Once upon a time, within the hallowed grounds of Oklahoma Wesleyan University where Jesus is Lord, a little love-elf pranced about the pond and noticed a lovely couple walking hand-in-hand. In his helpful schemes to make love even lovelier, he prayed a blessing over the water- because casting spells is forbidden on campus property- and so the pond flourished with the gift of love and matrimony. “Any couple hand-in-hand that walks around the pond three times shall fall in love and be married,” he sang. And so the legend was born.
ALTHOUGH ELVES AND LOVE SPELLS MAY BE INTRIGUING AND ROMANTIC, the true history behind the pond legend seems nowhere to be found. In an effort to solve the mystery, as well as to see if the sacred ritual works, some OKWU individuals got prodded and poked for the secret behind their successful relationships.
Within the yearly trend of engagements and marriages surrounding OKWU, this particular quest focused on the 2013-2014 school year alone. Several OKWU-paired couples engaged or married within this time limit were asked three specific questions in hopes of gaining evidence behind the pond legend and its origins.
The first question: “Did you participate in the pond legend?”
Answers ranged from, “Nah, I don’t believe in fairy tales,” quoted by alumni Nathan Horton (’13), to, “I actually ended up walking around the pond three times with two different boys except my fiancé,” quoted by Horton’s own lovely lady, senior Kristine Williams.
The second question: “Do you know how this legend came about existing?”
Literally no one knew. The handyman behind the scenes on campus, Jake Redmond, – paired with Admission’s Counselor Katie Portis – suggested the three laps provided guys a chance to work up enough courage before proposing. 2013 graduate Andrew Blain – paired with Mandy Muncy – suggested the legend came about in the mid 2000’s. Little did he realize this legend travels all the way back to the early 70’s and perhaps even earlier. Kelsey Totino – paired with Nicholas Lannan -explained, “it has been around since before my parents and aunt went to school here!” All helpful answers, but alas… the source is still missing.
The third and final question basically summarizes into: “Tell us your story.”
Although the source of the legend is mysterious, a fair share of the following answers suggest the pond to be true to its supposed promise while plenty of the unsupportive answers are simply worth the read:
Regan & Brionna Reese
B: “Regan seems to think we met at speed dating; however, I remember him from participating in OKWU’s intramural teams.”
R: “[We met during] speed dating at OKWU! She doesn’t even remember me from there, but what can you do?”
Ben & Kody Purcell
K: “I can’t recall whether Ben and I have walked around the pond three times whilst holding hands…at the beginning of our relationship I didn’t want to hold his hand in front of people. In fact, I would squeal and drop his hand. Eventually, Ben just held on tight so I couldn’t throw his hand away. I got used to the idea.”
Shawn & Rachael Seymour
R: “Shawn all of a sudden started showing up every where I was. If you asked him then, it was just coincidence, but if you asked him now, he will admit it was all strategic.”
Josh & Lidija Bell
L: “I was never really interested in him because he was technically my superior and while I loved working with him on projects (because he is so knowledgeable) I never really liked him.”
But wait, there’s more.
L: “In Serbia we consider it exclusive after the first kiss, so imagine my surprise after two months of “dating” when he asked me to be his girlfriend!”
Ben & Susan Mueller
B: “We never had a chance to walk around the pond together… our relationship was far too scandalous at that point in time.”
B: “This is probably my favorite OKWU picture of us… she was in my room outside visitation hours!”
Nicholas & Kelsey Totino
K: “Nick and I have walked around the pond three times… unintentionally. But I do believe that was the night we first told each other we loved each other.”
Perhaps the pond works, then!
K: “We met in Dr. T’s class. He begged to be in my group all year, [but] of course I never let him.”
Andrew Blain & Mandy Muncy
A: “Mandy and I met through a series of athletics, social events, and classes. We met through sports, got to know each other in class, and spent more time together through social events.”
Collin Berg & Amanda Barlow
C: “We had our first date in Lawrence, Kansas, while the Average black bears (the band she was in) played in a battle of the bands. We went to a book store and cupcake bakery. 1 months later, on april fools day, I asked her out…after nervously stalling for about 2 hours.”
Austin Fogt & Karis Cherry
A: “We became interested in each other through the process of me visiting and deciding to transfer back for basketball. She was a bigger part of my decision to come back than I [had] let on.”
Jake Redmond & Katie Portis
J: “It was through a couple different group activities that I got to know her well enough that I realized she was someone I’d like to date and so I asked her out.”
Sam Haynes & Courtney Merrill
S: “We joked about [walking the pond] all the time but in the end never did it.”
S: “All shy and stuff I just kept my distance for a couple weeks and then I messaged her (I was really shy)… we ended up going to Walmart and the rest is history. We were stuck at the hip from then on.”
Nathan Horton & Kristine Williams
N: “Kristine and I met at a birthday party for a mutual frenemy… I was totally devastated immediately, because she’s incredible in every way.”
K: “We met at B-Dubs at a party for a guy that I was crushing on at the time. Nathan and I later exchanged phone numbers… He recalls ME asking for HIS number but I do not remember this.”
Bruno Cairo & Ava Yeabower
B: “Ava and I met here at the school blood drive. She was freaking out and I kind of calmed her down. In the end, neither of us were able to donate blood.”
B: “The first time we ever hung out we actually walked around the pond three times.”
Again, the pond stays true to its promise.
Niki Prescott & Jenna Brown
J: “We started spending more time together because he was going to teach me guitar and from then on we just clicked!”
AND SO YOU HAVE IT. In the midst of a campus that welcomes people in as one and often sends them out in twos, there lies a pond with a legend that may or may not be true. Perhaps it works for certain people. Perhaps it looks at the heart and then decides. Whatever the answer may be, the legend has been around for decades and seems like it isn’t going away any time soon.