Inspired by the locks that line bridges in the French capital city, Longwood seniors this year were invited to create their own "legacy locks" to be displayed on Beale Plaza—a new Longwood tradition that is sure to secure a place in the hearts and minds of generations of Lancers.
"We have been giving locks to students at all Senior Week events, said Paige Rollins ’15, senior class president. "The idea is that students decorate the locks and fasten them to the fence near the Ruffner fountain. They’ll remain locked on the fence forever because each and every graduate is part of the Longwood spirit. These locks symbolize that relationship."
President W. Taylor Reveley IV kicked off the new tradition with his own lock at a lively ceremony Thursday.
"We hope that alumni bring their own locks when they return to campus and add them to the legacy fence," said Rollins, who has accepted a position in the alumni relations office. "This can be something that showcases the love we all have for Longwood and show the world the spirit that exists here."
Couples began putting locks—often inscribed with messages of enduring affection—on the Pont Des Art bridge in Paris in 2008, and the practice quickly caught on. In just a few short years, the bridge was completely covered and the bridge became synonymous with love and marriage.
The Longwood legacy locks are a unique combination of that love and a physical reminder of the generations of students who have passed through the campus. They will stay on Beale Plaza until construction begins on the Upchurch University Center. Several locations on campus are being eyed as a potential permanent home for the locks.