Kristina '03 and Joel

I met my boyfriend Joel outside of Washington, D.C., where I relocated after graduating from the U of A. When we first started dating, we exchanged stories about ourselves to break the ice. I told him I was Wilma the Wildcat my junior and senior year at the U of A and that I was "married" to Wilbur. He could tell that I really enjoyed my time as a mascot and he knew that it was a special part of my experience at the U of A.

Fast forward two years later, he began planning how he was going to propose to me. He wanted to do it in a way that was meaningful and special to me. Since he was from the east coast and was not familiar with the school, he began his search on the school website and contacted someone in the Athletics department. They connected him with Phoebe Chalk (now Wadsworth), who was my former mascot advisor. He contacted Phoebe and told her what he had planned on doing. She helped coordinate the logistics of his plan.

Joel and I flew to Tucson to spend Christmas with my family and he arranged for all of them to be part of his plan. On Christmas Eve, the family decided to head to the campus and do a walking tour and take family pictures over by Old Main. I had no idea that everything was scripted and everything that was about to happen was carefully orchestrated ahead of time.

We arrived at Old Main and my boyfriend asked me to wait for him while he headed over to the student union. My family and I stood around and started taking pictures. Twenty minutes later we see Wilbur and a couple of cheerleaders walking toward us. My nieces and nephew see Wilbur and he comes over to greet them. I began talking to the cheerleaders and tell them that I'm from Tucson and was part of the cheerleading and mascot program. Then, one of the cheerleaders says, "Wilbur has something to ask you." As I turn around, I see Wilbur get down on one knee and take his head off. It was my boyfriend, Joel. I was shocked, to say the least, and the first words out of my mouth were, "How did you arrange this?"

I said, "Yes!"….how could I possibly say "No" to a guy that went above and beyond to create the perfect engagement story for me!

He had also hired a photographer to take pictures of the whole thing and she was there to take our engagement photos right after! It was definitely the most memorable day of my life and I was so happy to have my "Wildcat" roots play a major part in it!

- Kristina Harris '03