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Admissions tour leads to life-changing moment

Tour guide Rachel Southmayd '13 thought she was setting off on a typical campus tour. But her boyfriend, a fellow Admissions tour guide, had a surprise in store.

What began as a normal admissions tour ended with a life-changing moment for Rachel Southmayd '13 and David Campbell '13.

Note: the following story was written by Rachel Southmayd '13, a print/online journalism major from Ocean View, Del. Her new fiance, David Campbell '13, is an accounting/finance major from Milton, Del. Following their upcoming graduation, both will move on to jobs in the Charlotte, N.C. area. Congratulations, Rachel and David!

My name is Rachel, and I’m just a few days away from graduating from Elon University. I’ve spent the last three years working in Admissions, sharing my love of this school with countless prospective students and their families. And at the end of April, I got to give the absolute best tour of my career on one of the best days of my life.

It started out as a normal tour, with just one very nice young girl and one of her friends who already went to Elon and just wanted to keep her company. I took them around about half of the campus and then she said she wanted to see Whitley Auditorium, a beautiful space mostly used for music performances. So I took them over to Whitley and as soon as I walked in the door, my heart stopped.

My boyfriend of more than five years, David, was standing on the stage in Whitley, wearing a suit, holding a bouquet of 61 roses, one for every month we’d been together. David is also a tour guide and an Elon senior. I looked back at the student and her friend and realized that the tour had been a setup the entire time, and that they had led me here on purpose.

David took my hand and pulled me up on the stage, where he said some very kind and sweet words, none of which I remember, because I was still in complete shock. Then, he kissed me on the cheek, took a step back, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and without a moment of hesitation, I said yes.

Just seconds later, the doors to Whitley burst open and our friends and family came rushing in, ready to celebrate.

Yes, it was a truly magical moment in my tour guide polo and nametag. I learned later that the student I was giving a tour to was actually already an Elon student and several people in Admissions knew what was going to happen when I headed out that day.

David and I are thankful for all of our Admissions family and their love and support and we are really going to miss them, but we know that we’ve made friends here that will last long after graduation.

Philip Jones,
5/16/2013 9:20 AM