Following a melodic a capella version of “Fools Rush In,” students in Purdue Musical Organizations wished President France Córdova a “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
All day Tuesday, a mix of PMO’s choir students formed teams to deliver singing valentines to Purdue students and faculty as well as other members of the Lafayette community.
“Oh, they just look beautiful and they sang beautifully,” Córdova said, laughing after receiving the anonymous singing gift. “I was really surprised. What a treat.”
Following the performance, Córdova told the group of singers her husband sang “Fools Rush In” to her 28 years ago.
Jake Burris, a freshman in the College of Liberal Arts and a Valentine’s Day singer, said Córdova’s reaction and reminiscent story was one of his favorite moments of the day.
“It was just really cool,” Burris said. “It inspires people to have a good Valentine’s Day, and it inspires us as well.”
Each singing team of about 10 students traveled to different locations, from Hovde Hall to the middle of Walmart, to sing to strangers.
Various love classics such as “L-O-V-E” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” as well as several others were performed throughout the day.
Members of the singing teams have collected favorite moments from delivering these musical gifts.
Tim Harris, a senior in the College of Engineering, recalled singing on Valentine’s Day during his freshman year.
“We had to go to McDonald’s at exactly 10:30 because there was a couple who ate breakfast there every morning,” he said.
The best part about singing valentines, according to Harris, is seeing the look on people’s faces, whether they seem really embarrassed or really touched.
For Ananya Srivastava, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts, receiving a singing valentine in the middle of a small Beering Hall classroom was more embarrassing than anything else. Srivastava’s hand went to her mouth in surprise when the singers announced the valentine was for her.
“Suddenly, right in the middle of class, when everyone was concentrating, they just burst in and started singing to me,” Srivastava said. “I was pretty shocked since I’ve never seen something like this before.”
Although she has an idea, she’s still trying to figure out who sent it to her.
The $30 per singing valentine included flowers, a card and a cookie, all of which were presented to each recipient after the Valentine’s Day song ended.
Emily Shephard, a junior in the
College of Liberal Arts and a singing valentine team leader, said the mix of people who receive valentines varies from year to year.
“Last year I had several students and people from the community,” Shephard said. “This year I have way more faculty members.”
One of those faculty members, Linda Zimmerman, a receptionist in the College of Education, didn’t expect her “hubby” to send her a Valentine’s Day song.
“My husband surprised me,” Zimmerman said. “It was so great.”
Shephard said what she loves most about singing valentines is knowing how it must make recipients feel.
“I think it’s special to them because they know a group took time out of their day to send them this gift of song,” she said, “and that whoever sent it was also thinking of them.”
The group members – who all spoke to their professors in order to get excused from classes for the day – sang nonstop, only breaking for lunch.
Shephard said singing to people was a great way to spend her own Valentine’s Day.
“I love it,” she said, “It really brightens my day, as well as theirs.”