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.”

Related Articles

Sheriff McFadden at Convocation 2024
The Class of 2024, donned in their ceremonial commencement robes, took one of their final walks from Biddle Hall to the Jane M. Smith Memorial Church for the annual Founders’ Day Convocation. This year celebrates the 157th anniversary of JCSU’s founding on April 7, 1867. Surrounded by faculty, staff, alumni and friends, the soon-to-be graduates listened attentively to JCSU alumnus Garry L. McFadden ’81, the sheriff for Mecklenburg County, as he recounted some of the successes from his career.
View Content
Celebrating National TRiO Day
Johnson C. Smith University students, like students around the country, benefit from the federal TRiO Student Support Services Program. The program provides various services for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including low-income students and students with disabilities, as well as first-generation college students. Celebrate National TRiO Day by reading about some of our students who benefit from this federally funded service.
View Content
Harvey Gantt speaks during 2024 MLK Breakfast
Many Golden Bulls started their Thursday morning with soulful songs, a warm plate of food and wise words from Civil Rights icon, Harvey Gantt, during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast. The event was moderated by Dr. Jordan Brooks, associate vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Title IX Coordinator. The event kicked off with greetings from Dr. Valerie Kinloch ’96, president of JCSU.
View Content