Marriage Proposal is Solid as Rock it Was Painted On

Grad Student and Alumna Tying the Knot After Help From a 6-Ton Matchmaker

July 2, 2009

It took more paint than Chris Rohleder expected to cover the UT Dallas Spirit Rock, but it was a small price to pay for a life of wedded bliss.

He wanted his marriage proposal to Amanda Roese to be innovative and based on something solid.  While brainstorming with some of his friends, they hit on the idea of incorporating the Spirit Rock. Since the 6-ton boulder located in between Green Hall and Jonsson Center isn’t likely to go anywhere any time soon, he went with that plan and proceeded to paint the words “Will you marry me?” on its south face.

How did he get Amanda to the rock so that he could accomplish his mission?  It definitely took some planning.  He had been on campus posting fliers and had coincidentally hung some of them on a nearby bulletin board.  To lure Amanda on campus, he told her that he wanted to show her the fliers.  Meanwhile, he positioned several of their friends in discreet locations around the Spirit Rock so that they could take photographs and video of the proposal.

Once he got Amanda near the Spirit Rock, he pointed to an object in the distance, then placed himself between her and the rock.  When she turned around, she saw him on one knee and soon realized that he was about to propose marriage.

Her thoughts once she realized what was happening?  “It’s about time.”

After all, the two had met four years previously at an on-campus meeting of FOCUS (Fellowship of Christian University Students) while they were both undergraduates, he in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science and she in the School of Arts & Humanities.  After accepting Chris’ marriage proposal, Amanda then did a little painting of her own by adding the words “I SAID YES!” on the Spirit Rock right next to Chris’ proposal.

The nuptials will take place this month in San Antonio.  In the meantime, Chris continues his education at UT Dallas, pursuing a graduate degree in computer science, after which he hopes to find employment as a software developer a Dallas-area company. Amanda, having graduated with a degree in arts & technology, is seeking a job in teaching Technology Applications at the middle or high school level.

Both hope that their engagement is the first in a long line of engagements at their chosen location.  What is Chris’ advice to potential grooms-to-be hoping to propose on Spirit Rock?  Bring plenty of paint.  After all, a 6-ton rock has a lot of surface area to cover.

Media Contact: Jimmie Markham, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4995, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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After Chris Rohleder asked for the hand of Amanda Roese, she added her answer in paint to the UT Dallas Spirit Rock.

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June 20, 2018