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Alumni Sweethearts Celebrate Inspiring Mentors, Enduring Love

A couple who met at freshmen orientation – during the summer of 1998 – returned to campus this past weekend as the 2018 Alumni Sweethearts.

Chris Y. and Beth L. (Rozman) Cummings, of Elizabethtown, enjoyed an overnight stay in the Victorian House and dinner at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant as winners of Alumni Relations’ seventh annual Alumni Sweethearts contest. Due to the start of Spring Break, the alumni enjoyed a particularly quiet weekend at their alma mater.

Alumni Sweethearts Chris Y. and Beth L. (Rozman) Cummings enjoy a Victorian House stay during their return to campus.
Alumni Sweethearts Chris Y. and Beth L. (Rozman) Cummings enjoy a Victorian House stay during their return to campus.

“It was truly like VIP service,” Chris Cummings said. “We enjoyed an awesome complimentary dinner at Le Jeune Chef. Every course we had was absolutely delicious, especially ending with the chocolate soup for dessert. For our main entrees, Beth had the fried softshell crab with noodles, and I had the black peppercorn shoulder steak with mashed potatoes.”

Chris, originally from Columbia Cross Roads, graduated cum laude in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science/data communications and networking concentration and dual minors in business administration and management. Beth, from Lititz, graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and an associate degree in advertising art.

Chris and Beth first saw each other in the Susquehanna Room (now the Keystone Dining Room), and, while sitting near each other, Chris says he bravely got her phone number.

“After a great first date at ‘the golden arches,’ we continued to date throughout college,” he wrote in their contest submission. “We got married on August 13, 2005, and, this year, we are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary. Now, 13 is often considered to be a very unlucky number, but how unlucky we weren’t for meeting and falling in love at Penn College!”

Married on Aug. 13, the "lucky in love" couple will observe Anniversary #13 this summer.
Married on Aug. 13, the “lucky in love” couple will observe Anniversary #13 this summer.

During their college days, Chris was inducted into Alpha Chi National Honor Society, and Beth was a member of Gamma Epsilon Tau, a coed graphic communications and graphic design fraternity.

On campus, they “spent lots of time studying, eating and just hanging out in the Campus Center where a lot of Beth’s classes were,” Chris said. Off campus, they enjoyed spending time at Brandon Park and Indian Park.

When asked if they recalled particular faculty or staff members who mentored or inspired them, Chris mentioned two employees who are now retired: Connie Vitolins, a manager in Information Technology Services, and Irwin Siegel, a business administration professor.

“During my four years at Penn College, I thoroughly enjoyed working as a part-time computer lab assistant for the IT department and mentoring with Connie Vitolins,” Chris said. “One professor that comes to mind who always made any of my management courses fun and exciting was Professor Siegel.”

Beth remembers graphic design faculty Brian Flynn and Pat Murphy.

“Mr. Flynn encouraged and inspired me in my studies,” she said. “Mr. Murphy provided me with some great advice that I still use today – for example, the more research you do in the beginning, the better your design will be in the end.”

Chris works as an IT network manager with Excentia, in Lancaster. He also operates a personal PC and TV repair business. Beth is employed as a neuro rehab assistant at Acadia Inc., in Lancaster. She also works as a graphic design freelancer and enjoys umpiring for girls’ 10U softball.

Three of Chris’ siblings are also connected to Penn College. Duane and Trista attended, and brother Tima earned a bachelor’s degree in applied human services in 2016.

“It was a memorable time back on campus,” Chris said of the couple’s special weekend, adding that fresh flowers and a gift bag of alumni items were surprise details they greatly appreciated.

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