Members of the Class of 2012 surprised their dates and campus this past week with creative prom proposals that made use of everything from sports balls and huge Hershey’s Kisses to giant signs hung on campus buildings and chalk messages scrawled across intersections. Uday Singh ’12 asked Katherine Lee ’13 to prom by showing up before her tennis practice with a ukulele, singing the recent hit song, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen. Singh lined up tennis balls to spell out a message on the court that read, “Here’s my number, so call me, maybe. Go to prom with me, KLee?” “It was really sweet and funny,” said Lee. Sports seems to be one theme this year, as John O’Brien ’12 asked Tafarii McKenzie ’12 to prom on a squash court. McKenzie made plans to play squash after school with O’Brien and Danny Gottfried ’12 and was waiting for the two to appear when Gottfried arrived and told her that O’Brien was running late. “I should have been suspicious,” said McKenzie. “Danny and I were playing when John suddenly walked onto the court dressed really nicely in a sport coat. He came up to me, got down on one knee, presented me with a squash ball with ‘PROM?’ written on it and asked me if I wanted to go with him. It was so cute and was a really great surprise,” said McKenzie. O’Brien said, “Tafarii and I have been friends and avid squash partners for a while. So when I decided that I wanted to go to prom with her, I knew prom and squash would make a great combination. After she accepted, I changed into my athletic attire and then received my weekly squash whooping.” Colton Dempsey ’12 created a large-scale replica of a Hershey’s Kiss out of tinfoil and poster boards as part of an elaborate plan to ask Gabbie Cirelli ’12 to prom. Dempsey hid inside the Kiss in Paresky Commons, waiting for Cirelli to arrive. When she pulled out the strip of white tissue paper on top of the Kiss, Dempsey popped out, danced around and asked her to prom. Cirelli said that when a friend asked her to come to Paresky Commons during conference period, she did not expect to be asked to prom, especially since it was so early in the term. She said, “Hershey’s Kisses are kind of an inside joke that [Dempsey and I] have, because he asked me to Blue and Silver by dumping tons of Hershey’s Kisses in my bag. I guess it was kind of our theme for the year.” Dempsey said, “I sort of had the aspiration to ask a girl to prom by bursting out of something for a while. That inkling of an idea transformed into reality when I decided to continue along the Hershey’s Kiss vein by asking Gabbie to prom with a giant Kiss after my Blue and Silver stint.” “I have learned that inside jokes are very good tools to use with the ladies. I would recommend the ‘bursting out of’ prom method to any flexible young man comfortable with holding his breath for upwards of five minutes,” added Dempsey. Zoe Roschach ’12 also asked Patrick Naughter ’13 to prom in Paresky Commons. She presented him with a box of pink balloons with pig faces drawn on them and a giant pig-shaped balloon. Naughter said, “I was not-so-cleverly led out of Commons by my good friend Ben [Manuel ’12] who started a conversation with me that I knew was not important enough to have to leave Commons. From then on, I knew what was up, and it was only a matter of minutes before I went back into Commons to see a box of balloons waiting for me.” Roschach said, “I always joke with [Naughter] that I don’t actually like him and that I would never consider going to prom with him unless pigs fly, so I thought [using pig balloons] would be a cool way to ask him to prom and stand out a little more than the typical text or Facebook prom invite.” Dan Krichmar ’12 asked Krissy Pelley ’13 by gathering Andover’s Drumline to deliver his invitation. The drummers marched into Paresky Commons with the letters taped to the sides of their drums, spelling out “PROM?” “As the drummers came into Commons, I still wasn’t sure who the lucky kid could be. Then Dan pointed a drum stick at me, and, well, I guess I’m going to prom!” said Pelley. Calvin Aubrey ’12 and Ben Manuel ’12 jointly asked Susanna Rademacher ’13 and Jordan Johnson ’13, respectively, by hanging up three banners on trees that read, “Susanna,” “Jordan” and “Prom?” outside the Andover Boathouse. Manuel said, “I was watching crew highlights on YouTube, and I just came across the idea of doing something with a bridge. The original plan was to hang the banners across the Merrimack Bridge so [Rademacher and Johnson] would see them when they rowed past, but we found out that would be hard to do, so we just decided to [hang them] on the boathouse.” According to Manuel, the plan was for Rademacher and Johnson to see the banners as their bus pulled up to the boathouse, but because of a problem with the bus, they came to the boathouse through a different entrance. Their teammates ended up telling them about the signs. Kell Yang-Sammataro ’12 also decided to ask Camerin Stoldt ’12 to prom through a large public message. He scrawled “CAM, PROM?” in chalk on the pavement at the intersection between Main Street and Salem Street. According to Yang-Sammataro, he and David Russell ’12, both day students, managed to draw the sign early in the morning. Stoldt said, “I was very surprised when I saw it in the morning. I read it, wondering who it was, and it took me awhile to figure out that it was for me.” “I really liked it and whenever I crossed Main Street [that day], I smiled,” she added. Derek Farquhar ’12 asked Jing Qu ’13 to prom by taping up cut-out lettering that spelled out “JING PROM?” on the windows of Gelb Science Center. The bright lights from inside Gelb illuminated his message. “It was larger than life. It was really cool when the spotlight was turned on.” said Qu. “It must have taken a really long time to cut out all those letters.” Nikhil Dixit ’12 asked Rachel Andresen ’13 to prom by spelling out “PROM?” on the lawn of Andresen’s home in Andover. “I was inspired by the philosophy of Jon Bakken ’12, who said that you only ask a girl to prom once so go big or go home,” said Dixit. “My mom called me to pick me up and go get sushi with her, but they she said that she left her wallet at home, so I suspected something. When I saw the sign on my lawn I was really surprised. I didn’t think that my mom would be in on the plan,” said Andresen. Asia Bradlee ’12 also planned an innovative invitation for Charlie Budney ’12 by sending him a pizza from Domino’s with “PROM?” spelled out with pepperoni. “I surprised him with it by delivering it to his dorm. Luckily he said yes! We’re good friends and I’m sure prom will be a lot of fun,” said Bradlee.