Disney’s famous Club 33, overlooking Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, with rain falling and jazz music playing softly in the background,” Haynes said. “It was like a dream.”

Haynes said that she never expected to gain entrance to the exclusive Club 33 and that she would have never imagined experiencing her engagement there. She was overjoyed and speechless. “I said yes, but he had to ask for my hand so he could put the ring on me,” she said. “I was just stunned.”

Shayna Tasabia and Neil Morgan
Neil Morgan, a junior, recently used his creativity to propose to his girlfriend, Shayna Tasabia, on Jan. 21, 2011.

Morgan designed an elaborate scavenger hunt throughout campus, leading Tasabia to specific locations that had been significant in their relationship. He had placed a single red rose and a clue at each spot, which prompted her to the next location.

The final clue led Tasabia to Simmons Hall, where she serves as an RA. Morgan had placed large letters in the windows which asked, “Shayna, will you marry me?”

“I came out and proposed, while her parents, siblings, wonderful RA friends and my mom watched,” Morgan said. “Everything went according to plan…I had no idea how I could do it up to her standards but it came to me in a dream.”

It is stories like these that warm hearts throughout the year. Whether simple, elaborate, planned or spontaneous, the uniqueness of each couple enhances the beauty of each individual story. No matter how the proposal unfurled, the end result was achieved and each couple was delighted by their own distinct love story.

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