Recent Upper Iowa University graduate Meredith Lyons gets the surprise of her life as her boyfriend of five years, Drew Hunt, gets down on one knee to propose.
FAYETTE, Iowa (May 13, 2014) – Meredith Lyons and Drew Hunt knew that one day they would marry. The couple, who met online more than five years ago, had talked of wedding plans and went ring shopping almost five months ago. In fact, just the day before Lyons was to receive her diploma from Upper Iowa University on Saturday, May 10, she suggested they go ring shopping once again. Hunt nonchalantly replied, "Nah, let's stay home."
The next day, after traveling from West Des Moines to Fayette for Lyons' Commencement ceremony, Hunt got a little nervous as he checked out the originally planned venue of Harms-Eischeid Stadium. "I could see it was going to be tough to get down on the field," he said. Luckily for Hunt, rainshowers moved in causing a change of location for the second of Upper Iowa's two Commencement ceremonies. A fan of basketball, Hunt was just fine with proposing in Dorman Gymnasium.
As Lyons approached the podium and waited for her name to be read, she didn't notice as Hunt separated himself from her family in the stands to stand at the end of professors waiting to congratulate their students. "I hid behind the usher so Meredith wouldn't see me," he said. He almost hid a little too well, as Lyons shook hands with professors from the Andres School of Education and prepared to go back to her seat. Hunt quickly grabbed her arm. All she had time to say was, "What are you....?" before Hunt dropped to one knee and calmly took out of his pocket the ring they had picked out together back in January.
For Lyons it was the greatest moment to cap off a series of recent good fortunes in her life. Not only did she complete her degree in education from the Upper Iowa University Des Moines Center, but the substitute teacher was offered a fulltime job teaching in Des Moines, and now, she will plan her wedding.
"One of the coolest things (of the proposal) was all the professors, my fellow graduates and the crowd clapping and cheering for me when it happened," said Lyons. "It was so neat to feel all of their support even though I didn't know them!"
For more photos of the engagement, check out Upper Iowa University's Commencement album on Flickr here.
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 6,200 students – nationally and internationally – at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing