An emergency room first date leads to lasting love for David and Christa Musgrove

Published: Feb 12, 2015 11:00:00 AM
Media Contact: Megan Burmester,, 334.844.2220

musgrove family
David, Caelan and Christa Musgrove.

An emergency room first date leads to lasting love for David and Christa Musgrove

Where are you both originally from and how did each of you end up at Auburn and in the College of Engineering?

David: I grew up in Vestavia, Alabama, and was raised an Auburn fan. I looked at several schools, but was fortunate to be offered a scholarship to Auburn and knew it was the right place.

Christa: I am originally from Huntsville, but my family followed the space program to Houston where I lived during middle and high school. I wanted to go to a strong engineering school which had a community feel and where I could play water polo; I was blessed to receive a scholarship to Auburn where I was looking forward to studying engineering. I also hoped to make the machines that make food – in the food industry manufacturing side.

What year did you both graduate and what were your majors?

David: I earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2005.

Christa: I earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2007.

How did you meet?

David: I said hello one day during engineering economics, our only class together. She has no memory of this first encounter, but we later got to know each other through the Auburn solar car team.

Christa: We met my freshman year in engineering economics with Dr. Evans. David swears he introduced himself in class (this, I have no recollection.) I remember meeting David while working in the shop on the solar car body construction in 2004. We got to know each other working on the solar car for the next year and went to the cross country solar car race event in the summer 2005.

musgrove boys
David and Caelan hanging out.

Describe your first date:

David: I decided to give Christa a unique and memorable first date. While I went to pick her up, I managed to brush my ear against my car. It was just a minor scratch but she insisted we go to emergency room to check it out. So we picked up some take-out and had dinner in the emergency room waiting room. We rented a movie afterward and watched it back at my apartment.

Christa: After returning from the solar car race in 2005, we went on our first date in August 2005. Being chivalrous, David opened the car door for me and then walked around to get into the driver’s seat. As he stepped in, I heard “ouch!” then I saw him rubbing his ear. As we looked at it, he had a deep cut on the back side of his ear (to this day, we have not been able to figure out how it happened.) I convinced him to go to the hospital (it was Sunday night) because it was deep. Because he refused to let our first date be ruined, we picked up Veggies To Go and headed to the emergency room where we ate takeout. At this point, friends are calling because they heard that we were headed to the hospital. They cleaned up his ear and super-glued the cut back together. We missed the movie at the theater but rented one later that night. David called me three weeks later and told me that I was the most expensive date he’d ever been on – including three proms.

How did Auburn Engineering bring you both together?

David: During our solar qualifying in Kansas, we spent several days together monitoring the car’s performance as it circled the track. After two full days of talking, while trying to avoid the 20 mile per hour cross winds, I had a crush. After hanging out frequently during our two week cross-country competition later that summer, I officially asked her out.

Christa: We spent long hours working in the shop together during solar car construction, but I got to know him when we went to Kansas for a race in May. I was unprepared for the high winds, so I found the tallest person I could (David is 6’4) and stood by him to block the wind. We spent the next week on the bleachers monitoring the car’s battery using and system status when I saw his sense of humor.

When did you get married? Do you have kids?

Christa: We were married Nov. 7, 2009, in Huntsville in the same church where my parents were married. Then, in 2014, we celebrated our fifth anniversary and welcomed our son Caelan into the family.

Where do you both work?

Christa: I joined Chevron as a facilities engineer in 2007 after graduation and have worked on projects in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and most recently, Brazil.

 David: I worked for Lockheed Martin in the aerospace industry for five years, before joining Chevron in 2012 where I currently support projects in west Texas.

Best memory you both have as an Auburn Engineering couple?

Both: We love watching Auburn football games together, and try to make it back for at least one game every year. After the Arkansas game this fall, our son decided he didn’t want to miss any more of the fun and decided to come a month early. David was out of town, but drove nine hours through the night to make it to the hospital. Less than thirty minutes later, we welcomed our son into the world.