“He’s kind of the strong, silent type,” Alli Colls Summers ’15, teased her new husband Luke, who rewarded her with a half-smile. Alli, who describes herself as “a bit extra” is a vivacious, enthusiastic personality who rarely meets a stranger. Luke is more reserved and practical with an easy-going personality and a ready grin.
A Ferrum College alumna from Smith Mountain Lake who majored in democracy, justice, and civic engagement, Alli began her career at Ferrum College in April 2016 as an admissions counselor. She eventually moved to residence life in August 2017 and now works as the coordinator of residence education.
She met her Ferrum College sweetheart, Luke Summers, in May 2016. Luke, who is originally from Youngstown, OH, graduated from the University of Mount Union in 2009 and accepted his current position at Ferrum College in January 2016 as assistant coach and offensive coordinator for Panther Football. The pair met in May 2016 when they realized they were recruiting the same students.
Due to busy schedules filled with football practices, games, and other campus activities, it took a while to get the romance started. “Football took a lot of my time,” explained Luke. “We’d see each other maybe once a week on a Friday night.”
“It didn’t get exciting until he came out of his shell,” laughed Alli. She describes their relationship as pretty easy-going. “Our first date was low-key with ice cream and a movie at Luke’s place,” Allie said. “It was some horrible Steven Carell movie. We both said we’d never watch it again.”
Since 2016, their relationship bloomed through the addition of two golden doodles named Woody and Gracie, and a home renovation project for a retired professor’s house bought through campus email. “YouTube tutorials helped,” said Luke. “I learned how to scrape off popcorn ceiling that way.”
Alli and Luke married on May 11, 2019, coincidentally the same day as Ferrum College’s 103rd Commencement. “We already had the venue booked before we knew it was commencement!” Alli explained. The couple knew it was a good sign when the rain that loomed on their wedding day miraculously stopped long enough for their 5 p.m. outdoor ceremony. “I was standing in a puddle during our vows. I was like, ‘Okay, I see you, God!’” said Alli, laughing. A drizzle resumed for their indoor reception.
So what is life like now for the newlyweds? “We take our dogs for walks around campus,” said Alli. “They have dog playmates so we have to stop at specific houses for them to play with their friends.” They enjoy their newly renovated home together. And although they work in different departments at the College, they team up. “We’ve made connections with students through each other that we may not have otherwise made,” explained Alli.
Alli, who holds a master’s degree in law from Regent University, wants to eventually become a dean of students at a college or university and work in the legal aspect of higher education. Luke is pretty content with coaching football. The future looks bright for the Summers family.
Read about other Ferrum College Sweethearts Aaron Conover and Hillary Hardison here.