A Valentine's Day to Remember

Published on 13 February 2018

Typically, Valentine’s Day consists of flowers, stuffed teddy bears and chocolate-covered strawberries, but for the Graues, it was a day that meant so much more.

Their love story began on a school bus when Chad Graue, B.S. ’00, Pharm.D. ’01, strategically sat behind Katie (Hutchinson) Graue, B.S. ’99, and her friend, Amy Weckman Conger, B.S. ’98, Pharm.D. ’99, on the way to a Phi Delta Chi event.

“He reached his arm over the bus seat and offered us some sweaty candy corn mixed with lint from his pocket,” Katie said. “It was quite the conversation starter.”

Chad and Katie quickly realized they had grown up only one hour apart from each other and shared many common interests. At the time, Katie was in a relationship with someone else, so her relationship with Chad remained platonic.

“I had been dating a guy in my apartment complex for almost a year, and on Valentine’s Day he did absolutely nothing for me,” Katie said.

“At the time, I was awaiting ACL surgery and could not drive, but I knew I wanted to make my move on Valentine’s Day,” Chad said. “I was pledging Phi Delta Chi and asked one of my fraternity brothers, Robert Velpelto, to drive me to the floral shop and Katie’s apartment.”

“Chad showed up at my door with a dozen roses. In that moment, my heart completely melted and I knew I was with the wrong guy,” she added.

After seeing how determined Chad was to win her heart, Katie knew they were meant to be. The couple continued dating for four years and were married on September 23, 2000, in Lincoln, Illinois. The couple fondly remembers how their time at the College helped their relationship blossom.

“STLCOP will always hold a special place in our hearts, as we can still picture ourselves sitting with friends on the benches outside the library between classes, walking up the stairs to biology with Dr. Becker and sitting in lecture listening to the booming voice of Dr. Haberle,” Katie said. “We are so thankful that we chose STLCOP and then life chose us.”

Chad and Katie Graue reside in Chatham, Illinois, with their daughter Abbie and son Griffin.

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