This week, Miami University is mailing out 12,668 Valentine’s Day cards to 25,336 alums who are married to each other.
All together, there are 13,165 "Miami Mergers" - but some choose not to receive mail - representing 14.25 percent of the total living Miami alumni population. An unofficial survey found the usual percentage of alums marrying alums from the same college to be in the 3-8 percent range.
Officials aren’t quite sure why there is such a high number of Miami Mergers, but it may have something to do with a Miami legend. The story goes that whomever you kiss under the Upham Hall arch at midnight will be the person you eventually marry. If nothing else, it gives the tradition a very romantic feeling.
“Whatever the reason, it’s a trend that doesn’t show any sign of slowing down,” said Jennifer Clark, director, membership and marketing, Miami University Alumni Association. “With our new online Class Notes forum and member message boards on our alumni association Web site, we’re seeing the number of ‘mergers’ stay strong, not just among the recent graduates but also among those who have been out of school for some time.”
Many Miami Mergers have shared their stories on the school’s site. Nancy Crossgrove Taylor (’54) and O. Roger Taylor (’53) recount how “there were strolls uptown in pursuit of toasted rolls. Long walks to the covered bridge. And there were serenades.”
The university has been sending Valentine’s Day cards to Miami couples since 1973 and now sells Miami Merger address labels and cake kits, as well.
Among notable mergers, Miami head basketball coach Charlie Coles and Delores Coles, and former Ohio Senator Mike DeWine and Frances DeWine.
For more information and to read more Miami Merger stories, please visit www.MiamiAlum.org/mergers.