Alumni Sweethearts

Finding love on the Hill can turn some Mustangs into lovebirds!

Calling all lovebirds!

Did you meet your mate at Mount Mercy? We want to know the details—how you met, where you liked to hang out, if alumni friends stood in your wedding, etc. Share your story and photos by filling out this form or by emailing

Mustang Sweethearts

thornton.jpg Scott Thornton '13 ♥ Andrea (Norris) Thornton '16
The first time Scott and Andrea came across each other was during Mount Mercy’s January term in 2013. Their class schedules didn't exactly mesh with Andrea pursuing her nursing degree and Scott his business degree (and his passion for baseball), except for one elective course they both took called “Championship Habits”. You were taught how to become a champion at this game of life. Who knew this class would also lead them to the loves of their life?!

After Scott graduated from Mount Mercy, he went back to his home state of California to earn his Master’s Degree from Long Beach State University. Andrea and Scott survived a long-distance relationship for two years from Iowa to California. Scott moved back to Cedar Rapids right before Andrea’s graduation, and a month later the two were engaged. They married where it all began, at the MMU Chapel of Mercy on September 15, 2018. Andrea currently works as a Registered Nurse at Mercy Medical Center, and is also a Mount Mercy clinical instructor for nursing students. Scott works as the Warehouse Manager for PepsiCo in Cedar Rapids.
clouse.jpg Carrie (Weber) Clouse '11 ♥ Dan Clouse '11
We met in the fall of our freshman year (2007) in an honors writing class. We had some mutual friends who ate lunch together most days, so we started getting to know each other when we ate lunch with that group. During the spring semester of our freshman year (2008), we had another class together and, due to changing schedules, began eating lunch with just the two of us. We stayed in touch over the summer and then took another class together during the fall of our sophomore year (2008). Over Christmas break we talked almost every day and finally during the J-term of our sophomore year (2009) we began dating.
Our favorite places to spend time together was in the library, where we could do homework and study together, and the Hill Top. We dated for five years during which time we both graduated from Mount Mercy (2011), Carrie with degrees in accounting, finance, and management, and Dan with a criminal justice and political science degree; Carrie graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012 with a Master’s in Accounting, and Dan graduated from Drake University in 2014 with a law degree. We got married in May 2014 and recently welcomed our daughter, Gwendolyn Olivia Clouse, in June 2018.
steiers.jpg Paul Steier '89 ♥ Susan (Rinaldi) Steier '91
Our Paths Crossed: My wife Susan and I met during orientation of 1987. We were orientation leaders and I was acting in a skit pretending to get back into my Regina dorm room after showering, wearing only a towel as I had forgotten a change of clothes. Susan and a friend Liane Ray-Schulte '91 acted like they were walking by and pulled my towel off (I had shorts on underneath).

I saw Susan again that fall on my way to class at Warde Hall and we said hi but Susan also said she was thinking about me which caught my attention. We would see each other once in a while studying in the basement of Regina and chat. It was the “Freakers Ball” (Halloween Dance) where Susan and I ran into each other again and had fun dancing. After that dance, we dated and would write letters to each other (actual paper letters) and learn more about one another. The rest is history.

We were married in Marion in 1991 and had many Mount Mercy friends in our wedding. Bridesmaids were Mount Mercy alumnae Angie (Edmonds) Holm ’91 and Jolene (O'Connor) Myers '92. Attendants were Mount Mercy alumnae Ginny (Kriegel) Burkle '92 and Liane Ray-Schulte '91. Groomsmen were Mount Mercy alumni Scott Riesenberg '88 and James Topf '89. Steve Saddoris was an Usher and worked as a security guard at Mount Mercy where he and Paul became good friends and golf partners.
besong.jpg Clayton Besong '16 MSL ♥ Ashley (Chambers) Besong '15 MBA
Ashley was enrolled in the MBA graduate program while Clayton was enrolled in the MSL graduate program. Sometimes the two programs had an overlapping class. One class was an International Business class, led by Dr. Celina Peerman and Dr. Deb Oliver. This class had a week-long trip in Belize where we got to know each other. We weren't the only students on that trip that ended up meeting during the class and getting married (Brian & Lesley [Stomp] Mullan). That class trip was in January of 2016. Fast forward to June of 2017, we reconnected in downtown Cedar Rapids, and had our first official date on July 29, 2017. I accepted a job in Minneapolis, MN, two days later and relocated on the 14th of September. She indicated that she wouldn't be getting rid of me that easy. After many months of long-distance dating, and (international) travels, we got engaged on August 8, 2018. We closed on a house on August 29, 2018 in the Twin Cities suburbs, got married on October 26, 2019, and the rest (or best) is yet to come!
mccarville.jpg Susan Wolff McCarville '81 ♥ Steven McCarville '81
Susan (Wolff) McCarville ’81 and Steve McCarville ’81 were married three months after graduation and have four wonderful children, and three beautiful grandchildren. Steve and Susan used to hangout together in McAuley Lounge and studied together, eventually starting to date in their sophomore year. Currently, Sue is a RN at Children's Hospital and Steve is a teacher at Holy Name in Omaha.
kuntz.jpg Zach Kuntz '12 ♥ Taylor (Hartman) Kuntz '12, '16 MBA
We met at Mount Mercy in 2010, we were neighbors in Andreas and had a few classes together. We both graduated in 2012 and we’re engaged in 2013. We got married July 25,2015 and had many of our MMU friends in our wedding - Josh Putz ’12, Aaron Sturtz ’11, Jenna (Roths) Slocum ’12, Anna (Keehn) Handley ’12, Teresa Diaz ’13, and Makenzie Keehn ’13. We settled down in Ely and how have a 1 year old son named Connor.
jahlas.jpg John Jahlas  '84 ♥ Karen (Woodhouse) Jahlas  '84
During a party in the dorms, the late fall of 1981, was the first time I met my future husband. He recognized me from my photo of incoming Freshman and asked me why I didn’t show up for “Freshman Orientation” since he was my orientation leader. After asking if he would be my orientation leader next year, he realized I was a bit clueless. John was a basketball player and I was a cheerleader so we ran around with the same crowd but really didn’t formally date until two years later. We both graduated in 1984 and got married 4 years later. After 30 years of marriage, we have 2 wonderful children and continue to support Mount Mercy where our love began.
brinkmeyer.jpg Amy (Osenbaugh) Brinkmeyer '94 ♥ Corey Brinkmeyer '98
We met during volleyball & soccer pre-season in 1993. Our first kiss was in the McAuley stairway (which we remind our children of whenever we can)! We didn’t begin dating until April of 1994, one month before I graduated. We both thought this was just a fling. Our sons, Graham & Mitchell, were named after the coaches we had at Mount Mercy.
weldon.gif Julie (Heider) Weldon '94 ♥ Patrick Weldon '94
Patrick Weldon '94 and Julie Heider '94 met when Casey Tauber '94 and Patrick needed to borrow Julie's religion notes after missing class because of a Mustang baseball game. Being avid Cubs fans, the 3 of them had lots in common to talk about. Patrick and Julie officially started dating in January of 1992 and married four years later. They will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary this summer!
phillips-thumb.jpg Alyssa (Dickhoff) Phillips '15 ♥ Bradley Phillips '14
We met sophomore year in McAuley on the coed floor. It started slowly and secretly. Bradley would walk by Alyssa's room and say hi to her; Alyssa loved to sing and had the voice of an angel! Alyssa's funky personality and beautiful voice attracted Bradley to become more interested. One day, Alyssa and her nursing classmates were practicing taking heart rates in the hallway of McAuley, and that's when Bradley started making a move. He had Alyssa practice on him—from there they were better friends. Alyssa's roommate (Haley Graham) and Bradley would talk about politics and classes, and the three became friends. The coed floor was a tight knit floor.

Bradley started hanging with Haley and Alyssa, watching movies with them. Bradley asked Alyssa out to some FroYo at Orange Leaf and to the movie "The Call."

Bradley eventually asked Alyssa out on April Fools Day 2013. It was incredibly cheesy and included a cookie cake with Elvis and Priscilla and Bradley and Alyssa. The cookie asked Alyssa to be Bradley's Priscilla. “Will you be my girlfriend?”

Bradley proposed to Alyssa in Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee on January 23, 2015.

Bradley and Alyssa bought their first puppy (A cavachon named Presley James Phillips).

Bradley and Alyssa bought their first house together on January 20, 2016.

Bradley and Alyssa married on June 18, 2016.

The rest is history.

Mount Mercy is a place that we will always cherish. It's not just a place I met my soul mate, but it's a symbol of family.

Bradley's brother and sister-in-Law both graduated from Mount Mercy (Ryan and Marissa Phillips).

Alyssa's cousin graduated from Mount Mercy (Nicole Ries).

Now, Bradley's roommates in college and us are best of friends. There is a group of 11 of us that hang out on a regular basis. Four of the friends are now couples that met at Mount Mercy who will be married Fall 2017.

Mount Mercy helped connect two soulmates destined for each other, brought a group of friends who will always cherish each other and Mount Mercy, and started a family tradition for the Phillips'.