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Beginning a Lifetime Together
05.08.13 |

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It all started with a game of ladder ball at a Math Department picnic at Kreiderheim in their first days on campus in August 2009. Then-freshmen Jamie Frye of McPherson, Kan., and John Makatche of Leesport, Pa., both selected the College for its strong mathematical sciences programs. Although Frye graduates as an economics major, it was math that brought them together.

One Saturday in the fall of their senior year—just months ago—Makatche brought Frye back to the place they first met.

“John and I went to Hersheypark during the day with a couple of our good friends, and then he took me out to a nice dinner. He suggested that we come up to the field in front of Kreiderheim, where we laid in the grass and stargazed, and then he proposed. I said ‘Yes,’” Frye recalled, laughing happily.

Despite pursuing different majors and each blazing their own trail through College, Makatche and Frye have been inseparable during their four years at the Valley. They spent a three months studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during their junior year, where they “had the time of their lives.” View a video clip where they recall some of their best memories from studying abroad.

Both also shared employment in the Bishop library. Frye was a student worker there for all four years, and Makatche also worked there during his junior and senior years. In honor of their good work, graduating senior student workers are rewarded with the opportunity to pick one book of special meaning to be added to the library’s circulating collection.

“Jamie’s grandmother, Nancy Kettering Frye ’80, is an author,” said Maureen Anderson Bentz ’00, access services librarian. “Jamie selected her grandmother’s book, ‘An Uncommon Woman: The Life and Times of Sarah Righter Major’ as the book she wanted to add to our circulation.”

Frye’s family was influential in her decision to attend LVC. Her father, uncles, and grandparents all graduated from the Valley, and she followed closely in her father’s footsteps. In fact, her father, Dr. Jonathan Frye ’85, was a resident assistant in Funkhouser, and Frye’s uncles, David Frye ’84 and the Rev. Christopher Frye ’90, also lived in Funkhouser. Her first housing assignment placed her in Funkhouser, and when she applied to be a resident assistant, she—like her father—was assigned to a floor in Funkhouser.

Frye and Makatche are passionate about their upcoming careers. Makatche selected LVC because of its reputation for an outstanding program in actuarial science. He credits Dr. Patrick Brewer, the director of the Actuarial Science Program, for challenging him and assisting him in selecting an internship that would provide the best possible experience.

Through the annual actuarial science career fair held on campus, Makatche secured an internship with the Richmond, Va., branch of Mercer, a global consulting firm based in New York City. He was so successful in that internship that they offered him a job. Makatche and Frye had decided that they wanted their post-graduation plans to take them to Chicago, so he asked if his job offer could place him in Chicago.

“They pulled a few strings and I have a job in Chicago now!” Makatche said. “The program here, more than simply teaching you facts and formulas, teaches you how to think and how to analyze. I did a lot of work in my internship that was unrelated to classroom experience, but having the analytical ability and problem-solving skills really helped me to adapt to those situations. I also got used to working hard in my math classes, and I think they appreciated all of those qualities.”

Frye fell in love with the concepts of economics after taking a microeconomics class in her freshman year. She is passionate about the way humans use their resources, and trying to find ways to use those resources fairly, being respectful to the environment, and equitably. She will begin her job search when the couple relocates to Chicago next month.

“I’m particularly interested in the economics of urban agriculture,” Frye said, “and there are a lot of opportunities in the Chicago area. I’m also interested in community development or environmental economics. I’m looking forward to getting settled and looking for a job.”

Just two weeks after graduation, Makatche and Frye will wed May 25 in Frye’s home church in the Kansas countryside. Their roots in Central Pennsylvania are so strong, that they are planning a vow renewal ceremony in this area in August.

The couple graduates Saturday, May 11, with 380 other LVC students at the College’s 144th Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies. For information, visit

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