Centre traditions 101: Sealed with a kiss
RELEASED: February 14, 2008
According to campus legend, any Centre couple that kisses at midnight while standing on the brass College seal in front of Old Centre (the College's oldest building) will marry after graduation. The folklore hasn't been scientifically tested, but the proliferation of "double alum" weddings reported in the alumni magazine Centrepiece would lend support to the notion.
Adam Brown '07 and Ashley Dickens '08 kissed on the seal just before Brown graduated in May 2007.
"We had tried once before during CentreTerm of my sophomore year," Brown recalls. "Everything was perfect—midnight, moonlight—but there was a huge problem. The seal was missing." As it turned out, the seal had been removed for a routine cleaning.
Brown and Dickens describe themselves as a "rare breed," high school sweethearts who have stood the test of time. They met when Brown was a sophomore and Dickens a freshman at Greenwood High School in Bowling Green, Ky. While friends and family have often suspected otherwise, they each maintain that their decision to come to Centre was based solely on the fact that "it was the best college in Kentucky."
"It always concerned me that Adam might not ever propose even after dating all through high school and college," Dickens jokes. "I just figured if he was really that interested in me, we would've kissed on the seal. So, it came as a great relief when he finally 'sealed the deal' as it were, just before graduation."
More seriously, she says, "Carrying on a romantic little tradition like this is really special to me, regardless of how silly it may seem."
The two will be married this June in Bowling Green, Ky., surrounded by friends and family, many of whom are connected to the College. As it turns out, four other Centre couples will marry this summer, as well, each one marrying one weekend after the next for five weeks.
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.
To read about "Centre Traditions 101," click here.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. 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/
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