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Sealed with a kiss

Michael Orlando and Becky Ricciardi kissed by the light of a full moon, a nearby bell tolling midnight in the clear April air.

The smooch, which transpired April 14, 2003, was a reminder of their first kiss, which they had shared just over a year earlier. The kisses were nearly identical in setting: it was the same full moon, the same bell tolling and the same location.

But this kiss ended differently.

When the couple’s lips parted and they started walking, Michael dropped to one knee.

It was that night, on the eve of Becky’s 20th birthday, that Michael, a University senior, proposed to Becky, a junior, next to the University seal.

And it was that night that the stuff of a University legend became a reality for two business majors in love.

According to the myth, couples who stand on the seal in front of McFall Center and kiss at midnight are destined to be married. Click here to read about more myths and facts about the seal.

Michael remembered hearing about several myths of the seal at his freshman orientation. He said he thought they were cheesy, but he always remembered the kissing story.

‘I love love, and I love Bowling Green, so it seemed like a good mix,’ Michael said, explaining how he and Becky decided to share their first kiss on the seal while walking around campus Jan. 28, 2002.

‘I knew how much I loved her even then,’ he said.

Michael said he wanted to propose to Becky on the seal because it was a place they both loved.

‘I wanted it to be something at Bowling Green,’ he said. ‘I wanted to do something that was just [an] ‘us’ kind of thing.’

Becky never suspected Michael would propose to her on the seal.

‘I don’t think I ever would’ve thought it would’ve been on the seal,’ she said. ‘I just knew that whatever he did, it would be elaborately planned … everything would have to be perfect.’

Michael’s plan was elaborate. So elaborate, in fact, that Becky was the instigator of their kiss before he popped the question.

‘He tricked me,’ Becky said, explaining that they went to the Union first, and that Michael parked in the Founders lot so they would pass the seal on their way back to the car.

‘I said, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s almost midnight. We should go kiss on the seal,” she said.

But when the couple reached the seal, Michael’s plan was almost thwarted. Other people were already standing there.

‘I was like, ‘No way, this is horrible,” Michael said. ‘Of all times for people to be by the seal, and I was thinking, ‘Gosh, maybe they’ll be there at midnight.”

But fate would have none of it.

‘It was almost like everything aligned, because they just kind of kept walking,’ Michael said. ‘I think it was definitely fate or luck on my side.’

The stars remained aligned for Michael and Becky; they were married June 25, 2005 in Mansfield, Ohio.

The next month, Michael became residence hall director in McDonald Hall, where he worked for a year. He spent the next three years as hall director of Kohl Hall, the dorm where he and Becky first met.

Today, Michael, 28, is the director of residence life at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. Becky, 27, is a project manager for Owen’s Corning in Toledo. They reside in Perrysburg.

Although they don’t live on campus anymore, Becky said she and Michael make sure to stop at the seal when they visit the University.

‘Whether it was midnight or not, or a full moon or not, it was just kind of our place,’ she said.

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