Ever taken a walk around campus and noticed the single bench nestled between Tolley and Hall of Languages? Instead of a typical wooden frame, this bench is uniquely made of gray stone. Known as the kissing bench around SU, it has been a traditional landmark on campus since its construction in 1912.
Since then, the bench’s lore has shifted over the years. In the 1950s students would sit on the bench and kiss their significant other in order to avoid being lonely spinsters. In the 70s, female students believed kissing on the bench meant they would graduate and get married. However, if you sat on the bench alone, story goes that you will end up alone.
Today, legend has it that the bench brings good luck to couples who lock lips on the cold stone structure. You and your love will one day have a successful marriage. Couples have even been known to go back from time to time to renew their luck. Some, like SU alums Jeff and Sheila Pitt, even got engaged at the kissing bench. The couple has been married 15 years, one of the many examples that solidify the legend’s truth.
The bench even has acclaim outside of the university community – making Conde Nast Traveler’s list of “The 15 Most Romantic Places to Kiss Around the World,” and Elite Daily’s list of of “The 20 Things You Absolutely Need To Do at Syracuse University Before You Graduate”.
When the bench does work its magic and you eventually become engaged to your significant other, you can pay homage to both the university and the bench’s tradition by getting married inside Hendricks Chapel.
If you’re new to SU this year, you may not have known about the iconic kissing bench until now. Just remember – if you happen to meet someone special during your time here at Syracuse, you may want to swing by the bench for a seal of good fortune. But no matter what you do, never sit alone.
By Caleigh Gran