The once-called “wildest homecoming tradition” resurfaced Thursday as couples who met at Kent State celebrated how the university brought them together.
The tradition started when the K on Risman Plaza was revealed back in 2011 and has since honored couples who started their relationship at Kent State. When the library bells toll, couples at Kent State celebrate with a kiss.
“We tried to find a creative way to honor Kent State couples where Kent State played a significant role,” said Joy Wesoloski, the associate director for alumni relations.
This year was a little different, as couples were not allowed to partake in the event in person due to COVID-19. Instead of having an event at the K, Kent State hosted an online live event through Facebook.
Couples were also encouraged to use the hashtag #kissonthek on social media to celebrate. One of the couples who posted using the hashtag have over 2,000 miles keeping them apart, but are still making it work.
Morgan Manuel and Nick Schank met freshman year when they would practice distance running together for the track and field and cross country teams at Kent State.
“We were from completely different realms,” Manuel said, “but Kent’s team opportunity really helped build our relationship.”
They would travel to events around the country and form a relationship that culminated in Schank proposing before their graduation in 2018. When Manuel was offered her dream job in Seattle, the couple decided they would be able to do a long-distance relationship while Schank completed graduate school at Cleveland State. They plan to get married in the summer of 2022 once Schank graduates.
Kent State would give out certificates to special “honorary couples.” Kent State did not have honorary couples this year, a tradition that would honor love stories that grew through the couples' stay here at Kent State.
For one of these honorary couples, Kiss on the K was an important moment in their lives. Krystin and Adam Fletcher met in high school, and when Krystin left for Kent State, Adam joined the Navy. When Adam left the Navy, Krystin convinced him to attend Kent.
During the 2016 event, Adam surprised Krystin and proposed, the first time that had ever happened during the event. Ever since then, they have attended every Kiss on the K event, including being an honorary couple in 2018.
Ben Vrobel covers administration. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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