Kent State alumni returned to campus on Friday, Oct. 1 for a weekend packed with Homecoming festivities. 

The weekend began Friday with the Class of 2020 commencement ceremony, and at 12:00, the “Kiss on the K” took place at Risman Plaza. 

A number of “Honorary Couples” attended the event, including Sierra and Chris Baker and their two children, 7-year-old Cash and 4-year-old Cora. 

“For us, Kent State plays such a huge part in--I say--our love story,” Sierra says. 

Sierra previously worked in the Kent State Office of Health Promotion Events and more recently as a Conferences Services Coordinator, while Chris is currently an aquatics coordinator for the university. The couple have been married for 12 years. 

They met during undergrad, and they’ve been together ever since. 

“The trust that grew, and supporting each other, and just how relationships grow and blossom, for us, all of that happened at Kent State,” says Sierra. 

Sierra is currently attaining her third degree as a doctoral student at Kent, and Chris is also working on his educational doctorate. Both are active members of the Kent State community. 

“I really value the education that I got at Kent State,” Sierra says. 

This is the Baker’s second time being nominated as an Honorary Couple, with their original nomination coming in 2014.

Nominations take place using an online platform where people can submit potential nominees directly. 

All of this year’s couples have previously been nominated, and they were given Kent State blankets, tumblers and a stuffed black squirrel. 

Honorary couples were also asked a series of “Would you Rather?” questions about one another as part of the events, and shortly after, The Kent Clarks performed acapella covers of songs by Harry Styles and One Direction. 

Kent State president Todd Diacon and wife Moema Furtado also attended the event, and as the bell struck 12:30, couples kissed each other in celebration. 

Couples came from many generations of alumni. Frieda and Bill Brown were returning to campus nearly 50 years after their graduation. 

“Class of ‘74 and ‘75,” said Bill. 

Abigail Gradomski, from Kent State Geauga and Twinsburg campus, celebrated her nomination to Homecoming Court at the “Kiss on the k” event, before she walked in the Homecoming parade. 

Whether they graduated in 2021 or in 1975, KSU alumni were proud to return to their old stomping grounds. 

Morgan is a reporter. Contact her at mmcgra14@kent.edu.

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