JMC Alumni Couple Host First Wedding in New University Hotel

A Kent State University student media “power couple” made local history as the first to be married in the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center on July 26.

Nate Sargent, ’09, and Sadie Kelly, ’10, met on the second floor of Franklin Hall. The pair could be found in the business office of the Daily Kent Staterlate in the afternoon, after all of their peers had abandoned the room for the evening. She was working on the Classified section of the paper as the Classified Account Executive, and he was manning the phones as the Sales Manager.

For Halloween one year, Sargent and his lifelong friend, college roommate and best man Tim Magaw, ’09, decided to get in the spirit by dressing up as women. They met up with Kelly and her friend and bridesmaid Kelly Pickerel, ’09, to celebrate.

“They both had beards, too,” Kelly said, laughing. “They were the ugliest women I had ever seen. It’s usually pretty hard to get guys into Halloween. It was kind of refreshing to see guys get into it.”

After “hanging out” a few times after Halloween, Sargent and Kelly began dating, but decided to keep it quiet in the Stater office. When the couple finally announced they had been dating just before Sargent graduated, students and faculty were excited by the news. Both Student Media Manager Lori Cantor and Student Media Advertising Manager Tami Bongiorni expressed their surprise at the couple’s announcement.

“I was definitely shocked, but pleasantly surprised,” Cantor said. “This isn’t the first couple to come out of theStater office.”

After she graduated, Kelly moved back to her hometown of Pittsburgh, and the couple commuted to see each other. Two years later, she moved back to the Kent area and Sargent proposed.

“Sadie is the most bold bride,” said Samantha Lingenfelter, ’10, a college friend and Stater coworker of the couple. “They weren’t going to get married until 2014, but she called about the new Kent Hotel, and they said they had an opening in July. She did all this before the hotel building even opened.”

The Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center opened June 14, and Sargent and Kelly’s was the first wedding to take place there. When Kelly booked the date of the wedding, the hotel hadn’t even selected an opening date yet.

“Everyone sort of thought I was crazy,” Kelly said. “But the hotel is just absolutely beautiful. It couldn’t have turned out any better.”

Magaw, visiting the hotel for the first time the day of the wedding, said it was everything he expected and more.

“The hotel was clean, crisp and modern,” Magaw said. “The décor was elegant without being too flashy.”

Friends and family were excited for the bride and groom and couldn’t wait to be part of Kent State history.

“We’ve all graduated from Kent State, so it’s great to be part of the hotel’s history,” Pickerel said.

“We were all excited when we heard they were engaged, but when we heard they were going to be the first couple to be married at the hotel, we were even more excited,” Cantor said.

When the ceremony began, Magaw looked at his lifelong friend to see his reaction when his bride walked down the aisle.

“I knew it was going to be a special ceremony when Nate started crying while Sadie walked down the aisle,” Magaw said. “He'll probably kill me for saying that, but it was such a nice reminder of how much he loves Sadie.”

Like the couple, the wedding was unique and incorporated many local vendors and traditions. Instead of having a traditional wedding cake for dessert at the reception, the couple served pie.

“Nate loves pie,” Lingenfelter explained. “Neither of them is very fond of cake, so they brought in like 30 [Gardner Pie Company] pies.”

Pie is a special dessert for the couple. Kelly was in Ireland one Thanksgiving while the couple was dating, so Sargent promised to make her a whole Thanksgiving meal when she returned.

“I think he realized that was a really big commitment, making a whole Thanksgiving dinner, so he made me a homemade pumpkin pie instead. I love pumpkin pie, and it was delicious. That’s a sign of a good future husband right there,” Kelly joked.

Sargent’s mother also baked cookies for a cookie table, a tradition for weddings in Kelly’s hometown area. According to Kelly, she’d been baking for months in preparation for the big event.

The wedding also featured 50 bags of popcorn from Popped!, as well as photography from Carman & Pugh, both located in Acorn Alley II in downtown Kent.

“The wedding was really beautiful,” Pickerel said. “Sadie and Nate were so happy. It was great to see all of our friends from Kent State back in the place where all our friendships began. I wish we could have a wedding every weekend in Kent.”

More than the wedding, friends and family looked forward to Sargent and Kelly spending the rest of their lives together.

“There’s a whole group of us who have known each other since kindergarten, so we have a more brotherly relationship than friendship,” Magaw said. “None of the rest of us are married yet, so we’re excited to be adding a sister to the group.”

“They’re both so feisty and fun,” Bongiorni said. “They’re a good fit.”

For more information about the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center, visit For sales and event inquiries, email

For more information about the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, visit

POSTED: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:00 AM
Meghan Caprez