A Romantic History of Bucknell

It’s February and love is in the air just in time for the most romantic holiday, or the most Hallmark holiday, depending on how you decide to see it. However you decide to view Valentine’s Day, you can’t deny that most if not all schools have a cool romantic history. For Bucknell, a small liberal arts college in Central Pennsylvania, we have a pretty successful romantic track record.

Statistically speaking, we rank 5th among a sample of 64 elite colleges in the percentage of married alumni, but what’s even more striking about Bucknell is what percent of students marry each other. A substantial 15-20% of students end up marrying another Bucknellian, and it’s Bucknell tradition to do so in the rather breathtaking Rooke Chapel.

Although the numbers are impressive now, it used to be even more common to marry a fellow Bucknellian. In 1883, Bucknell proved quite progressive and became the 14th collegiate institution to admit women. Since then, the university has been producing an impressive marriage to degree ratio. In fact, it used to be so common in the beginning of the 20th century that they had specific housing designated for married students, now it’s just the sub-par housing for sophomores, but back then it was a delightful place where many marriages and families first planted their roots.

The marriages back then were pretty common, but the courtship practices are far different from what goes on today; for starters, boys and girls lived on opposite sides of campus and curfew for the freshmen girls was 8 p.m. Serious dating was far more prevalent, and if you received a boy’s fraternity pin it was likely that you would receive a marriage proposal next.

It’s more than safe to say that there is a gaping disparity between the dating scene of then and now, but good ‘ole Rooke Chapel remains the hotspot for Bucknell weddings, and if you’re not convinced or just like looking at wedding pictures (guilty), google the Rooke Chapel weddings and see for yourself!