Illini 411: Is it true that lovers who kiss beneath the Eternal Flame on the Quad will be together forever? The hopeless romantic in me hopes so!

Question courtesy of Roberta Jorge, ’10 LAS, MBA ’20

Dusk shot of the eternal flame, which is a light atop a stone column, through a heart held by hands. The eternal flame burns brightly on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (Image by Fred Zwicky)
Question courtesy of Roberta Jorge, ’10 LAS, MBA ’20

A: Of course it’s true (says a fellow hopeless romantic)! Now, if I were a cynical man, I would say that the Eternal Flame is neither eternal nor a flame—that it’s a light post that the University operates on a timer, and that its bench is uncomfortable and often covered in gum and graffiti. But I’m not a cynical man. I think the Eternal Flame, which was a gift from the Class of 1912, is a beautiful monument to romance, and that its legend is absolutely true. Keep kissing, lovers!

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