Engineering Love

February 10, 2021

Engineering Love

They say if you walk across the Engineering Shamrock between Lafferre and Switzler halls near the Francis Quadrangle, you are destined to marry an engineer. Only a legend? Not for these couples.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we caught up with two pairs of Mizzou Engineering alumni who shared their tales of love and legacy.

Sparks Fly at Mizzou Engineering

1992 SAE racing team

The 1992 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Formula Car racing team. Image courtesy of the Hyde family.

You never know where you’ll find love. For Mizzou Engineering alumni Clinton Hyde, BS ‘93, and Lori Hyde, BS ‘92, sparks flew in their Circuit Theory course at Mizzou. Clinton and Lori met while undergrads studying engineering. Although they were just friends in college, they married years later and now have three kids following in their footsteps to become engineers.

Lori and Clinton bonded over the challenging engineering courses and college life. They had a group of friends that studied together and after Mizzou, stayed close with, even going on ski trips and other adventures. One of their memories while at Mizzou was when Lori would bake (to relieve stress) and bring cookies over to Clinton’s apartment so she would not eat them all.

Clinton’s time at Mizzou involved the SAE racing team, spending long hours working on the car and topping that off with breakfast at the Broadway Diner. He studied mechanical engineering and went on to work for a tooling company. He then moved onto a small tool shop which grew into an international business being traded on NASDAQ.

Lori, originally a business major, switched to industrial engineering after attending Summer Welcome and learning more about engineering. After Mizzou she worked at a consulting company on the management track.

Eventually, the two realized their friendship had transformed into a much stronger bond. They married in 1996.

Hyde _family Valentine's Day 2021

The Hyde family, from L to R: Lauren, Clinton, Nathan, Lori and Erin.

Lori and Clinton passed their love for Mizzou on to their children through attending sporting events and of course, donning Tiger gear.

Their eldest child, Lauren, is a senior at Mizzou studying industrial engineering. Lauren decided to follow in her mom’s footsteps after attending the Mizzou Engineering High School Day. Her love for engineering spurred from a research program in high school and also from seeing how engineering careers positively impacted her parents.

The love for engineering continues with their second child Erin. She is a senior in high school planning on majoring in industrial engineering at Mizzou. Their youngest, Nathan, who is a junior in high school, is interested in mechanical engineering.

Mizzou Engineering friends turned spouses now with three engineering kids proves you never know what your college journey will bring.

Sweetheart Science

Christine and Steve Pierson

Christine and Steve Pierson at a Zeta Tau Alpha dance in 1983.

Christine and Steve Pierson’s journey began in Professor Larry David’s Fortran class in what is now Naka Hall in the fall of 1981. It was a gradual process for Steve, from Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Christine, from Kirksville, Mo., to start dating.

“I was sitting with a couple of my friends, and he was sitting in front of us with his friends, and that’s how we met,” Christine said. “Just chatting and bumping into each other in different classes and helping out.

“Especially when we were down in the basement trying to compile our programs on punch cards. The cards would fall on the floor, and Steve would pick them up for me.”

Eventually, the study groups they had formed with their friends dwindled down to just the two of them. They became “study buddies,” started dating in the summer of 1982, and then dated through the rest of their time at Mizzou.

They spent most of their time together studying at the library or in the engineering building with some shared interests but not a lot of extra time.  On top of studying relentlessly, Christine was a member of the Mizzou women’s track and field team, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and president of what is now the Mizzou chapter of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE). Additionally, they both worked part-time jobs. All of these commitments cut into their social life, but they managed to spend time together.

“We would pack a picnic lunch and go to Nifong Park. We’d hang out and study, especially in the spring,” Steve said. “I would also go watch Christine run at Hearnes Center when she had a track meet.”

Steve went into mechanical and aerospace engineering, while Christine went into industrial and manufacturing systems engineering. Both graduated in 1985 from their respective programs and married in 1986.

As active alumni of the College, Christine and Steve give back to Mizzou Engineering community with their time and resources. Steve is the current chair of the MAE’s Industrial Advisory Board (IAB). Christine is on IMSE’s IAB, the Dean’s Advisory Council, past-president of  the IMSE Hall of Fame , and is currently the President of the Mizzou Letterwinners Board and Club representing over 5,000 former Mizzou athletes.

“It’s definitely worth seeing the impact of our industrial advisory board’s contribution of time and experience for advancement of the MAE department and its students.,” Steve said.

pierson family at wedding

Left to right: Adam and Lindsay Wright, Steve, Christine and Andrew Pierson.

The Piersons have two children, one of whom is a Mizzou Engineering alumnus. Their son, Andrew, also graduated in industrial engineering, just like mom.

“I won out at the dinner table,” Christine said of persuading Andrew to choose between industrial engineering and mechanical engineering. Their daughter, Lindsay Wright, was the family rebel attending the University of Oklahoma. She was a Sooner athlete and earned a doctorate in physical therapy (DPT). She redeemed herself by marrying Mizzou alum Adam Wright. He graduated with a bachelor of science in biochemistry and a juris doctor (law).

Mizzou Engineering thanks the Hydes and the Piersons for their time in developing this article. Learn more on how Mizzou Engineering alumni can give back to the College of Engineering.