Paving the Way to Matrimony with a Tiger Walk Brick
Among the hundreds of commemorative bricks embedded in the Tiger Walk outside Jordan-Hare Stadium is one engraved with these words: “Jarnetta, will you marry me?”
It’s the concrete expression of a uniquely Auburn story.
In 2018, Jarnetta Carter and Chris Deanovic—strangers who lived more than 1,200 miles apart—enrolled In the Executive Master of Business Administration program at Harbert. They never imagined the impact this would have on their lives.
Jarnetta, a senior manager at a pharmaceutical company near Albany, New York, and Chris, who manages a regional landscaping company in Minneapolis, struck up a lively banter at the group’s introductory dinner.
That night, Kim Kuerten, executive director of Graduate Executive Programs, underscored one goal of the program: cohort members start as a group and finish as a group. No one gets left behind.
Chris jokingly turned to Jarnetta and said, “You’re stuck with me.”
From there, a relationship developed. Each EMBA cohort takes an international trip. While in New Zealand and Australia in March 2019, Chris let Jarnetta know how he felt about her. The feeling was mutual.
Chris had an elaborate plan for his marriage proposal. It would be perfect, with the words literally set into stone. The brick.
“’I’m going to get the brick installed prior to our May graduation,’” he remembers thinking. “I’d say, ‘Let’s go for a walk near the stadium.’ I’d walk her over to the brick and propose. That was the plan.”
A week or two later, the COVID-19 pandemic entered the picture. Graduation was postponed. The plan was foiled.
But only temporarily. When Chris purchased the commemorative brick, he also ordered a replica of it, encased in plexiglass. He lugged the giftwrapped brick around, waiting for the perfect moment. Chris proposed over Memorial Day weekend by combining the commemorative brick with a slide show he had created.
As Jarnetta opened the box, she read the brick’s simple message and the slide show played.
The afternoon of Friday, August 7, Jarnetta and Chris were married in a small ceremony in Auburn.