From MORTARBOARDS to Matrimony

In rooms across campus, seniors are trying on their caps and gowns as they prepare to enter the real world of financial independence.

But some Harvard students, who are getting ready for a new type of dependence, are trying on something slightly different--wedding gowns.

For at least three Harvard couples, springtime means love is in the air.

It's been much sweeter the second time around for Michael D. Simson '95 and Veronica Flood '95. The Currier House couple, who will graduate tomorrow and marry on July 8, first dated as first-years after they met through their Weld proctor group.

"Freshman year, we were both at different times involved with other people," Simson recalls. "I think I wanted to keep dating her, but I didn't."

Flood protests: "You're the one who broke up with me, just for the record."

Regardless of the details of the end of that first relationship, Simson asked Flood out again on November 20, 1992. Last fall, he proposed to her--on one knee--at Weld on the second anniversary of that second first date.

They will be married by The Rev. Preston Hannibal in a small ceremony at Memorial Church, with a reception following at the Faculty Club.

"It's going to be a nice typical Harvard wedding," Flood says with a smile.

The couple will live in Boston next year, while Simson attends Harvard Medical School and Flood goes to medical school at Tufts. That arrangement was decided long before Simson proposed in November.

"We had the complete same list of medical schools," Simson says. "Our goal was to go to medical school at least in the same city."

"It's sort of in the back of your mind," says Flood. "You always think, `What if I were to get married to this person I'm going out with?'"

Both Simson and Flood say their families have reacted to the marriage with excitement and support--as well as help in furnishing their first apartment.

"My mom is fond of telling me she is the reason we got together. She came up sophomore year right before we started dating, and she invited [him] to dinner," Flood says. "She's liked him ever since. My dad likes him better than he likes me."

Simson's parents were also married right after college. He says they were not at all surprised to learn he planned to marry Flood.