Love Connection at COD

By: Jennifer Duda

Steve and Laura Crumpler

A Surprise Romantic Classroom Visit Recreates First Meeting for Now-Married Alumni

When Steve Crumpler Jr. and Laura Heinemann met in a College of DuPage biology class in the winter of 2001, they sat in opposite areas of class – Laura right up front, and Steve in the back.

“He was the class clown, who was part of a group having more fun than I was sitting in the front,” she said.

So a few weeks into class, Laura moved to sit right next to Steve.

“I noticed how cute she was right away when she moved to sit by me,” he recalled.

Laura, however, wasn’t as easily impressed, remembering Steve once asked for her answers to a take-home test she worked diligently to complete.

“My girlfriend and I were waiting outside the classroom and Steve walks up and asks if we finished the test,” Laura said. “We told him we did and he asked if he could see it. We were like, ‘No. Who does this guy think he is?’”

Still, despite first impressions, Steve’s humor won Laura over.

“There was a long period of time where I knew he didn’t remember my name,” she recalled. “I think he just would say ‘Hey, you.’ I had a friend say my name loudly on a few occasions so he would hear it.”

The two eventually struck up a friendship but never exchanged contact information, losing track of each other after finals. As luck would have it, they reconnected through a mutual friend and began dating that March.

Fast forward 19 years. The couple will celebrate 16 years of marriage in 2020 and have two daughters, Haylee and Hanna. But Steve never forgot their initial meeting, so he hatched a plan to surprise his wife and re-propose in the classroom where they first met.

“One night we were talking about how young we were when we married and that we never wrote our own vows, and the idea just popped into my head to re-propose to say the vows I never said,” Steve said, adding that he wanted to surprise Laura this January because they met 19 years ago at the age of 19.

It took a few emails to College staff before Steve had everything planned. On a snowy, cold Friday night in January sandwiched into a day-long date, Steve drove Laura to the Glen Ellyn campus to find the location where they first met.

“I just wanted to reminisce and get the chance to propose to her where we first laid eyes on each other,” he said.

 The surprise went off without a hitch.

“When we first turned onto College Road, the only thing I could think was that we were taking a cooking class or something like that,” Laura said. “Why else would we be here? I was definitely surprised and yes, I did say ‘yes’ again.”