Love will be in the air as part of this year’s Homecoming events.
Couples who connected because of Kent State University are invited to plant a smooch on their loved one during Homecoming festivities at Kent State University.
The Kiss on the K takes place Saturday afternoon at the K at Risman Plaza, said Marquita Rodgers of the KSU Alumni Association. Couples will begin assembling at about noon, and kiss when the bell chimes at 12:30.
"We’re looking for couples for whom Kent State played a role in them becoming a couple," she said.
Couples of all ages are welcome, she said.
"We welcome kids as well," she said.
Rodgers said the call has gone out for "honorary couples." This year, Rodgers said, the couples expected to be honored include one couple who got engaged at last year’s event, and a couple celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary.
Couples do not need to register in advance.
Kyle Pancis, ’13 & Melanie Eidenberg, ’13
Melanie, who "started Kent State not knowing a single person," says she and Kyle met their first year in May 2010, at a fraternity party. They were introduced by one of Kyle’s fraternity brothers who thought "we would be a good match." They started talking and exchanged phone numbers and with the school year, Kyle went home to New Jersey and Melanie went home to Illinois. Melanie says they talked over the summer and finally got to meet again fall semester during their sophomore year. They started dating Oct. 2, 2010, got engaged during Kent State’s homecoming weekend, Oct, 17, 2014, and are marrying this Homecoming weekend. "If it were not for Kent State, I would never have found my soulmate," shares Melanie.
Adam and Krystin, ’13 Fletcher
Adam and Krystin’s nominators shared they were the first Kent State couple to be engaged during the annual Kiss on the K event, with Adam proposing in 2016. The couple had planned to attend another university, and then Adam enlisted in the Navy while Krystin attended Kent State. Though they kept in touch for the next eight years, they were not an official couple. As an active alumnus of Kent State, Krystin convinced Adam to attend KSU once he left the Navy. "The first big event she was excited to share with Adam was Homecoming and the magical kiss on the K. Adam surprised Krystin, and the crowd, with a proposal. She said yes!" according to their nomination. They married this past June and while taking photos across campus and in Kent, they were asked, "Hey aren’t you the couple that got engaged on the K? I was there and took your picture."
Dan, ’99 and Brandy, ’99 Marks
In her nomination, Brandy asks, "Do you believe in FATE?" Had it not been for Kent State, this boy from Pennsylvania and this girl from North Carolina would not have met in 1994. "Extraordinary circumstances" brought them together (their story is poignant and romantic) and 24 years later are still very much in love. Brandy shares, "Kent has been such a blessing to us, as individuals but especially as a couple and to our family. We owe everything to the school and hope one day our children will be attending as well." Being selected as an honorary couple, "would be a huge surprise to my husband who has no idea I am nominating us!"
Porter (Pete), ’71 and Nancy, ’68 Welch
Porter shares that when he and Nancy first met, he was a student and she was an instructor. They met again off campus and started dating. The couple married Nov. 2, 1968, and will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year.
Randy and Susan, ’83 Bockus
Susan writes she and Randy met as students. Her maiden name was Bock and Randy’s last name was right below hers in the Kent State phone book. Susan shares, "We met at the Rathskellar on Oldies Night in 1980. We would have never met if it was not for our love for ’60s music!" Susan states had it not been for Randy’s persistence, ("He asked me out for a year, before I finally relented and said yes,") they would not have had their first date on Feb. 28, 1981. The couple celebrated 33 years of marriage on Feb. 9 of this year. As active alumni, Randy was named to the Kent State University All-Time Baseball Team in 2014, and Susan has worked at the university for more than nine years, currently in Admissions.