Love at First SITE

Countless couples have started relationships at The University of Alabama. Whether it’s meeting at Bama Bound or in class, many find love that lasts a lifetime during their time at the Capstone.

For Hannah and Jack Houser, you can say it was love at first SITE, as in the Student Introduction to Engineering camp hosted by the College of Engineering. That’s where their love story began in the summer of 2018 when the two were SITE campers.  

Hannah, a native of Russellville, Kentucky, chose to attend SITE camp after searching for engineering summer camps in the Southeast. With math being one of her strong suits, she knew she wanted to study engineering in college.  

Jack’s interest in STEM started at an early age when he was successfully able to take apart and reassemble his family’s VCR at the age of 4. The summer prior to his senior year in high school, the Odessa, Florida, native’s mom heard about the SITE camp from a friend and signed him up.  

Jack and Hannah posing for a picture during summer camp in high school

Shortly after arriving at SITE camp, the two were with their parents and briefly exchanged hellos in passing. Jack and Hannah met again after dinner that night, giving Jack the opportunity to make a great first impression.

“Hannah had her wheelchair with her at camp,” Jack recalled. “My mom was a wheelchair tech, and I showed Hannah how to pop a wheelie in her wheelchair.”

“He actually pops better wheelies than I do,” Hannah said.

The couple spent the rest of the camp hanging out and started a long-distance relationship after. During their senior years, Jack had a rowing competition in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Hannah made the trip to support him.

After seeing what UA had to offer through SITE camp and taking advantage of scholarship opportunities, Jack and Hannah enrolled in fall 2019.

From Bama Bound through receiving their bachelor’s degrees, Jack and Hannah were nearly inseparable. With both majoring in mechanical engineering, they only had a handful of classes apart.

Jack proposed to Hannah during the Christmas season in 2021. With school in mind, they had their wedding the Friday before finals week on April 29, 2022.

The Housers graduated with their bachelor’s degrees in spring 2023. With undergraduate degrees in hand, the couple decided to take advantage of the STEM Path to the MBA program.

“I never really considered anything beyond a bachelor’s degree when I arrived at UA,” Jack said. “But once I got in the Honors College and discovered the STEM Path to the MBA, I fell in love with everything about it and receiving both degrees in five years seemed like the logical next step.”

For Hannah, earning her MBA was a way to have more career options.

Jack and Hannah Houser after graduating with their bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering

“I really like engineering and the technical aspects of it, but I wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted to do my entire career,” Hannah said. “I feel like this will open more doorways in the future.”

The couple will graduate with their MBAs and cross the stage at Coleman Coliseum for a second time this weekend. Although they came to UA from out of state, the Housers will soon move to Birmingham to plant their roots, crediting the support of faculty and the community for leading them to want to start their careers in Alabama.

Jack and Hannah posing in their graduation regalia in front of Bryant Denny Stadium

“When I came to The University of Alabama, I didn’t really see myself staying in the state and falling in love with it as much as I did,” Jack said. “But the people we met here, whether it be friends or professors, have been impactful in shaping our lives.”

“The network and community at UA have been so supportive,” Hannah said. “I had upperclassmen come and talk to me about opportunities when I arrived, and I did the same when as the years went on.

“UA does a really good job of not making all your transitions feel so daunting. That’s one thing I loved about this place and can’t wait to give back once I get in the real world in a couple of weeks.”