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The Proposal on the Plaza

Student reflections on impacts from the 150 Forward Focus campaign

Luke and Erika Yoder after their proposal on Ichabod Plaza

By: Luke, bba '16, and Erika, senior, Yoder
From: 150 Forward Focus Fall 2017

Washburn holds a very near and dear place in our hearts.

Luke was a member of the Ichabod football team from 2011-2015, spending most of his career at tight end, and he graduated with a business management degree in 2016. I was a member of the women’s basketball team for three years and a member of the volleyball team for one year. I will be completing my degree in secondary education. We both made countless memories at Washburn and had teammates who turned into lifelong friends and coaches who became more than just our mentors. But what we will both thank Washburn endlessly for is finding one another.

Our story began in the fall of 2014 on a weekend out with friends. From that point on, I would be in the stands watching his football games, cheering for my #80, while he was in the gym cheering for his #4. His career would come to an end, but that did not stop me from being his biggest fan. He began his job at Payless Headquarters in Topeka in the summer of 2016. I had one more season left to play basketball, but the surprise of my life was just around the corner.

One day, I was rushing around after practice preparing to help score a Washburn volleyball game. Everyone except for me knew I wouldn’t be working that evening. My first stop in his scavenger hunt was at Lee Arena. In each letter I received, Luke gave the reasons why this particular place at Washburn was special to us. This letter then led me to my next stop – the Washburn Bell Tower. The next took me to the football field, which then sent me to the waterfall on the corner of 17th Street. By this time in the hunt, his parents, sisters and my parents were joining me at my last stop – the Ichabod Plaza. Because of Washburn, standing there was my best friend who I will spend the rest of my life with.

On Aug. 5, 2017, we said yes to forever. We have Washburn to thank for that.

Ichabod statue

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