"Distinctly Centre" marriage proposal in Powell glass studio

Most couples dream of the perfect wedding proposal, and for Danny Noll ’10, this meant returning to the place where his love story with Kasey Jackson ‘11 began.

“We met at Centre College, so I knew I wanted to incorporate Centre into the proposal somehow,” Noll explains.

Noll called on the help of renowned artist Stephen Rolfe Powell, Stodghill Professor of Art and director of Centre’s glassblowing program. Both Noll and Jackson had taken glassblowing courses with Powell as undergraduates.

“We have really missed glassblowing since graduating, so I thought this would be the perfect way to propose,” says Noll.

“They caught me in a cupid moment,” says Powell. He and Noll spent several weeks texting in secret to plan the perfect surprise for Jackson. They devised a scheme to make sure she would come to Danville in early May without being suspicious.

“We decided that I would invite them both to the studio for a demo and a videotaping of alums who had taken glassblowing,” says Powell.

“Steve seemed to have as much fun with the planning as I did,” says Noll. “He sent me a rough draft of the fake invitation at 11 p.m. on a Sunday night.”

Once the plans were complete, the couple arrived on campus for what Jackson believed was an invitation to see Powell create one of his signature gourd-shaped “screamers.”

Centre Alumni Danny Noll has a colorful souvenir to show his children when they ask how he proposed to Kasey Jackson. Fooled by Noll into thinking they were attending a glass-blowing lesson on Saturday, Jackson watched with wide eyes for more than an hour as Centre College art instructor Steven Powell and his crew of merry conspirators carefully transformed bits of colored glass into a “screamer,” one of Powell’s signature abstract orbs. Jackson and Noll were introduced by friends while attending Centre College and engaged on May 3, 2014 in the Hot Glass Studio of Centre College.

Stephen Powell’s gourd-shaped “screamer” that aided Centre Alumni Danny Noll in proposing to college sweetheart, Kasey Jackson.

The plan went off without a hitch, and Jackson experienced the surprise of her life when Noll took over the staged demonstration and asked her to read the lettering that had been melted onto the sculpture’s surface: “Kasey, will you marry me? Love, Danny.”

She said yes.

“I was completely shocked,” says Jackson. “I had to read the glass piece a couple of times before I understood what was happening, but when it finally sunk in, I couldn’t wait to say yes.”

Jackson and Noll expressed their gratitude to Powell and everyone who helped make the one-of-a-kind proposal possible.

“I really admire Stephen Powell as a professor and artist, and it was so kind of him to take time out of his busy schedule to help make this day even more special for us,” says Jackson.

She also expressed appreciation for Powell’s team, which helped prepare the letters and complete the piece.

“Anytime you make a new piece of glass it’s nerve-wracking,” Powell says. “But this piece went flawlessly and made for a distinctly Centre proposal.”

Jackson agrees. “I’m thrilled to have such an amazing and distinctive piece of art to commemorate the occasion.

“The sculpture is priceless and will become a family heirloom that will last for generations,” she adds.

The couple is planning a wedding for June 2015, and will display the artwork once they settle in Richmond, Va., where Noll will soon begin an orthodontic residency at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jackson hopes to find a teaching job and will begin working on a master’s degree in education.

by Centre College News
June 10, 2014

By |2019-09-12T13:05:23-04:00June 10th, 2014|Art History, Glass Art, News, Stephen Powell Memorial, Education|