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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Gameday fairytale: Proposal brings cheers to Junction

Gabriella Broussard | Courtesy Photograph

Starting quarterback of Huntington College in Alabama, Luke Bailey, proposes to Mississippi State University Junior Biological Sciences major Gabriella Broussard before Saturday’s home football game against Northwestern State University.

Saturday’s 62-13 football victory was nothing short of thrilling, but the lives of two  attendees of the Mississippi State University football game changed forever when Luke Bailey, starting quarterback of Huntington College in Alabama, got down on one knee and proposed to Gabriella Broussard, MSU junior biological sciences major, just before the game began in front of the large Magnolia in The Junction. 

This couple’s love story is nothing short of a match made in Bulldog territory. Broussard said she and Bailey met two years ago at MSU after an Alcorn State game. 

“He was the friend of a friend,” she said. “Luke and I had both just started freshman year, and his football team happened to have their bye week the very first week, so Luke decided to come spend the weekend with his friend at State.”

Broussard said Bailey was sitting with his friend in the lobby of MSU’s Hurst Hall, while waiting for his friend’s date when Broussard was introduced to who would become her now fiance.

“It was literally love at first sight,” she said. “I still remember so vividly the way he looked up at me and smiled, and I knew I had to get to know this guy.”

After their initial meeting, Broussard said she was sure Bailey and his friend would attend Pi Kapp later that night, so she went and ran into him there.

“I saw him come through the gate and I walked over all nonchalantly—pulling the ‘oh what a coincidence seeing you here,’” Broussard said. “Needless to say, the rest is history. We talked until 5:30 in the morning about anything and everything before he walked me to my door and said goodnight. This is the date we call our anniversary because we really have been together ever since.”

Ellen Broussard, Gabriella Broussard’s mother, said Bailey discussed his proposal plans with Broussard’s best friend and roommate Victoria Burke, so she could help hide the ring and get (Gabriella) Broussard to the designated proposal location Saturday. Upholding traditional wedding and proposal values, Bailey made sure he obtained permission from (Gabriella) Broussard’s family before proposing.

“I was so impressed with his thoughtfulness because he asked her father’s permission and her older brother’s permission,” (Ellen) Broussard said. “A true southern gentleman—he asked us and his family to be there because family is so important to both of them.”

Eight members of Bailey’s family drove to Starkville from his hometown of Cullman, Alabama and Broussard’s family traveled from Jackson, Tennessee for the engagement Saturday. 

(Gabriella) Broussard said Bailey used the excuse of meeting his hometown friend at 2 p.m. in The Junction as part of his proposal scheme.

“My roommate, who I later found out had been planning this proposal with Luke for quite some time, did a very good job of keeping the big secret. She and her boyfriend were hanging out with us as well,” she said. So when the clock hit about two, all four of us walked over to the magnolia and waited.”

(Ellen) Broussard said the two families waited across the walkway in tents, attempting to blend in with the crowd.

Meanwhile, (Gabriella) Broussard said she, Bailey and their friends waited for the “friend” Bailey mentioned, but she began to get irritated by the heat.

“It was so hot, so I asked him if we could go stand over in the shade a few feet away until his friend got there—he was so adamant about standing right there in front of the magnolia, which I thought was a little silly,” she said. “But again, I didn’t really question it. He said that his friend told him to wait for him right there at two, so I believed him and stood there and waited.”

Just as the band marched through Davis Wade Stadium, playing the fight song over and over, (Gabriella) Broussard said she stood there obliviously ringing her cowbell.

“As soon as the band passed, Luke grabbed my hand and looked me in the eyes and said, ‘So, I actually don’t have a friend here meeting us,’” she said. “At this time he got down on one knee, and asked, ‘Will you marry me?’ I was in complete shock.”

(Gabriella) Broussard said she was completely speechless.

“I had almost no reaction because of the amount of surprise I was experiencing,” she said. “I slipped the gorgeous ring on my finger and he stood up and gave me a huge hug. I then looked around me to see that all of my family and his family were standing around us with their cameras out and flowers in their hands.”

(Gabriella) Broussard said there was no doubt in her mind she was going to say yes because she knew she wanted to marry Bailey since the day she met him. She said right after Luke dropped to his knee, a man in the crowd yelled, “Yeah. Future Bulldogs on the way,” which caused laughter amongst their group.

Along with being an Honors student at MSU, (Gabriella) Broussard also has a modeling and acting career. Broussard’s mother said Bailey has supported her work and even travels with her when he can.

“As her mother, it’s a nice peace to know Luke supports her dreams and is just as excited as she is about her jobs and agency contracts,” (Ellen) Broussard said. “I’m so thankful she has a fiancé who will be right beside her, holding her cowbell for her as she continues to climb the ladder of success.”

(Gabriella) Broussard comes from a long-line of MSU alumni and (Ellen) Broussard said her daughter brought the tradition back to the family. (Gabriella) Broussard said she and Bailey have many memories at MSU, and believes he chose to propose on campus because that is where the pair met.

“I love MSU so much and always have and this will just add to my love for the school,” (Gabriella) Broussard said. “Luke has always known my pride for Mississippi State, and I’m so glad he made this wonderful memory here. After I graduate, there will only be fond memories of my time at State and meeting Luke here and getting engaged here only adds to them.”

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Gameday fairytale: Proposal brings cheers to Junction