When Danielle Cochran ’04, M.S. ’06, and E. Marissa Brass ’08 attended ISU, they had no idea their involvement on campus would lead to a happily ever after.

Danielle met Marissa in passing at an ISU event. “We met because one of my friends is friends with her good friend,” he said. The two were not formally introduced until after they finished their degrees—his in English and hers in family and consumer sciences.

“We both started realizing that the other existed after we graduated,” he said, recalling that Marissa returned to ISU in 2009 to help out with a party for the NOIR Dance team, which she was a member of as an undergrad. She was introduced to Danielle again.

“It was a gathering of alumni. After seeing each other, he came up and spoke to me,” Marissa said. The rest is history.
Danielle was living in Bloomington and working at ISU’s Financial Aid office. Marissa was teaching at Lockport Township High School. Danielle eventually moved to be closer to her.

In the fall of 2010, the two attended Homecoming together. While tailgating with friends and alumni, Danielle asked if Marissa would run an errand with him. She agreed.

“I blindfolded her and told her that we were going someplace special,” Danielle said. He took her to White Oak Park, which was their spot while dating.

“Whenever she would come down and visit me, we would spend time in this park. It is where we decided to take our relationship to the next level and be mutually exclusive,” Danielle said.

He sat her down on a bench and with the help of three friends, shared a poem he had written. “The three people who were responsible for bringing us together helped read the poem. I read the ending and then asked her to marry me.”

The wedding was July 9, 2011. Many alumni attended and participated, including three groomsmen and three bridesmaids.

Danielle and Marissa now live in Romeoville, yet their connection to campus remains strong. Each year they return for Homecoming to celebrate their engagement and the fact Illinois State brought them together.