By Steve Orbanek
Marketing Communications Specialist, Penn State Behrend
When Jonathan Wolff ’13 decided to propose to Marissa Morrissette ’14, his girlfriend of more than three years, he could think of only one place to “pop the question.”
“I wanted to make it personal, and for us, that meant proposing at (Penn State) Behrend,” Wolff said.
While Behrend is not exactly a hotbed of romance, it was for Wolff and Morrissette. The two first met in 2012 in a management course at the college. Wolff slyly asked Morrissette to study.
“I just thought, ‘Yay, study partner!’ I didn’t think anything of it,” Morrissette recalled.
However, Wolff’s intentions were far more deliberate. He wanted an excuse to spend time with Morrissette, and the two soon found that they had plenty in common.
They were both members of the Lion Entertainment Board and Reality Check, a service-based organization at Behrend that focuses on helping people on campus, in the local community, and around the country.
As part of Reality Check, the two went to Mission, Texas, that March for Alternative Spring Break, an annual week-long service trip where students immerse themselves into a community that is different from their own. They hit it off during the trip, and began officially dating.
Wolff and Morrissette made several great memories at Behrend. They traveled to Puerto Rico for Alternative Spring Break in 2013, and they spent dozens of Friday evenings together planning programming for LEB.
“Behrend allowed us to do so much together,” Morrissette said. “We both had a passion for service, and Behrend gave us the opportunities to serve.”
Their love for Behrend was further cemented on November 22 when Wolff proposed to Morrissette in front of the lion shrine on campus. While the two had talked about getting married, Wolff took steps to ensure she did not see the proposal coming. He told her he would be out of town that weekend, so Morrissette made plans to have lunch with a friend.
That friend, however, was in on Wolff’s plan. After lunch, she took Morrissette to campus where Wolff had posted clues in various areas that would then lead to the next clue.
The final clue brought Morrissette to the lion shrine where a laptop was set up to play a montage of classic moments from Disney films. When the footage ended, Morrissette turned around to see Wolff, who promptly got down on one knee.
“I was crying, and it was perfect. This is the place that brought us together,” Morrissette said.
The two plan to marry on June 3, 2017, in their hometown of Pittsburgh.