Pressure Makes Diamonds

The love story of Casey Gunter ’14 and Marc-Andre Parent ’16 begins with a game of humans versus zombies, an interruption to a psychology project and three words that would be etched in their minds forever – pressure makes diamonds.

On a fall day in 2012, Casey was in a psychology class working on a project when Marc and his friends came bursting in, dressed in black and armed with Nerf guns. Due to her exhaustion, Casey burst out in laughter at the site of the men playing humans versus zombies. Marc came over and asked why she was laughing. She replied she was laughing at him because she was working so hard on her complicated project, and he was running around playing a game. She said, “You are taking the game so seriously, and it’s not that big of a deal.” Marc obviously disagreed and replied, “Whatever. Pressure makes diamonds, babe.”

As fate would have it, Casey and Marc would share a photography class the next semester. Marc, however, did not remember his previous encounter with Casey. Realizing this, Casey decided to turn the tables on Marc. She approached him and said, “Pressure makes diamonds, babe.” Marc’s face fell when he finally remembered how he knew Casey.

Deciding to add more pressure to the situation, Casey tried to convince Marc to ask her out on a date. Because she is two years older, Marc was nervous to ask Casey out. He finally found the courage to ask Casey to the Valentine’s Day dance. Excited, Casey said yes and waited for Marc to arrive at the dance. He never came.

Marc asking Casey to marry him

The next day, Marc visited Casey while she worked at the library and apologized for standing her up. Realizing he was not getting anywhere, he left the library and began work on a more creative apology. He drew a heart in the snow and wrote “Will you be my valentine?” in red food coloring and texted a picture of him lying next to the heart. Casey eventually forgave Marc, agreed to dinner at the Flying Goose, and was his girlfriend the rest of their days at CSC.

During Marc’s senior year at Colby-Sawyer, he decided to show his dedication to Casey by getting a tattoo in her honor. The tattoo was inked onto his right forearm and read, “Pressure makes diamonds.”

At Marc’s graduation ceremony in May of 2016, Casey was in attendance with her mother and best friend. She remembers then-President Tom Galligan telling the audience that he did not usually get to be a “yes man” in his position, but decided to say yes to a request made by a graduating senior. As President Galligan left the stage, Casey’s mother leaned over and handed her a custom made beach rock that read, “Say yes.” It was then that Casey realized Marc had taken the stage and asked her to join him up front. He told the graduating class, families and friends that school was very hard for him and the only thing that got him through was Casey. Then, getting down on one knee, Marc asked Casey to marry him. She said yes.

Marc and Casey's wedding

Marc and Casey were married on August 18, 2018. They were surrounded by many of their Colby-Sawyer friends and family while they said their vows on the M/S Mount Washington on New Hampshire’s beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. Colby-Sawyer Learning Specialist, MJ Richardson, was the officiant. Casey said, “MJ was Marc’s counselor and is a really important person to both of us.” After the ceremony, the couple spent a week in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Today, Casey and Marc live in Concord, N.H. Casey works as an academic advisor at Southern New Hampshire University, and Marc works as an analytical chemist at LGC Standards. Their future plans include purchasing a home, having children and traveling.

Pressure most certainly makes diamonds, and in this case, it also was the start of a wonderful Colby-Sawyer love story.