Abby (Pittroff) and Ryan Riess

Student athletes Abby (Pittroff) and Ryan Riess met in August 2002 outside the campus’s Rayle Cafeteria.

“I thought to myself, ‘he’s so tall and handsome,’” she says. “I like to give him grief today that he blew me off that day and said, ‘I gotta go to my chem lab,’ but he doesn’t quite remember it the same.” 

Abby (Pittroff) and Ryan Riess
Abby (Pittroff) and Ryan Riess

Married in October 2006, the couple’s first date included attending a school theater production and dinner at Applebee’s, something their kids now laugh about when they drive by an Applebee’s.

“We enjoyed so many things about our time together in Rolla,” says Abby, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 2005. “Ryan supported the Lady Miner softball team and attended many of our home games. He always brought me a bag of sunflower seeds and a grape Gatorade.”

Other shared memories included many dates to Alex’s Pizza and Primas Mexican restaurants, and day trips to local wineries with friends.

“Ryan and I only took one course together,” she says. “It was WWII with Dr. McManus. We joke that despite the fact that I am the history major, Ryan –– a civil engineer –– got the highest grade in the class.” 

A 2006 graduate, Ryan works as an engineer manager at Farnsworth Group in Webster Groves, Mo., with other S&T grads. Abby, who previously taught social studies, says their time at S&T provides a common bond with many people. 

“We’ve enjoyed maintaining communication and connection with fellow S&T grads,” she says. “Our children attend school with fellow S&T alumni families.”

Their relationship advice?

“One thing we regret is not enjoying the beautiful nature that surrounds Rolla more,” she says. “We look back at our time together in Rolla and we were so focused on school and athletics. We know it’s demanding but try to get out and recharge in the beauty that surrounds Rolla, Mo. It all goes really fast!”

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