Boxer Love Story: Jeff Pelson '00, OD '02 and Karissa (Matthews) Pelson '00, PT '02

It all started in physics class. Jeff was a new transfer student in his junior year, and Karissa was a sophomore.

Karissa came walking in right on time with a bagel in one hand and water in the other. She caught Jeff’s eyes, and it didn’t take him long to ask his roommate who she was and her name. Unfortunately, as his roommate told him, Karissa was dating someone at the time and his roommate even mistook her name for Christian (her Spanish name).

It wasn’t long until Karissa “got wind” that Jeff was interested. Even though he was clearly smart, Karissa used to bump into him in the physics study sessions.

“I think my first words I ever spoke to him were, 'Wow that’s a big calculator!’” said Karissa.

Jeff quickly explained that it had been a requirement for calculus. Soon he was also asking Karissa to play water polo, to which she always replied, “No thank you.”

“Boy, was he persistent.”

When things started to fall apart in Karissa’s relationship, she soon found herself in a predicament. Too exhausted from crying, Karissa knew there was no way she was going to figure out her physics homework. Her friend, Shawna, urged her to call up Jeff, but she was hesitant, not wanting to lead him on. Soon, however, Karissa called Jeff. His enthusiasm on the phone when he heard her voice was adorable and Karissa remembers thinking to herself after he helped her out, “he is so nice, why isn’t he with someone?” Soon she would come home to voice messages from Jeff asking her to help him with physics and they started studying together.

“And the real clincher for Jeff was when I finally said ‘yes’ when he asked me to play water polo,” said Karissa.

One day Jeff sent Karissa an email asking if she was okay to which she replied, “No I’m not, can I come over and talk?” Karissa had finally broken up with her boyfriend for good.

“His smile was so cute as he said, ‘I’m sorry.’ We both knew he wasn’t in the least sorry!”

That night they went out for their first date to the Spaghetti Factory in Portland, and they have together ever since. Jeff proposed nine months after they had started dating and they celebrated their 15th anniversary Dec. 18, 2006.

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Monday, Feb. 10, 2014