Alyssa Purdy and Ryon Owings

Alyssa Purdy and Ryon Owings met during Opening Week in August 2014. Both lived in TJ Hall’s north tower – Alyssa on the fifth floor and Ryon on the sixth floor.

Alyssa Purdy and Ryon Owings
Alyssa Purdy and Ryon Owings

“Our RA’s were good friends with each other, so they encouraged 5N and 6N to mingle and get to know one another,” she says. “I spent a lot of time on 6N in the common area playing games with the guys and became good friends with a lot of them.”

In 2019, Alyssa earned bachelor’s degrees in architectural engineering and civil engineering and Ryon bachelor’s degrees in computer science and computer engineering. The couple plans to get married in May 2021.

“Ryon and I shared many classes together, but what ultimately brought us together was a mutual friend who asked us both to join her study group for macroeconomics,” she says. “From there, Ryon and I exchanged numbers. Later we bumped into each other at a party and from then on, we were inseparable!”

Alyssa says they both enjoyed participating in many campus and club activities. 

“Our favorite was the paint party that KA hosted,” she says. “It was a concert where they shot paint out into the audience. It was so much fun being able to relax, dance and get smothered in paint! We had such a blast; we took a million pictures of us covered from head-to-toe in paint!”

During her five years at S&T, Alyssa says the Ballet and Dance Club became her home and family. The club put on a different show each spring semester, and she grew close with her fellow dancers. The group also helped set the stage for Ryon’s proposal to Alyssa following her final show.

“Once the auditorium was cleared, Ryon got onto the stage and decorated the floor, scattering around a bunch of rose petals,” she says. “The stage crew set the lighting and played my favorite songs throughout the auditorium. I was tricked into helping someone grab something from the stage to find a rose petal path lying before me, guiding me to the love of my life.”

Both of their families were in the audience, and her fellow club members hid behind the stage watching.

“I was completely surprised,” she says. “This was way better than anything I had dreamed of! It was perfect.”

Today Alyssa works for Bartlett & West as a project engineer on the company’s transportation team doing signal timing, and ADA and roadway design work. Ryon works for Boeing as a software engineer on its cruise missile systems team.

Their relationship advice?

“Take it nice and slow,” she says. “If you are still in college, while you still have a bit of free time, especially during the day, spend it getting to know one another and doing your favorite hobbies and interests. There is no rush to get married and start a family after graduation. Life in a relationship in college is completely different than life in a relationship after graduation and working a full-time job. 

“Live together for a bit after graduation and see how you guys function while working a 40-plus-hour job. Take your time and do not rush into marriage just because college is over. You are moving onto the next steps of your lives.”

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