Springfield, Ohio - For a college where one of the most prized traditions involves a "kissing bridge," it's no surprise that more than 2,200 married couples met while studying at Wittenberg University.
The legend is that any two students who share a kiss on the magical bridge near Commencement Hollow, are sure to share another kiss at the altar of marriage. There is only indirect evidence of the bridge's cupid-like power --- the thousands of couples who fell in love while attending the picturesque Ohio liberal arts and sciences college.
Today the university celebrates that bond by delivering special valentine wishes to all of its married alumni couples across the country and abroad.
The Office of Alumni Relations selected the perfect valentine for the special Wittenberg greeting, an original sonnet penned by Wittenberg alumna Ellen Summers '80 and featuring artwork by another alumna Suzie Cooke Darrah '79. The original card was published for the alumni association in 1979. Cards were mailed to 105 couples in Springfield, 105 couples in Dayton, 239 couples in Columbus with the remainder of the 2,291 cards postmarked for destinations all over the country and abroad. Two couples share the distinction of meeting on campus in the late 1920s. David '28 and Ruth Detrick '29 reside in Naples, Fla., and James and Louise Price '29 live in San Diego, Calif.
"We think this greeting holds special meaning because alumni tell us often that the years at Wittenberg were some of the best of their lives," said Pat Benne, director of alumni relations at Wittenberg and graduate of the class of 1968. "We hope by receiving this special wish from campus we help them recall fondly those cherished memories of when and where their love began."
Incidentally, Benne found her own valentine during new student days her first week on campus, and she married him shortly after graduation in the fall of 1968. He is Ken Benne '68, dean of admission. They reside in Springfield and have three grown sons.
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