Marriage proposal makes national news

Two former S&T cheerleaders made the national news last fall thanks to a Homecoming marriage proposal caught on video that went viral.

Band members, who traditionally call out requests of the cheer squad, yelled to the group of alumni on the sidelines, “Hey cheerleaders, we want to see a marriage proposal.” The cheerleaders holding Tara Biggers, Phys’09, aloft spun her around to face her boyfriend of six years Chris Balven, BAdm’07, who was also held aloft, on bended knee. She accepted the proposal to the marching band strains of “Hey Baby.”

Erica Long, CE’03, a senior academic advisor in mechanical and aerospace engineering and S&T cheer and dance coach, filmed the proposal and posted the video to YouTube. By Thanksgiving, the video had been viewed more than 13,000 times.

Late in October, a cable news program called Right This Minute picked up the story. The video aired along with an interview with Biggers and Balven. But the story grew. It aired on the ABC Television program Good Morning America on Nov. 19, and later that week, was picked up by CNN.

Balven said proposing to Biggers during the football game, while cheering, seemed natural.

“That’s how we met,” Balven told Right This Minute. “I thought it would be kind of a cool idea to get the engagement to happen there.” The cheerleaders who assisted with the proposal are all alumni the couple cheered with in college.

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