The black cap and crisply ironed gown. The tassel, swaying with each movement, with a shiny, gold ’22 prominently displayed. The feeling of accomplishment and pride hearing “Olivia Roberts” booming through the sound system as the first step is taken across the stage.
It’s a moment Olivia Roberts, an elementary education major from Proctorville, Ohio has waited for since she began her undergraduate career in the fall of 2019.
But — it will not be her most memorable moment.
That moment came as the Marshall family gathered for Homecoming. Family, friends and alums from all eras watching as she received the surprise of a lifetime on the football field at halftime.
An “I Do” Marshall moment.
Olivia’s boyfriend, Calvin Hunter — who had just been crowned Mr. Marshall by his peers, chose to use his time to shine on something more than the sash he now wore over his suit. A sparkly diamond ring in his pocket.
As the two posed for a photo, Calvin turned to Olivia and lowered to one knee. Cheers erupted in the stands. All cameras suddenly pointed to the pair. People standing nearby took a step back and smiled.
Just like so many other love stories that began at Marshall, Olivia and Calvin will end their college experience with a new beginning together.
The Marshall family is expanding.
“October 29, 2022 was a day I will never forget,” said Olivia. “Calvin wanted the proposal to be a surprise for everyone and he succeeded. A few immediate family members were aware of what was going to take place, but everyone else was just as surprised as I was. I knew our future would be together, but I was completely shocked, as I never expected this to be the moment that he would get down on one knee.”
Olivia and Calvin both have a strong work ethic and exude what it means to be involved on campus. Olivia is a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority and spent three years on the dance team. She plans to enroll in graduate school to earn a master’s degree. Calvin is from Milford, Ohio and is a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and a Marshall University Yeager Scholar. He will graduate in May 2023 with a degree in biology/pre-dentistry and plans to begin dental school in the fall of 2023.
“Calvin and I have both been very active on campus,” said Olivia. “The most special part about Marshall is the friendships I have made.”
Those relationships, perhaps, did not come as a surprise for Olivia. Growing up in the area, she has always called Marshall home. And — during her Homecoming proposal, she says she felt the strong connection that surrounded her.
“The cheering of the crowd, the jumbotron display and the excitement from the student section,” said Olivia. “It was a clear representation of the love and support that we were shown that day from our Marshall family.”
“My family is filled with long-standing supporters and alumni and it is an honor and privilege to call myself a Daughter of Marshall. Wherever life takes us, I know we will always be able to return to our home at Marshall and relive all the special moments that we share.”
As Olivia walks across the stage to accept her degree this weekend, she says she is filled with gratitude for her experience, but excitement for her future. Wedding bells — and just maybe Sons of Marshall — will ring out in July 2023.