Miami celebrates its mergersFeb 11, 2011
Miami University reports 14 percent of its living alumni are married to
other Miami alums. The couples, known as "Miami Mergers" are remembered
on each Valentine's Day by the Miami University Alumni Association
(MUAA) with Valentine's greetings. This year, MUAA is sending about
13,000 Valentine's Day cards to Miami alumni across the country.
The tradition of sending Valentine’s Day cards to Miami Mergers began in 1973. Three former university administrators came up with the idea after noting the high marriage rate among alumni.
University officials don’t know how many Mergers have followed the myth surrounding the Upham Hall arch. According to campus legend, a couple who kiss under the light at midnight will eventually get married.
A similar, yet unsubstantiated report, suggests the marriage rate for other colleges and universities is about three percent.
While Miami officials don’t necessarily know what is behind the high rate of marriage, they’re not expecting the number to slide. More alumni are sharing their love stories online, thanks to a forum on the alumni website.
“It’s absolutely true that alumni who have shared the Miami experience, and now are married too each other, have even stronger feelings about Miami," Ray Mock, assistant vice president of alumni relations, said. "Those feelings show up in their engagement with Miami, either through volunteer activity and/or in philanthropic support.”
Notable Miami Mergers include current Ohio Attorney General Mike and Frances DeWine and Miami basketball head coach Charlie and Delores Coles.
Miami Mergers are encouraged to share their stories of romance on the school’s alumni website, www.MiamiAlum.org/mergers.