"At the end of the day, we were truly married at home."
On Saturday, the eighteenth of May – in front of Petersime Chapel on the Manchester Mall in the very core of campus – Katie Miller ’13 and John Lash ’12 married. Seven Manchester graduates formed their wedding party as the campus pastor led them through their vows.
Another spring wedding on the Mall the following weekend reunited three generations of Manchester students. (See Lahman-Rupp story below.)
“At the end of the day, there was really no other choice but Manchester for our wedding,” says John, of the northern Indiana hometown of Kendallville. “As students, we found the strength and encouragement to pursue hopes and dreams and ultimately, our hearts. As alumni, we had the opportunity to start our life together on the very grounds where we met."
“At the end of the day, we were truly married at home.”
They met at Manchester during John’s last year before he would head south to a graduate fellowship in chemistry at Duke University and Katie, an elementary education major, would fly to Ecuador for a semester with BCA Study Abroad.
Both had fully engaged in all that is Manchester, as bright student-athletes, in January sessions and as student ambassadors. John was a chemistry tutor. Katie, of Winchester in east central Indiana, worked in admissions and public relations. They made fast friends in roommates and teammates on Spartan teams. They literally were poster students for Manchester, their photos on marketing materials. Katie even took to the stage to help debut the $100 million Students First! fund-raising campaign.
With families more than 100 miles apart, and with Katie’s graduation the very next day, Manchester University was the perfect venue for everybody. Even better: The University had just opened a beautifully reseeded mall.
Recalls the bride: “As I stood at the end of the aisle, my father turned to me and said, ‘How great! This wedding is just so special. You couldn't have found a better place to have such an important day.’
“I know Manchester brings people together, but for us, and many others throughout the years, it also is where we found someone we will spend our life with. On our Big Day, we surrounded ourselves with many members of our Manchester family, from roommates and teammates to professors, coaches and mentors."
The Miller-Lash wedding party also included groomsmen Corey Brueggeman '12, Joe Peters '12 and Carson McFadden '13, and bridesmaids Sarah Lauinger '12, Brittany Shuler '14, Kelsie Fieler '14 and Kelsey Barta '13. They topped off the MU festivities in the towering Haist Commons in the MU Union.
“We cannot give enough thanks to the MANY people on campus who were so supportive,” says Katie. “As a bride, it was reassuring to plan my wedding with people I could call and chat with who know me on a first-name basis. We were also so fortunate to have Campus Pastor Walt Wiltschek, who not only officiated the ceremony but truly supported us on a personal level as we began our journey together.”
3 generations of Manchester unite for Lahman-Rupp wedding
Another spring wedding on the Mall reunited three generations of students in a weekend filled with rediscovering Manchester. Ironically, the happy couple are not MU grads, although bride Kristen Lahman practically grew up on campus as the daughter of Dave Lahman ’78 and Mary Plunkett ’83 Lahman, professor of communication studies.
When Kristen and groom Neil Rupp married May 25, Lahmans, Plunketts, Rusts, Hartsoughs, Hogles, Sollenbergers, Theens and Parks reminisced about their times at Manchester and marveled at the additions of the Science Center, Academic Center, Wine Recital Hall and renovated Union. Some spent the night in a modern “dorm” – Oakwood Hall.
After the wedding, Registrar and lifetime bellringer Lila VanLue ’79 Hammer treated the family to an impromptu chime concert and tour of the Bell Tower.
Left of sign, from left: David Sollenberger ’75, Dave Lahman ’78, Mary Lahman ’76x Sollenberger, Rolf Theen ’59, Barb Lahman ’80 Hogle, Jeanette Lahman ’50, Norma Plunkett ’57 Theen, Beth Plunkett ’77x Hartsough, Josh Sollenberger ’07, Deb Plunkett ’75 Lahman and Mary Plunkett ’83 Lahman. Behind sign: John Lahman ’75, Mike Hartsough ’76, Amber Hall ’05 Hartsough, Todd Hartsough ’00, Angela Lahman ’99, Kyle Lahman ’15, Aaron Lahman ’04, Matt Hartsough ’02x and Andy Lahman ’02. Right of sign: Shirley Royer ’69x Rust, Dean Rust ’68, Joan Rust ’59x Parks and Barbara Rust ’54 Plunkett
Weddings, receptions, family reunions, corporate retreats ... MU Conference Services is a great place to start your plans. Click here for info about facilities in North Manchester and Fort Wayne.