Sealed with a kiss
RELEASED: Feb. 9, 2006
DANVILLE, KY—With Valentine's Day just around the corner, love is in the air on Centre College's campus.
According to campus legend, any Centre couple that kisses on the brass College seal in front of Old Centre (the College's oldest building) will marry after graduation. The tradition holds that students must kiss at midnight. The folklore hasn't been scientifically tested, but the proliferation of "double alum" weddings reported in the alumni magazine would lend support to the notion.
Sherry Rose '04 and now-her-husband John Burke '04 kissed on the seal the summer before their senior year at Centre. Says Rose, "It's just one of those traditions you learn when you arrive on campus."
"We were told if you kiss on the seal, you'll stay together forever," says Robert Lidowski '03, who kissed his wife Heather Hayden '03 their freshmen year. Because Centre is where they met and fell in love, Lidowski and Hayden married on the steps of Old Centre, just a few feet from were they made their unspoken promise three years before.
Katie Kelley '05, student life intern for Greek affairs and leadership development, met her fiancé John Kramer '05 while both were at Centre. Though just friends in the beginning, the two began their courtship while studying abroad in London. "One night, after studying," says Kelley, "we decided to go for a walk. The path ended at St. Paul's Cathedral—a beautiful sight, especially at night." It was there that Katie and John officially agreed to start dating.
After three years together, this past November John "sealed the deal" when he proposed to Katie. "Just two days after spraining my ankle, still sporting crutches, John asked me to go on a walk with him around campus," says Kelley. "Thinking him crazy but adamant, I hobbled along, but only had the stamina to make it from the dorms on the north side of campus to Cowan Dining Commons. It was there, on the Cowan patio facing Old Centre, just before midnight that John knelt to ask me to marry him."
Although not standing directly on the seal, the heart of the tradition holds true for this Centre couple.
It's commonplace for Centre students to tie the knot. According to research by Beau Weston, associate professor of sociology at the College, there are approximately 780 married alumni couples. That means 1,560 individuals out of 10,840 living alumni marry a fellow Centre student—more than one in every seven alumni.
And if Candace Bonnett, instructional technology design specialist, has anything to say about it, future alums will be able to communicate their romantic feelings with technology, in addition to the more traditional ways. As part of a student workshop series by Information Technology Services at Centre, on Feb. 13 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Bonnett will teach a workshop on creating valentines in Microsoft Word and Publisher.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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