BOWLING GREEN, Sept. 1, 2022: As part of its 100th homecoming celebration, Bowling Green State University will welcome Falcon Flames—married couples who both have degrees from the University—of all ages back to campus on Saturday, Sept. 17, to renew their vows and love for their alma mater.
BGSU alumni Brittney ‘10, ‘11 and Curtis Tarrant ’08 are just one of the couples set to return to Bowling Green for the homecoming festivities and vow renewal.
The couple, who now live outside Phoenix, Arizona, are returning to BGSU this year after reconnecting on campus during homecoming in Sept. 2012, which marked the official start of their journey to becoming Falcon Flames.
“Homecoming is a really big part of our story,” Brittney Tarrant said. “After homecoming, I remember standing in the parking lot of a hotel, and we both agreed we would give it a shot and see where things went. It’s been 10 years since we’ve been back. I literally have chills.”
Curtis Tarrant added, “Homecoming will always feel nostalgic. Homecoming, in particular, set the foundation for our relationship and I am grateful for that.”
BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers will officiate the vow renewal ceremony, which will be held at 11 a.m. on Sept. 17 on the lawn outside Prout Chapel on the Bowling Green campus. Preregistered Falcon Flames will receive a vow renewal certificate signed by Rogers, a commemorative button and a digital copy of a professional portrait taken inside Prout Chapel.
In honor of the event, participating couples are encouraged to make a gift of $19.22 or more to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research. However, a donation is not required to attend.
As of 2022, there are 11,421 Falcon Flames. The group, formally recognized through the BGSU Alumni Association, includes 372 couples born in the 1930s and 40s who are still married.
Love of another generation
Randy ’75 and Dee Earl ’75 are among the many Falcon Flames born in the 1950s. The couple, education majors at the University, met the summer before their senior year in 1974 and have been married for 47 years.
When they met, they lived at the St. Thomas More University Parish and Newman Center across the street from campus and shared an interest in Yahtzee and cribbage. In addition to playing games together for hours, they also spent the first few days after meeting reading a book called “Values Clarification,” which was required for education majors.
“We read questions back and forth from that book and truly got to know each other very quickly on where we stood on all sorts of issues,” Dee Earl said.
The couple was engaged 11 days later.
“I don’t think the words, ‘Will you marry me?’ ever came out of his mouth, but the next thing I knew, we were going ring shopping,” Dee Earl said.
They were married July 26, 1975, in Archbold, Ohio, where Dee Earl grew up, and have shared a life that’s included nine moves throughout Ohio, raising two sons and countless more beautiful memories.
With their 50th wedding anniversary on the horizon, the Earls had begun discussing doing a vow renewal then. But when they saw the event at homecoming in honor of Falcon Flames, they knew they had to attend.