Transylvania students created these snowy sweethearts after a recent snow in a homage to the spirit of the Kissing Tree. Located in front of the J. Douglas Gay Jr./Frances Carrick Thomas Library, the towering white ash has been a favorite romantic spot for generations of Transylvania students. If the tree could talk, it would tell of engagements, pinnings, and lots of kisses taking place beneath its sheltering limbs.
The Kissing Tree had its real heydays in the 1930s and ’40s when public displays of affection were frowned upon due to society’s prevailing mores and the rules of the college. In a tacit agreement between college administrators and students, however, it was understood that officials would look the other way if sweethearts stole a kiss under the Kissing Tree. Today, the tree, which is believed to be more than 135 years old, with its encircling bench is a poplar gathering place for students to meet and talk with friends, sit and read, or just enjoy the day.