News Release

A U of M Crookston Love Story

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Written by senior communication major Maggie Mills who is currently working  with Megan Bell, Ph.D., on an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) study evaluating mediated communication within romantic relationships.

Eight years ago, two freshmen in high school met in a wellness class in Apple Valley, Minn. Both 15 years old, Tommy Singer, the quarterback for the Apple Valley varsity football team and Ellie Sjoquist, a competitive figure skater out of Braemar Ice Arena, never suspected their future adventures Ellie and Tommytogether.

From strangers to best friends, the couple, now 22 years old, recently celebrated their 7-year anniversary in December. Tommy and Ellie both agree laughter is sole contributor to their relationship’s success. Since the beginning, these lovebirds have defined their relationship as active, adventurous, and supportive. Some of their favorite activities together include, shooting hoops, skating at the rink, cooking, bike rides, as well as taking walks through the park in Apple Valley where they had their first date.

Fast forward 4 years, the couple took their education to the University of Minnesota Crookston. Tommy is majoring in management with a minor in business, while Ellie’s major is international business and marketing. Tommy and Ellie are both very active participants at the University of Minnesota Crookston as well as in the Crookston Community. Tommy is a Golden Eagle Football athlete and works at the Crookston Sports Center Ice Arena. Ellie contributes to the U of M Crookston through student orientation leading, dining services marketing intern, information desk worker, and a figure skating  coach at the Crookston Sports Center Ice Arena. With graduation over the horizon in December 2018, the couple is looking forward to using their education from the University of Minnesota Crookston in their future endeavors.

Just last semester, Ellie had the opportunity to study abroad for the 4 months at Queen Mary University of London in London, England. To end off the semester abroad, Ellie’s parents and Tommy travelled to London, where the group spent a week touring the beautiful country while celebrating their 7-year anniversary abroad.

tommy and ellieA few weeks later, their fairytale continued on Friday, January 5, 2018. Despite the extreme negative Minnesota wind chills, Tommy suggested to Ellie that they take a walk to their favorite park, where they had their first date more than seven years ago. Bundled up, they made their way to the park. Little did Ellie know that Tommy had a small black box in his pocket with a big question that would create a new start to their happily ever after. To say the least, the couple could not be any happier.

From 15 years old to 22 years old, their relationship continues to grow. Tommy and Ellie both agree their relationship can only grow tighter as they keep each other grounded. They understand that open communication, and kind little gestures toward one another go a long way. Tommy and Ellie both admit they would start each other’s car in any negative winter weather—that’s true love. These little things have a huge impact on the relationship.

Ellie described Tommy has her support system; a guy that always puts others first and never fails to make her laugh every day. Tommy described Ellie as his best friend who has been there through it all, always considerate of others and without a doubt, the special someone he wants to spend the rest of his life with.

Anyone can truly see the genuine love these two have for each other. The University of Minnesota Crookston is lucky that Ellie and Tommy chose this campus to continue their relationship.

The couple hopes to tie the knot in summer 2019 while staying close to their favorite home state, Minnesota.


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations


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