How Institutions Show Community Love on Valentine’s Day

Babson is asking for campus love stories.

Babson asks its alumni for campus love stories.

Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day, but it is a great opportunity to show appreciation for students, alumni, faculty, donors and coworkers—and recognize the love stories that started on your campus. Last year I compiled some great examples of ways institutions celebrated Valentine’s Day, and thanks to several Twitter contributions, this year’s round-up does not disappoint.

Who Do You Love?

The University of New Hampshire’s #UNHLove campaign asks its community members to share what they love about the school. Participants will be entered to win a gift card and UNH T-shirt. Students will also be able to make homemade Valentines together.

Ithaca College asks, “Who has your heart at IC?” Students are posting pictures of their significant others, professors, friends and roommates and tagging them with #IHeartIC. The pictures will be turned into an IC mosaic.

Romantic a cappella ballads and Valentine’s Day go together like roses and chocolate, and UConn’s Rubyfruit do not disappoint in its love-themed mashup video. Husky Drive and the Student Philanthropy Association are also having a #LoveUConn contest where students can enter to win a $25 gift card.

Alumni Love Stories


Babson College, Renssalaer Polytechnic University and Bucknell University are asking for campus love stories. I like Babson’s idea of featuring the love stories in the Class Notes section of its alumni page, and Bucknell’s got a great video that asks for the stories.

The excellent Social Media for Colleges has a nice post on Oklahoma State University’s “Orange Crush” promotion, also featuring college love stories.

Love to Give Back

The University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse Foundation is holding “Have a Heart Week,” where the student phonathon crew asks its community to give back.

Lawrenceville School’s Tuition Runs Out Day happens to fall on Feb. 14 this year, so the community is giving thanks to its donors with a campus “The Price is Right” game, a shout-out video and thank you banners.

Spread the Love (and School Spirit)


Indiana University is encouraging students to share school-themed valentines, with a collection posted on Twitter and Pinterest using #HoosierValentine.

Winthrop University students created fun Valentines for on-campus love notes. Harvard Library has its collection of vintage Valentines. Harvard is also promoting a podcast on “Can Love Be Taught?” and a video of professors reading a beautiful love poem by an alumnus.

Why can’t mascots find romance too? Champlain College tells the love story of Chauncey and Charlotte Beaver. As the site says, it’s “better than The Notebook.

The University of Michigan has a Buzzfeed list, “29 Candy Hearts Only Wolverines Will Understand.” Clever!

Hashtag #Love


Check out the #Love4DU, #RPISweethearts, #LoveKStateAlumni (with themed Valentines), #BlueDevilLove, #UWOLove, and #CSUPuppylove (featuring four-legged sweethearts and prizes!) on Twitter and Instagram. You’ll find not just heartwarming sentiments of loyalty and pride, but also examples of community activities and many adorable pictures of couples, dogs and cupcakes.

For added inspiration, there’s also a Pinterest board of what other nonprofits are doing for Valentine’s Day.

Is your institution doing something for Valentine’s Day? If so, share in the comments.

7 responses to “How Institutions Show Community Love on Valentine’s Day

  1. St. John’s University hosted a contest on Instagram asking our students to show us how much they love St. John’s using the hashtag #SJUAmore. To promote the contest, we used St. John’s t-shirts and made a heart-shaped design! Here’s the direct link to our contest: The best part of this campaign was a prospective student commenting on the photo on Twitter and stating her excitement for her future college:

  2. Aw, these are all terrific. Thanks for sharing! And if some well-executed cheesiness were ever going to resonate, it’d be on Valentine’s Day. (I happen to think both pictures are adorable.)

  3. Webster University created a Valentine for social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+) that resembled one of those silly 1980s valentines you’d give out in school growing up. Just a little cheesey funny photo with our mascot.

    We always try to do a little something – last year it was getting the mascot to pose for a photo with a flower & chocolates. Students, alumni and our different locations seem to enjoy the fun social media photos.

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