Graduate gets surprise proposal on commencement day

Industrial design major said yes to boyfriend soon after receiving her diploma
Taryn Zacher got a surprise after UW-Stout’s graduation May 5 when her boyfriend, Kerron Henry, proposed./ Photo by Miranda Wipperfurth, MLW Photography
Pam Powers | May 16, 2018

University of Wisconsin-Stout graduate Taryn Zacher wasn’t quite sure what was happening when her boyfriend, Kerron Henry, got down on one knee May 5 soon after Zacher crossed the commencement stage in Johnson Fieldhouse.

Then she realized Henry was asking her to marry him. “I was shocked and surprised,” said Zacher, an industrial design graduate.

“It’s something I expected at some point in our relationship,” Zacher said, noting they had talked about wanting to spend their lives together. “I didn’t know it would be then. It was nice because my parents were there, and I could share it with them.”

Her parents are Jamie and Sherry Zacher.

Zacher and Henry plan to marry in fall 2019.

Zacher, of Beulah N.D., and Henry met through social media and have been a couple just over two years. Henry, a native of the West Indies whose hometown is Queens, New York City, said he was nervous about proposing, even though he is usually calm and collected.

“I was just nervous and anxious about what I was about to do,” he said. “I wasn’t particularly nervous about her saying ‘yes.’ I was more nervous about not finding the right words to convey to her how much she means to me and how I would be complete to have her as my wife.”

Henry said he could not remember exactly what he said in the proposal, but Taryn’s mom recorded it.

“I was thinking I am about to marry my best friend and the love of my life,” Henry said. “I was elated when she said ‘yes.’ I’ve never met anyone so caring, selfless, motivated, ambitious and honest before. Just knowing that we are engaged and about to be married is somewhat surreal. I am a very fortunate man to be engaged to Taryn.”

Originally, Henry had planned to propose outside on the UW-Stout campus, but it started to rain, Taryn said. No date has been set for their wedding, but they are planning to marry in fall 2019.

On hand to capture the proposal was Miranda Wipperfurth, a UW-Stout 2017 industrial design alumna, who has started MLW Photography in Menomonie. Henry asked Wipperfurth to take photographs of the proposal so they would have the pictures as mementos.

Zacher, a UW-Stout industrial design graduate, and Henry, an Air Force staff sergeant, met on social media just over two years ago.

Henry, an Air Force staff sergeant stationed in Minot, N.D., said he plans to complete a bachelor’s degree in homeland security and emergency management. After finishing his enlistment contract with the Air Force, he wants to pursue a career with Homeland Security or the U.S. Marshall Service.

Taryn is looking for work and wants to use her degree in the furniture or housewares side of design, helping create products that improve people’s lives.

She also will be busy planning the wedding with Henry.

“Sometimes I can’t believe it all happened,” she said. “It was a great ending to my college career at Stout. It definitely ended on a high note.”

###

Photos

Zacher and Henry plan to marry in fall 2019./Photos by Miranda Wipperfurth, MLW Photography

Zacher, a UW-Stout industrial design graduate, and Henry, an Air Force staff sergeant, met on social media just over two years ago.