History and a marriage proposal, both made at SDSU State-a-Thon


Ashton Wenz and Carson Dinger in 2010


UPC’s Ashton Wenz had more in store for her at this year’s State-a-Thon than anticipated.


Students who attended the SDSU State-a-Thon will remember the event as a day they gave back to children in need, but SDSU’s Ashton Wenz will remember it for one more reason: as the day her boyfriend Carson Dinger got down on one knee.

The State-a-Thon, a fundraiser for the Sanford Children’s Miracle Network, is one of the University Program Council’s biggest events. It was the place that Carson Dinger, an SDSU alum and current graduate student at Texas A&M, asked Ashton Wenz to be his bride.

“I was shocked when it happened,” said Wenz, who was the lead UPC coordinator for the event. “I was up on stage giving my thank you speech and I was beginning to get really emotional because it was such a great day, and then I looked over and Carson came up, took the microphone and popped the question. From what other people said, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”

Dinger chose to propose at the State-a-Thon because he and Wenz first met  at the event during Wenz’s freshmen year.

“After we met at the State-a-Thon my freshman year we were friends for a long time before we started dating,” Wenz said. “Then one day he asked me out on a date and then something just clicked and we’ve been together ever since.”

Although Wenz was uninformed about Dinger’s plan, many of her friends were not. Catherine Bigbee, UPC advisor at SDSU, has known Wenz and Dinger for two years and said she knew about the planned proposal, but was sworn to secrecy by Dinger.

“Carson told me he was planning it for the State-a-Thon when he was here for Hobo Day, so I knew a long time beforehand and had to keep it a secret,” Bigbee said. “Ashton told me she suspected something so I just had to keep acting like I didn’t know anything.”

Bigbee was even able to help Dinger out with the big moment.

“At the end of the event when Ashton was wrapping everything up, I was the one who snuck him into the [Volstorff] Ballroom and helped him on-stage to surprise her,” Bigbee said. “They’re really great together and love each other a lot. I love them both as individuals and I think they compliment each other well.”

Wenz’s family was in attendance and was able to witness the moment.

“My parents were there so that was really great and Carson had called about a month before to ask permission so that was really special too,” Wenz said.

The wedding proposal was not the only record set at the event. Wenz said this year SDSU raised approximately $34,500—its highest total in 10 years—and around 100 more students than the yearly average participated.

“I am so thankful to all the participants who attended and helped out—it wouldn’t have been possible without them,” Wenz said. “Then the proposal was an added special moment for an all-around great day.”

Although the couple have not set a specific date to hear the sound of wedding bells chiming, Wenz said they plan to have a long engagement and marry in the fall of 2013 after they both finish school.