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!”

Share This Story

Spark a Memory?

Share your story! Fill out the form below to share your fondest memory or anecdote of S&T. If you'd prefer not typing, you can also share by phone at 833-646-3715 (833-Miner150).

Raíssa Sousa and Welenton Webler

Raíssa Sousa and Welenton Webler

Raíssa Sousa and Welenton Webler were both exchange students from Brazil when they met in August 2015. “We didn’t know…

Amanda (Kay Hansen) and Chris Byrd

Amanda (Kay Hansen) and Chris Byrd

It was a fire drill at TJ Residence Hall in September 1999 that first brought Amanda (Kay Hansen) and Chris…

Robert and Mary (Shultz) Hoffmann

Robert and Mary (Shultz) Hoffmann

Robert Hoffmann knew right away when Mary (Shultz) walked into a fraternity house party with a group of four friends…

From S&T soccer to the state capitol

From S&T soccer to the state capitol

You might think that with the thousands of graduates Missouri S&T has produced over its 150-year history, at least a…

Builders of the bomb

Builders of the bomb

The U.S. government’s Manhattan Project, which led to the development of the first nuclear weapons, was a massive but highly…

Taking S&T to dizzying heights

Taking S&T to dizzying heights

The snows of Kilimanjaro have been touched by Missouri S&T. Sarah Taylor, a 2001 graduate in electrical engineering, and her…