The two were new students at Mount Mercy attending fall 2001 orientation activities. Mindy was a transfer student and Eric was a freshman. Although Mindy’s first sighting of Eric took place at the freshman barbeque, it wasn’t until orientation that they would have their first conversation.
Not long after, Eric recalls seeing Mindy when he was visiting a friend who lived on the same floor as Mindy in her residence hall. Mindy’s TV wasn’t working and she was in search of someone who could help when she spotted Eric. Willing to lend a hand, Eric was quick to diagnose the TV’s problem.
“I told her that her TV was stupid,” Eric laughed.
From that moment a friendship between the two blossomed, but they would remain just friends for a few months. Their relationship was given a gentle nudge that November when Mindy decided to reveal her feelings for Eric, causing a definite change in their friendship.
The couple began dating officially on New Year’s Eve, and noted it was a great way to kick off 2002. The time they spent as friends is something they cherish and said it helped them develop a strong foundation that would prepare them for marriage.
“I knew it made the most sense to be friends first,” Mindy said. “A great friendship is the foundation of any good relationship. It has served us well into marriage – I count him as my best friend and that’s been a blessing.”
Eric and Mindy stayed together through the rest of their college years. Some moments were more trying than others such as Eric’s first experience living on his own, or when Mindy’s mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003. Eric proved to be an incredible support not only for Mindy, but her entire family, during that time. Mindy continued to see many moments in which Eric demonstrated great strength and qualities she was looking for in a future husband.
In December 2005 Eric orchestrated a proposal for Mindy, gathering 20 – 25 of the their closest Mount Mercy friends consisting of students, faculty, and staff to serenade Mindy with the song “I Wanna Grow Old With You” – one of her favorites – in the Mount Mercy McAuley Theater. The couple married on July 8, 2006. They made sure to include the “single” t-shirt as part of their engagement photos.
Their relationship continued to grow on campus as their first home as a married couple was in McAuley Hall, where Mindy was working as a hall director. Mindy left Mount Mercy for a brief time in 2007 to prepare for graduate school, but returned in 2008 when the position of coordinator of leadership programs opened up.
“For me, Mount Mercy will always be my second home – it’s a place I will always treasure,” Mindy said. “I have to say that it is amazing to work only feet from where our first apartment stood; we have a lot of great memories here.”
Eric agreed the couple’s memories are practically one with campus.
“We met on sixth floor of Regina, got engaged and lived in McAuley, and spent a lot of time hanging out at The Hilltop,” Eric said. “Mount Mercy is deeply engrained in our relationship.”
Mindy still maintains her position as coordinator of leadership programs at Mount Mercy, and Eric is a senior software engineer at Intermec Technologies in Cedar Rapids. They reside in Marion. While they will plan a fairly low key Valentine’s Day this year, they know their time spent together will be fun…like always.
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