The Forgotten Backpack: A Love Story
As part of a week-long series alongside Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring stories about UF couples, past and present, called “Findlay Faithfuls.” Did you meet the love of your life on campus? We want to hear about it! Share your story via Facebook or Twitter using #IHeartUFindlay #FindlayFaithfuls.
Sometimes, when it’s in the name of amorosity, a little deception can bring wonderful results.
That’s what happened when Megan Jesse and Craig Klausing, both graduate students in the Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Findlay, first got together as a couple. They met on the first day of speech class of their freshman year in 2013, at a time when both were in other relationships. They became friends through class projects and mutual friends, and when they returned after winter break, found each other single.
They both had to come back to campus early after break, as there was a potential winter storm looming in the area. When that storm hit, classes were postponed for the first few days. After spending time together one night with some other floormates, Craig headed back to his dorm, just happening to “forget” his backpack in Megan’s dorm. He called to ask if she could bring it down to him, and, when she did, in the doorway of the West Deming stairwell, they kissed for the first time. “We credit those snow days as the reason our relationship started,” Megan said. It was the beginning of a genuine UF love story.
They continued to date, have most of the same classes and study together, and soon became so inseparable that they were known to those who were closest to them as “Craigen.” They both said they knew within that first year of dating that they’d found the person they wanted to marry. They went on to get into the same OT program and even serve on the 2016 Homecoming court together. They are still leading busy lives, and both are quick to say that they don’t know how they’d get through the challenges of graduate school without the other.
And after what transpired over the last holiday season, neither will have to go through challenges without the other for the rest of their lives.
After driving to Cincinnati to ask Megan’s father for her hand in marriage, Craig planned to ask Megan “sometime over Christmas break.” Her father reminded him that Findlay is and always will be a special place for the couple, so Craig decided to ask Megan to marry him the next day on campus.
After dinner at a local restaurant that following day, they headed toward campus to check out the tree that was lit up on the Cory Street Mall. Due to an intense studying schedule, they had missed the lighting event a few days prior. As they arrived, they noticed that, much to their chagrin, the tree was not lit. Megan made the suggestion to go back home, but Craig, refusing to miss the most important moment of his life up until that point, insisted they check out the tree anyway. Not coincidentally, Megan’s roommate’s boyfriend showed up, and Craig asked if he would take a picture of the two of them. With Megan focused on the unlit tree, Craig got down on one knee, and, after what was a lot of clandestine planning by the future groom, the two became engaged on the very campus where they had first met. “Just enjoying that moment,” Megan said, “was the happiest, most memorable time of our relationship so far.”
Scheduled to be married in Cincinnati in late September of 2019, the skies over campus are bright for the couple as they work to wrap up their academic careers at UF. And the backpack? It’s been retired in favor of a new one. But Craig still has it, and there’s a very good chance he always will.