A Cyclone tradition reached a new height during Homecoming week when a mystery couple was photographed at the mass campaniling in the middle of a romantic marriage proposal.
Nathan Miller, senior in aerospace engineering, bent down to one knee to “pop the question” to Audrey Hubbard, senior in biology, on Friday, Oct. 26. The couple has been together for almost three years, Miller said, a romance that began at Iowa State.
“I planned to propose sometime this semester; the idea to do it during Homecoming happened about the week before, once I knew I was going to be able to afford the ring in time,” Miller said. “Part of the reason to [propose] on Homecoming was because her parents and a lot of her family would be in town.”
Wanting to follow tradition, Miller made sure to ask Hubbard’s parents for their permission beforehand. After receiving their blessing in February and again during Homecoming week, Miller laid out his plan.
“I told a few of my friends beforehand: ‘Hey, yeah, it’s going to happen this Friday at mass campaniling,’” he said. “I told a few of them: ‘Hey, if you’re in the area campaniling with your own girlfriends or something and you have your camera, then maybe you could take a picture of us.’”
Miller added: “But it was all going to be re-enacted probably because they were going to be busy with their own significant others at the time.”
The now famous photo of Miller’s proposal to Hubbard was taken by Andrew Rizer, junior in English, who just happened to bring his Sony a77 DSLR camera to capture the night’s celebration.
“At midnight, the bells started going off and then the fireworks were going off, and all the sudden right behind me I was kind of getting pushed,” Rizer said. “I looked and saw that a circle had formed and that it was a guy proposing to his girlfriend.”
“Everyone immediately whipped out their cellphone cameras and was snapping pictures,” Rizer said. “I just kind of did the same thing; I was just holding my camera above the crowd.”
It was not until 3 a.m., when he got home and viewed the photos, that Rizer discovered a good quality shot of the proposal.
“I was starting to think of a way to maybe get it to them, because I didn’t catch their names or anything,” Rizer said. “So I just went to the ISU Facebook page and posted it with a little note.”
When Rizer woke up the next morning he found that the couple’s picture had received more than 200 likes and had been identified as Miller and Hubbard. The picture has since received 1,000-plus likes and nearly 70 shares.
Rizer emailed Miller the photo and offered another proposal: Could he take their engagement photos?
“I asked him: ‘Hey, if it’s something you guys are up for, I would love to do your engagement photos,’” Rizer said.
Miller and Hubbard were on board with the suggestion immediately. The trio is hoping to meet during the winter or spring for pictures in Ames.
The couple met during Miller’s sophomore and Hubbard’s freshman year while living in the same building.
“We met in Old RCA and Lyon Hall,” Hubbard said. “We lived in Harwood House together. He was on the third floor. I was on the fourth floor.”
Miller said the romance started pretty quickly.
“We kind of started flirting during Christmas break; first weekend before classes started, we came back and had a date,” Miller said. “We started dating around that time.”
The wedding date for Miller and Hubbard is still undecided, but there is a tentative plan for Christmas 2013.
“We know we want it to be in Ames and in a church; and we know the person who we want to marry us, but other than that, I don’t think we know,” Hubbard said. “We haven’t really gotten started much.”
With plans uncertain for the next year until Miller makes a graduate school decision, the one thing that remains strong is the love they have for each other.
“I know he loves me; he takes care of me,” Hubbard said. “Like this past week and a half I have been sick and he’s just been there on the spot every day that I needed.”
The couple loves to swing dance with the ISU Swing Dance Society, attend Cyclone football games (Hubbard is in the marching band) and teach each other new hobbies.
“She has all the characteristics of someone that I want to spend the rest of my life with,” Miller said.
Hubbard said they are both excited for the future.
“We’re just two true Iowa Staters that love each other; we’re excited for the future,” Hubbard said.
As for their now famous photo op, Miller and Hubbard said they have experienced some fortune.
“We got incredibly fortunate to have such an amazing picture taken of us at the right time,” Miller said.