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A Clarke Love Story 

By Clarke News  |  February 14, 2024

College is a time where you can make incredible friendships. For a lucky few, it is the moment when they met their forever person, too. In honor of Valentine’s Day we’re sharing just one of the hundreds of couples who got their start at Clarke.    

Autumn (Lamb) ’20 & Zach Prucha ’19 

Clarke: What role did Clarke play in your story? 

Autumn: Back in 2016, we met in the Atrium because I had misplaced my lanyard of keys and was searching aimlessly for them. Zach found them and had noticed a USBC (bowlers tag) on my lanyard. It was so worn it had no name left, so he asked all the bowlers, and eventually they tracked me down. We met in the atrium and had a conversation about why I have a USBC tag and am not on the bowling team. I jokingly said, “I accepted a track scholarship because I can bowl when I’m 80, I probably shouldn’t be doing hurdles when I’m 80.” 

From there, we were quick friends. We had one class together as Zach was a year ahead of me and a business major, while I was an education major. We fortunately had Cathy Stierman’s physical science course together, and although we did not sit together, we had a great friendship.  He wasn’t too thrilled I completely “friend-zoned” him throughout college. Eventually that friendship became something more and we were married on October 7, 2023 – with five Clarke alumni in our wedding party! 

Clarke: What has life after college looked like for you?  

Autumn: Zach has continued to work for his parents’ sanitation company, Rudd Sanitation. He also earned a contract through Hammer & Vise Bowling while working at Revolutions Pro Shop in Cedar Rapids, IA. I worked multiple roles at Hills & Dales after college, then moved to Balance Autism in Cedar Rapids. Now I am a Strat II (6-12) special education teacher at Central City Community Schools, and I’m working on my master’s degree in special education. 

We are proud of how far we have come as a couple, too. When we got our first house, we completely gutted it and re-modeled. It was a challenge to add a modern flair to our 1920s home. We have come across many challenges in our lives and have overcome them together!  

Clarke: What are some of the things you are looking forward to together? 

Autum: We recently found out we are expecting and are so excited to start our family. Our goal is to work together on doing everything we can to support our family no matter what. Professionally, we both have goals to thrive in our work environments and move up as much as we can.  

We’ve also stayed connected to Clarke. We both attended the Clarke vs. Iowa Women’s Basketball game which was a fun experience and we, of course, cheered for Clarke! We’ve also attended Homecoming as alumni and want to do so again in the future. Personally, I have donated to the track team almost every year. I hope to see that one day they can have their own track/sports complex to proudly train and compete on. We both also stay in contact with Cathy Stierman! She has been a dear person in our lives and has known about each milestone so far like buying a house, getting a dog, then another dog, engagement, helping me with my master’s, marriage, and our recent announcement of our pregnancy. 

Do you have a love story to share? Let us know in a class note 

Please note, this interview has been edited for length and clarity.