STORY BY LAUREN VELASCO
The Student Alumni Association’s annual Kissing Rock event held on Thursday night included food, games, prizes and the chance to celebrate the history and honor the long-standing tradition of the legendary rock in front of Old Main.
The story of the Kissing Rock originates from when Drake’s first chancellor, George T. Carpenter, climbed an elm tree and declared he would build a university on the surrounding land. After the tree was taken down, the graduating class of 1989 donated a rock, and it has since became known as the kissing rock.
“The idea with the kissing rock is that, if you kiss your Drake sweetheart at midnight on the rock, then you’ll have good luck and a happy relationship,” said senior and Student Alumni Association President Katie Ramsey.
Several couples at Drake participated in a competition involving games like “Snack ‘n Smooch,” “Lip Locked,” “Hips to Lips” and a college version of the “Newlywed Game.” After a long tournament, seniors Dani Peters and Rudy Kammel were the final winners.
All students were welcome to attend the event and several participated in the tournament. The host of the event, senior Ben Weinberg, developed the games and spoke on the significance of the tradition.
“These events provide a sense of unity between students now, students of the past and students of the future,” Weinberg said. “I know that in five, 10, 25, 100 years, these events and traditions will still be a main part of the Drake experience.”
The Student Alumni Association works each year to satisfy three goals: celebrate Drake’s traditions, network with alumni and practice philanthropy.
“To share these traditions with the people that come before you creates this connection that you can continue to sustain even after you graduate,” Ramsey said.
There are many events throughout the year that involve both alumni and students, enabling everyone to take pride in Drake’s history whether they are current students or alumni.
“These events are a way to bring a new face to old traditions and find a new way to engage today’s students with activities that they can share with alumni as well,” Ramsey said.
Many students attended, and the Brochal Chords, an all-male a cappella group, made an appearance at the event and sang a few selections just after midnight.
“The moonlight ambiance made it a perfect time to serenade the audience with our songs,” said first-year and group member Cade Martin.
The Student Alumni Association will continue to create events that incorporate Drake’s traditions and celebrate its history.
“Traditions are what connect Drake Bulldogs of the past, present and future,” Weinberg said. “Drake is different not only because of the passionate students that walk our campus, but also because of the aspects of Drake that you can’t find anywhere else. We should be proud of the things at Drake that make us Drake.”