This is a Coug love story that started with a very wise move by Kolby Wade.

Wade, a nursing undergraduate in Spokane, was required to pair up with another student for a project that would constitute a major part of his grade in the class. He’d worked with Kayla Adrian on a project the previous semester.

“There was no one I knew well who would partner with me. Then I saw Kayla’s name and remembered she was really smart. I thought hey, I think she’d be a good partner,” he recalls.

They clearly hit it off because they’re still together some five years later.

And they were obviously equally matched in talent as Coug Nurses, because they both landed their dream jobs after their graduation in 2016. Kayla was the first new graduate hired in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Kolby was the first man hired in labor and delivery there.

Kolby proposed at the hospital. They married in 2017 and welcomed their son Triton last year. They’ve chronicled each milestone with photos taken on the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus.

“I didn’t go to nursing school expecting to meet my wife,” said Kolby, though he allows that the still-larger percentage of women to men in the profession made the odds of meeting someone better than average. He’s now studying to be a nurse midwife through a distance education program.

“Not a lot of people know what they want to do as young as we did and get to do what they want to do as young as we did,” Kayla said. “We feel really blessed to have found each other and have this life. I am so lucky, and I owe it to WSU.”