Kiss on the K brightens gloomy day


Katie Bowen and Lucas Bowen kiss at the Risman Plaza on Saturday Oct. 5, 2013. Katie graduated from Kent State in 2007, Lucas graduated from Kent State in 2010. Their twin babies are ten weeks old. Photo by Yolanda Li

Bruce Walton

On a cloudy grey afternoon at Kent’s Risman Plaza, the horizon forecasted nothing but showers for the rest of the day. But the day’s gloom was lifted as Caribbean reggae and steel drums played, signaling the countdown for the third annual Kiss on the K.

Counting back from five, couples young and old gathered on top of the K, holding their loved ones close as they puckered up until the crowd’s countdown reached “one” and many kisses were shared.

Senior aviation major Adam Schulte came to the event with his girlfriend of two and a half years, Victoria Noel, who is visiting Schulte for the weekend.

“I’m just excited for the day,” Schulte said, “We just saw the parade and walked over here and the (football) game is in a couple of hours.”

The couple, who was attending the event for the first time, had planned this day for weeks. The couple hopes to make this a personal tradition every Homecoming weekend.

The Homecoming tradition, organized by the Alumni Office, is open to all students and alumni. Carrie Circosta, assistant director of Student and Recent Graduate Programs at the Kent State Alumni Association coordinated the event. Circosta, who is one of the event’s founders, said she meant for Kiss on the K to be for all Kent State students, especially alumni.

“You come here for an education,” Circosta said. “And you don’t even think about how you’re going to meet your significant other and the love of your life and be with them for the rest of your life, so we want to take a moment to realize how special that is.”

The Kiss on the K event also celebrates “honorary couples,” alumni couples who began their relationship during their years in Kent State. Couples can be nominated to be officially recognized. The top nominees were chosen for their stories of how they met and how Kent State played a part in bringing them together. Six honorary couples were recognized at the event this year. The oldest couples were alumni from 1971 and 1972 and the youngest from 2005.

The event was a love fest for most, but couples weren’t the only attendees at Kiss on the K. Graduate public health student Tiara Dean, 2008 alumna Elizabeth Harrison, senior applied communications major Diamond Towns and senior sports administration major Micaela Rhodes all attended the event as friends.

“We always wanted to do it,” said Rhodes, who had the idea to attend. “We just wanted to come out here and check it out.”

The friends, who met at Kent State, have been together for four years. They felt like the event was a good way to celebrate their long-enduring friendship.

Circosta said she hopes there will always be people kissing on the K as long as there is a K out there.

Contact Bruce Walton at [email protected].