Kelsey Wallace and Alex Nagyivan, both 2009 graduates, completed a management and quantitative methods class together their junior year. But that’s not when their romance started.
“I’m a loner in class,” Kelsey admitted. “I’m the person who sits in the front row and doesn’t talk, just takes notes.”
While she was a business administration major and Alex studied finance with an economics minor, it was outside the College of Business that the two connected during their senior year.
Kelsey was a member of Delta Delta Delta, with Alex pledged to Sigma Tau Gamma. They had mutual friends and attended Greek events. It was an unplanned conversation outside a bar during the fall of their last year as undergraduates, however, that started a spark.
“In his words, he swooped in,” Kelsey said, adding that he won her heart after their first serious date. They visited Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, went ice skating and had dinner on that December day.
The two enjoyed one semester together on campus before graduating and returning to their family homes in the Chicago area. Dating continued as Alex joined a finance company and Kelsey worked in corporate hospitality.
The proposal came in June of 2014. Alex planned a bike ride along Lakeshore Drive. They stopped at the planetarium, where Alex produced a ring tucked in a Ziploc bag that was secured with duct tape. “He was super nervous about it falling into the lake and losing the ring,” Kelsey recalled.
The engagement was celebrated that evening with family and friends in a surprise party Alex arranged at their condo.
An even larger group gathered for the wedding on May 23, 2015. Many who attended were ISU alums, including members of Kelsey’s extended family. Her sister, grandparents and aunts are all graduates.
The two reside in Chicago, where Alex works as a senior data analyst for Careerbuilder.com. Kelsey plans to return to industry events after a job in learning and development at McDonald’s ended.
Given the romantic connection to campus and strong family ties, Kelsey and Alex remain loyal Redbirds. They visit at Homecoming and have returned for the weddings of friends who also found their soulmates while students.