Scott Esswein ’15 and Ariana Sadeghipour ’17 not only met at CUI, but both served as ASCUI president during their time as students. This year they are getting married to make the political—er, personal partnership permanent.
“We met my freshman year, January 2014, which was his sophomore year,” says Ariana with characteristic precision. “He was super involved as a tour guide and in leadership. I was getting immersed in college life and had a crush on him before even knowing him.”
Scott, then serving as ASCUI treasurer, was president-elect that spring when their relationship began to get serious.
“We dated for three or four months with me not wanting to put a title on something,” he admits. “I was hesitant to make this an official relationship. I didn’t want to rush into anything. I wanted to be practical about things.”
Things moved much quicker on Ariana’s side. “From the beginning I was head over heels for him,” she says. “As I got to know him, I really enjoyed our conversations. I knew early on.”
She was so confident about her feelings that in April, three months after they met, she “brought up that hard conversation because I didn’t want to keep spending time together if nothing was going to come of this,” she says. “I was ready for the official boyfriend-girlfriend stage.”
It worked. They became official.
The two never officially served together on leadership, but 'when I struggled, he had that relate-ability of having gone through it.'
“There were nights I felt overwhelmed,” Scott recalls of that time period, and being student body president. “’You’re in over your head. What did you get yourself into? You’ve got so many things to do. You don’t want to let somebody down.’ Ari was a great support for me. We’d have evening walks late at night, stroll around campus and talk about our days. We were each other’s person to lean on— and vent to.”
Ariana had joined leadership but on a different track, through Fusion, CUI’s freshman leadership group, then in LEAD as the coordinator of commuter outreach. During their nightly walks, talk often went to their various experiences in student leadership.
When Ariana took a job at Nordstrom, she thought her days in campus leadership were over. But the supervisors of LEAD pushed her to join ASCUI and run for student body president someday.
“I said, ’No. Scott’s in ASCUI. It seems really boring,’” she remembers with a laugh. “I had zero interest.”
But on the day leadership applications were due, she realized she would miss it if she didn’t, so she secured letters of recommendation, applied and was elected secretary for her junior year.
“I loved it,” she says. “It was a lot of fun and there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to run for president for my senior year.”
She ran successfully, and Scott, who had recently graduated, gave her advice and a listening ear on their nighttime walks.
“The way she tackled situations was maybe not in the same manner, but it made it great to play off each other,” he says.
The two never officially served together on leadership, but “when I struggled, he had that relate-ability of having gone through it,” Ariana says.
Soon, Scott’s assessment of their relationship brought him to the conclusion Ariana had already reached.
“I realized I needed to have this woman in my life,” Scott says. Ariana adds, “He doesn’t get super-sentimental, so that’s love, what he just said.”
Love finds you when you’re not looking for it.
They were engaged in January 2017, during Homecoming. Fittingly, Scott popped the question by Good Shepherd Chapel. The couple cherishes Homecoming weekend because it was when they had their first date and became engaged.
Ariana, an English major, is in the Call process for a teaching position at a Lutheran school. Scott, a business administration major, works for Wells Fargo as a relationship manager for manufactured home communities.
“It’s a dream come true,” he says. “When I was at Concordia, my goal was to get into banking. Sure enough, God put people in my life to help everything come together.”
He says he relies on the fundamentals of business and finance he learned in Concordia’s “wonderful business program.”
As a couple, both say they are highly driven and value a strong work ethic and keeping their word. They enjoy cooking together, and eating out—after sending Yelp reviews back and forth throughout the day, culminating with an actual calendar invite for their date. “That’s kind of how we operate,” Scott says.
Scott recently became a member of CUI’s alumni board and he and Ariana “are still so passionate about Concordia,” he says. “At my core, I love Concordia. I have my alumni scarf up in my office to advertise it.”
Serving in leadership shifted Ariana’s personal goals to include serving someday in university leadership.
“I went to Concordia to train to teach in schools, but being president and working with the administration opened my eyes to wanting to be in higher education,” she says.
Right now, all thoughts are on the wedding.
“Scott said something really good the other day,” Ariana says. “’Love finds you when you’re not looking for it.’ Scott is not cheesy at all, but he said that. It was very true.”