Edit ModuleShow Tags

One for the History Books: A Cathedral of Learning Proposal

This groom-to-be popped the question at new heights, potentially making him the first person to propose on top of the University of Pittsburgh’s signature structure.




Photos by M4J Photography
 

When Matt Vendeville and Kimberly Ciotti began talking about getting engaged, Kimberly emphasized that the proposal spot would have to have a view.

The Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh (both Matt and Kimberly are graduates of Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health) would prove to be the perfect spot.

“We met at Pitt, it’s where our relationship blossomed,” Matt says. “It grew throughout the whole city, and I wanted something that showed that part of our story.”

Matt and Kimberly met at a social that the graduate school was hosting in January 2016, and they have been together ever since. After Matt got the idea to propose on top of the cathedral, it was all about getting a team of people together to make it happen, because as far as Matt knows, no one had ever done it before.

Matt started by approaching Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, whom he had met before, at a football game and asking him if the proposal would be possible. The chancellor referred Matt to a member of his staff who could help, and from then it was all about coordinating the logistics of the proposal, since public access to the top of the cathedral is restricted. Phil Hieber, who works in facilities management at Pitt, became crucial in securing access to the cathedral.

Once the idea was approved, Matt put an elaborate plan into place to surprise Kimberly. One of Matt’s mentors sent him a fake invitation to attend a charity gala in the student union, which served as a way for the couple to get dressed up for the proposal without it being suspicious. When Matt and Kimberly arrived, there was no gala in the student union, and Matt called his mentor in a pretend panic; his mentor told him that the gala had been moved to the cathedral.

Matt and Kimberly arrived at the cathedral to find a fake invitation list with their names on it. Hieber was there to take them up to the “event” at the top of the cathedral, leading them on a roundabout route to get to their destination.

When the couple reached the top of the cathedral, they turned a corner and Kimberly saw roses had been set up with a view overlooking the city. Matt, his sister Cara, and Kimberly’s best friend Megan Nicely all helped with the setup.

Of course, Kimberly said yes, and all of Matt’s efforts paid off.

“She usually catches my in my surprises,” Matt says. “I was really glad she didn’t this time.”
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Matt Murray's Focus is on the Journey, Not the Destination

Matt Murray's Focus is on the Journey, Not the Destination

The Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender already has his name on the Stanley Cup — twice. Matt Murray may be a champion, but he’s still working diligently to improve his game.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2017 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2017 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine highlights the unsung heroes of the health care field: our Excellence in Nursing honorees, chosen by our panel of distinguished nursing professionals.
Restaurant Review: Superior Motors

Restaurant Review: Superior Motors

Kevin Sousa’s long-anticipated project fires on all cylinders as a restaurant. But, will it fulfill its larger mission?
Pittsburgh City Steps: An Artist Tells Their Stories

Pittsburgh City Steps: An Artist Tells Their Stories

Artist Laura Zurowski is on a mission to document Pittsburgh's public steps in an unorthodox way.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


The Time to #GiveBigPittsburgh is Almost Here

The Time to #GiveBigPittsburgh is Almost Here

Make your donation go farther on the one-day charitable giving bonanza.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Just in Time for the Holidays: Miracle Returns to Downtown

Just in Time for the Holidays: Miracle Returns to Downtown

The over-the-top holiday-themed bar opens at the Original Oyster House the night after Thanksgiving.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Meet the Winner of Our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest

Meet the Winner of Our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest

The winner received the most votes among five dogs, four cats and a bunny.

Comments


Steal the Crown Jewels at Escape Room 51

Steal the Crown Jewels at Escape Room 51

The new escape game is instantly among the best in town.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Are Steelers Good Enough to Overcome Themselves?

Are Steelers Good Enough to Overcome Themselves?

The time has come for the offense to more often resemble what everyone thought it would become this season, as opposed to sinking on occasion to a Cleveland Browns-esque level of ineptitude.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

Robert Hallett, Goldsmith, handcrafts the jewelry in his Oakmont shop.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Pixar's Coco is a Visual Stunner, While Last Flag Flying is a Knockout

Pixar's Coco is a Visual Stunner, While Last Flag Flying is a Knockout

Reviews of "Coco," "Last Flag Flying" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri."

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Only in Pittsburgh: The Blast Furnace Wedding Venue

Only in Pittsburgh: The Blast Furnace Wedding Venue

Carrie Furnace is one of three intimate, uniquely Pittsburgh wedding venues that can accommodate every style from homestyle to rock-and-roll.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Bright Living: ‘Lumiere’ Condos Slated for Former Saks Downtown

Bright Living: ‘Lumiere’ Condos Slated for Former Saks Downtown

Named after the French word for light, the 86-unit mixed-use development, which will include a Fogo de Chao steakhouse as a tenant, offers folding glass walls in its residences to create an open-air living space.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module