For trysters, some spots are superior
Cupid strikes, love blooms, staff informants request anonymity

By Nancy Chapman, Public Affairs


Greg and Heather Holeyman

Berkeley alumnus Greg Holeyman met his future wife, Heather, while studying abroad.

14 February 2002 | You probably know of hot lunch spots around campus, but where does one go to kiss? With Valentine’s Day upon us, this is a big issue. A non-randomized, statistically unverifiable survey of campus staff reveals surprising consensus on the campus’s most romantic spots.

The Botanical Garden and Campanile top the list, closely followed by Strawberry Creek. A staff member, who asked to remain anonymous, likes a stretch of the creek near the stone steps leading to the wooden bridge by University House. “It’s where my sweetie and I had our first kiss, and we’ve always thought it was a romantic spot. You can see the chancellor’s garden, and there’s a lantern hanging from a tree. You feel like you’re in a little Swiss village,” he said.

The Botanical Garden is known for its spectacular beauty, but apparently also harbors a number of places that combine privacy and great views of the bay. No one would disclose the exact locations of these spots or speak on the record.

The Campanile is the campus’s most romantic site to alumni Jim and Susie Bowman, ’83, who held their wedding at the top. Jim writes, “At noon on Nov. 22, 1989, we took the ‘leap of faith’ . . . . I believe we’re the only couple in 85 years to have pulled this off!”

Some staff, however, shun the obvious. Says Jenne Mowry in New Student Services, “Personally, I think the old wooden bench above Haviland Hall is a great place to make out.” She offers no further details. A resource guide that Mowry compiles mentions another romantic spot among its useful tips for new students: “The Lawrence Hall of Science parking lot features a panoramic view of San Francisco and, at night, the stars — and cops shooing off parked couples after 9 p.m.”

A favorite spot for Nobel laureate George Akerlof and his wife, Janet Yellen, professor of economics and business, is Anthony Hall and its pelican sculpture. They “add a bit of whimsy to that area of campus,” said Akerlof.

The couple’s devotion to the bronze bird developed in the early ’80s, when Akerlof and Yellen had offices on the fifth and sixth floors of Barrows Hall, overlooking the bird. The economics department and the School of Business left Barrows long ago, and half a campus now separates Yellen and Akerlof.

“Janet and I miss being only one floor away from each other,” Akerlof said, so the pelican is a poignant reminder of better times.

Farther afield, students on the Education Abroad Program have found true love overseas. Greg Holeyman from Berkeley met his future wife, Heather, from another UC campus, in 2000-01 in Copenhagen.

Jan Kieling, assistant director of Berkeley’s study abroad office, recalls the fateful meeting of two Berkeley students — Cory Heyman, who went to India, and Kelly Schrum, who studied in Israel. On their return, both worked as interns in the program’s Stephens Hall headquarters. “They fell in love, got married, and now live in the Washington, D.C., area with their daughter,” Kieling says. “Love blooms in Berkeley, even in the EAP office.”


Home | Search | Archive | About | Contact | More News

Copyright 2002, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.

Comments? E-mail