Kate and Kevin, delightful young friends, were recently married at the University of Georgia Chapel, which dates back to 1832 — when a bride and groom would have been spirited away by horse and buggy following a ceremony, which would have been more like a sermon.
The chapel offers an atmosphere to make a wedding that will leave you with elevated emotions. Where better for a ceremony, garnished with originality, to be hosted and embraced than in this structure located in the center of campus. The chapel’s six Doric columns remind you that there was a time when any edifice that had a religious purpose was built to reflect the best of architecture and designed to bring pause to all who entered its doors. The chapel was the finest building on campus and remains the crown jewel of the North Campus today. A perfect place for a wedding.
Over the years, I have wandered into the chapel for emotional refreshment, to meditate about the past, and to pay tribute to our founding fathers and their successors, who at times quibbled, privately if not openly, about evolution. The hard liners in the administration usually won out. Today, an evolutionist would be welcomed to express his views to a chapel audience.
The chapel seats 433 and has no acoustical imperfections. With its giant oil painting of the interior of St. Peter’s in Rome and its classic Greek Revival construction, the Chapel is the most becoming building on campus.
With the latest couple to marry in the chapel, the atmosphere was less theological and more personal — the bride and groom each wrote out vows to each other—but not without dignity and not without respect to the laws of God and man.
There were readings and music, but the focal point of the afternoon was the union of a couple who grew up only a few miles from each other in the Philadelphia suburbs, with undergraduate matriculation for Kate at Rutgers and Kevin in Athens. Different pursuits brought them to the Classic City where romance began in a manner which might have made Ripley’s Believe It or Not in another day. Although they were introduced in Athens, they first learned about each other on the campus of Ole Miss when Kate (Burkhalder) and Kevin (Copp) were in official capacity for the UGA soccer team, Kate representing the sports information staff and Kevin there to cover the event for International Management Group, which has the broadcast rights to Bulldog competitions. Mutual attraction had begun to take root. Their first date certainly had matrimonial overtones, with Kevin heading to an outlet store in nearby Commerce to buy some new jeans to wear.
What brought them to Athens is a charming story—Kevin was looking for a warm-weather campus and Kate sought a sports information opportunity in the Southeastern Conference, which had a reputation for more attractive compensation for internships.
Now that you know the rest of the story, you can be further charmed and illuminated by the couple’s attachment to a place where they would like to remain. Each at a private party a week before the wedding were generous in their praise of UGA. “I have feeling for Georgia,” Kate said. “Feeling I never had anywhere else. There is something very special about Athens and Georgia. Mostly the people. We feel very comfortable here.” Kevin said, “I liked this place immediately. The university and Athens have everything.”
To add an exclamation point to their feelings, following the ceremony, they went out back and rang the chapel bell. Time now for all Bulldogs to raise a hearty toast in Kate’s and Kevin’s honor.