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ASU campus offers spot to say ‘I do’

August 28, 2007

When Rick Wall and Penny Borszich decided to exchange wedding vows, there was only one place they considered for their nuptial ceremony: ASU’s Tempe campus.

Wall and Borszich, who both work for the University Technology Office, were married July 7 in the gazebo near the University Club, with a reception in the University Club after the ceremony.

“Rick and I have both worked on campus for many years, and we felt the University Club area was a great spot for the wedding,” Borszich says. “It was more cost-effective, and made it very easy for most of our guests to find the location. I have always admired the beauty of the University Club and Old Main.”

The new Mr. and Mrs. Wall aren’t the only couple drawn to ASU’s campuses for wedding ceremonies, though.

Danforth Chapel is a popular spot for nuptials, particularly among ASU alumni, and weddings can be booked at Old Main, ASU’s Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale, the Desert Arboretum Park, the Secret Garden on the Tempe campus, Cooley Ballroom at the Polytechnic campus, and various locations at West campus, such as Delph Courtyard, with its fountain and majestic stairs, and the Fletcher Library Lawn.

A few couples have even said their vows outside ASU Gammage, says Terri Cranmer, director of operations for Public Events.

Most wedding inquiries come from current or former ASU students, says Barbara Gibson, assistant director of Auxiliary Services at the West campus – whose daughter, Katie, was married in Delph Courtyard in March.

Katie Gibson Marshall, who graduated from ASU with a degree in education, and attended classes at the West campus, chose Delph Courtyard because of its “serene and secluded feeling.”

“I obviously have an attachment to the campus, since I have spent quite a bit of time on campus for various reasons,” she says. “When I was a student, I loved to spend time in the courtyard having lunch or studying, because it is a relatively cool area due to the shade provided by the trees and by the building itself.

“I love the way the sunlight comes through the trees. I also love the fountain in the center of the courtyard, and all of the colors that make up that space.”

Danforth Chapel, which was built in 1948 and features stained glass windows by Pauli Lame, plays host to an average of two weddings a month, says Kacie McKay, an administrative associate for Student Life who is in charge of bookings.

Most of the couples who choose Danforth are or have been ASU students, or have a close tie to ASU.

Linda Quintero, who earned degrees from the Herberger College of the Arts and Barrett Honors College in 2003, married a fellow graduate, James Quintero, April 28 at Danforth Chapel.

“It was a Saturday afternoon wedding, with record-breaking heat, and the ceremony was followed by a very windy dust storm,” she says.
Quintero, now an MBA program coordinator for Harvard Business School, says she and her husband wanted to have their wedding in Arizona, where they both grew up.

“Since we met each other at ASU and began dating while studying at the university, the campus held a sentimental place in our hearts,” she says. “The fact that the Danforth Chapel was non-denominational and allowed for us to have a small intimate wedding – and the fact that it cost next to nothing to rent – was a big plus.

“Also, because we were planning the wedding from across the country, I needed to find a place where the staff coordinating my rental would be patient in answering my questions, considering I couldn’t visit in person ahead of time. I found Kacie McKay of Student Life to be extremely helpful in that way!”

Old Main is the perfect spot for a larger wedding. Carson Ballroom can accommodate 240 for a wedding dinner, and there are many picturesque spots in and around the building for the ceremony itself.

Weddings at the gazebo near the University Club are booked through the University Club.

For outdoor weddings, there’s also the 2.5-acre Desert Arboretum Park, tucked into Tempe Butte behind Wells Fargo Arena. The plants in the park represent Arizona’s three desert regions, so the atmosphere is truly “native.”

Another nuptial possibility is the Secret Garden, a lawn and garden tucked in the quadrangle formed by Dixie Gammage Hall and West Hall. This area is administered by the Herberger College of Fine Arts.

The Kerr Cultural Center also plays host to numerous weddings – but because of its extensive use as a concert venue, bookings must be made six to nine months in advance.

Polytechnic students who wish to exchange vows on campus can book the Cooley Ballrooms in the Student Union.

Brides and grooms who wish to toast each other with champagne are limited in their choice of ASU locations, however. Only at the University Club, Old Main, ASU Kerr Cultural Center and the Desert Arboretum Park can glasses with that beverage be lifted in celebration.