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Standing the test of time

March 22, 2013

Anselmi and Anderson pose in matching letters; Anderson is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, and Anselmi is a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

How this soon-to-graduate Monmouth College couple have stayed together and prepared for the next chapter

Sitting in the junior high section of a football game, eighth grader Brooke Anderson had no idea who the curly-haired boy named Andrew Anselmi was, except that he and she had the same group of friends. A year later, he gathered the courage to bravely send her a text message asking her out on their first date to see the fourth Harry Potter movie.

Six years after that, Anselmi dropped to one knee at the public park located just off Monmouth College campus and popped the big question as some close friends snapped pictures. Along with filling out teaching applications, Anderson and Anselmi, both elementary education majors (the latter with an endorsement in middle school), are now planning their fall wedding.

“She wears the left leg of the pants, I wear the right,” said Anselmi when describing their relationship. “We’ve embraced each other’s interests.”

While they have some marked differences (he’s a clean freak and cautious, she hates cleaning and procrastinates), they credit many of their shared interests as one of the reasons their relationship works so well. Both are involved in Greek life, resulting in most of the wedding party being sorority sisters and fraternity brothers; love sports, especially after Anselmi switched Anderson from a Cub to a Sox fan; and have taken the same classes every year to complete their majors on time, except freshman year in college when Anselmi attended Western Illinois University before transferring.

“We tried the long distance and survived that,” Anselmi said. “I came here and we continued to be with each other every day, and I think that made us grow as a couple [instead of apart].”

The similarities also make for interesting scenarios.

“We both always want to be right,” said Anderson. “We have really strong personalities. We’ve had to learn to listen, instead of just talking and not making it work.”

Anderson and Anselmi also credit the support of their friends and families, who never opposed the coupling despite the young age, for their support in their love for a lifetime – literally: the couple won a “Love of a Lifetime Giveaway” sponsored by the WQ80 news station, located in the Quad Cities.

Over the course of a week, Anderson and Anselmi encouraged friends and family to vote for them by liking the couple’s picture on the competition’s website. The Monmouth College Facebook page also shared the link.

“I think that’s where the majority of our votes came from [the college],” Anderson said. “We went against five other couples. It was a nerve-wracking week.”

Winning the competition meant attaining $13,000 worth in wedding necessities, including a venue, a disc jockey, a photographer, a keg and money intended for a wedding dress and wedding band.

“Being able to look at the venue is what made it real,” Anselmi said.

After graduation, Anderson and Anselmi hope to find teaching positions near the Quad Cities, acknowledging that finding jobs near each other could be difficult.

“We’re poor students so our current income is already low,” Anderson said. “We’re worried just about getting jobs right now, so no matter what job we get, we will be very happy.”

Their wedding, nine years in the making by that point, will take place on Sept. 28.

“Even though we’ve been together so long, our relationship is never boring or gets old,” Anderson said. “I have no desire to date or be with someone else.”

Cassie Burton
News Editor

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