Every Boston College student has heard the rumor that Eagles tend to stick with the flock when it comes to getting married. Many BC students can name parents, grandparents, cousins or friends who are BC alum who married one another. But how does the marriage rate of BC alums stack up against other colleges? What is it about BC that produces countless successful marriages?
With over 7,000 alumni couples, BC is clearly a hub for matchmaking. A long waiting list to be married at St. Ignatius goes to show that alumni marriages are certainly popular. Yet despite the notable number of married alums, some other colleges managed to top BC numbers.
Researchers for the Facebook Data Science Team compiled a list of the top 25 colleges in the nation for alumni with a spouse from the same college simply by utilizing what millions of college graduates have voluntarily posted on their Facebook profiles, namely college attended, religious affiliation and marital status. Among the top of this list are the US Air Force Academy and Brigham Young University. BC does not happen to be named, but it does have a considerably larger student body than the average number of students in the list.
While BC may not be the most recognized school in the nation for producing couples, it has the characteristics of some of the schools at the top. Most notably, it is religious. The study revealed that there is a correlation between the level of religiousness of the school and the marriage rate: the more religious the school, the more marriages.
Another study by John Gottman and Robert Levenson points towards two distinct characteristics for a successful marriage: kindness and generosity (possibly better worded as empathy). While kindness seems like an obvious value for a successful marriage, it is the way it is employed in day-to-day interactions that strengthens the relationship. Perhaps BC is just an incredible breeding ground for kindness. The emphasis on service may draw couples together in the spirit of generosity.
It seems that BC’s Jesuit emphasis and focus on generosity might just have the power to combat the reputed hook-up culture. Whether it is the sheer beauty of the campus’ distinct architecture or the insufferable bond that comes from bearing through New England weather, something about BC instills the kindness and confidence necessary for valuable young love.