WSU Love Story: Rowing into the heart of love

WSU grad follows in grandparents footsteps, meets husband on campus



Hannah and Alex Ashton meet on rowing team to eventually get married

JOSIE GOODRICH, Reporter/Copy Editor

After her grandparents met and fell in love at WSU, it was only fitting that Hannah Ashton would follow in their footsteps and meet her soon-to-be husband at WSU as well. 

Hannah came to college as a freshman in 2015 and graduated with a science journalism degree, she said. During her time at school, she walked onto the women’s rowing team and was able to connect and make friends with the men’s rowing club.

Flash forward to 2017, Hannah’s junior year at WSU, and the first football game of the year is in full swing. She showed up at the game to meet some of her friends from the men’s rowing club, she said. 

“I even wrote this in my vows, as cheesy as it was, but I walked up the steps to visit with one of my friends on the men’s team, and my husband was standing there in a group and I swear everything around him was blurry,” Hannah said. “He was the only person that I could see and so I immediately was like ‘I need to know who that guy is.’”

After talking a little at the game, Alex Ashton left the game and Hannah found her way over to his place, she said. Coincidentally, Alex was a part of the men’s rowing club, and the two had mutual friends left and right.

“Our mutual friend, who ended up officiating our wedding, gave him my phone number. He messaged me that night at like midnight, and then we hung out the next day and have been together ever since,” Hannah said. 

Hannah’s graduating class on the rowing team consisted of four couples between the women’s and men’s rowing team, three of which are now married, she said. 

After graduating from WSU in 2019, Hannah moved to Missoula, Montana to get her Master’s in natural resource and environmental journalism from the University of Montana, she said. 

While Hannah was in Montana, Alex worked a summer as a trail lead for the Idaho Conservation Corps. Alex said that he really knew Hannah was the one for him during this time. 

“I was gone for the whole summer, and I’ve never honestly been one to really miss a girl and I’ve always kind of been independent,” Alex said. “But I was just really missing her, like every single day, and so I kind of knew at that point, she was the one.”

Alex proposed to Hannah on Christmas Eve of 2019, just like Hannah’s dad proposed to her mom on Christmas Eve, she said. They were married on June 11, 2021, on a lavender farm in Spokane. 

From swing-dancing dates to eating at Porch Light Pizza to spending time in the Snake River together, Pullman has been a spot they find so many of their favorite memories connected to, Hannah said. 

“It’s not only the school that we went to and where we fell in love, but it’s also sort of our extended family. We both have lots of important people in our lives that are from WSU, we both had at least one groomsmen or groomswomen who was from our time at WSU,” Hannah said. 

Hannah now works for Oregon State University in the College of Science as a science writer and Alex works as a Telecom Ground Hand, but they make it a point to incorporate WSU into their present lives, Hannah said. 

“We have an extreme love for the university, we watch every single football game together and we both still have all the gear from rowing and gathered over the years,” Hannah said. “And our parents are huge fans, you know Coug stickers in the car and Coug flag on the porch, so it’s really important to them as well — it’s a whole family thing.”