walkLEX: The Kissing Tree @Transy

Transylvania University - Lexington, Ky.
The Kissing Tree (Transylvania University) - Lexington, Ky.
Near the Haupt Humanities Building on the campus of Transylvania University stands a white ash tree believed to be about 265 years old making it forty years older than the college and almost fifty years older than our Commonwealth. Its moniker - "The Kissing Tree" - also dates to years ago when social mores and taboos were quite different.

Earlier generations frowned at public displays of affection and college administrators forbade it. But an unofficial policy permitted students to steal a sweetheart's kiss when under the boughs of the Kissing Tree. And in keeping with these traditional rules of affection, the students' kept their intimacy limited. The unofficial rule among students was that your turn was over when another couple came along. (Again, this was the Kissing Tree and not the ménage à trois tree.)

In 2003, the Chronicle for Higher Education named the spot one of the most romantic on college campuses. Today, the tree is ringed by a wooden bench popular more for meeting friends than for stealing kisses (not a necessity in the era of coed dorms). The tree also receives regular treatment to ward off the sexually transmitted disease insect (emerald ash borer) known for taking out all too many ash trees.

Sources: Transy Kissing TreeTransy Romance