For the Love of Pi: JCSU Professor Celebrates Anniversary on Pi Day

Dr Fleming and His Wife Pi Day Story

Charlotte, N.C./March 14, 2023 – Pi Day is celebrated widely each year on March 14 recognize the mathematical constant that pops up frequently in mathematics and physics.

But for one Johnson C. Smith University professor, the day holds a secondary special meaning.

“I’m a giant nerd, and my wife and I wanted to make sure I never forgot my anniversary, so we were married on March 14 at 1:59 p.m.,” said Dr. Thomas Fleming, physicist and adjunct professor of Natural Sciences.

Fleming said he and his wife, an accountant, got married at the top of the Las Vegas Stratosphere observation deck, which overlooks the Vegas strip, in 2009. 

Dr. Fleming with his pie dish

The ceremony was small, but memorable thanks to not only the company, but the unforgettable date when the two exchanged their “I Dos.”

Fleming said that, each year, he and his wife make a pie on their anniversary to celebrate. He also tends to have some time off, since their anniversary usually falls during JCSU’s Spring Break.

They usually spend part of their anniversary making a pie, which allows them to use a special anniversary gift they made together.

“For one of our anniversaries, we went to a paint-your-own ceramics place and made a commemorative pie dish,” he said. 

When asked why Pi Day was important to him, Fleming explained that he encounters the mathematical constant a lot in his work as a physicist. Physics is a class requirement for students in STEM-related programs at JCSU.

“Physics has a reputation of being hard because there’s math, which a lot of people already find difficulty, but there is also a conceptual barrier,” he said. “You have to think of the world differently. You might have an intuition about something based on a lifetime of observations, but physics makes you challenge those observations.”

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