Age gap romances are always something that gets others talking, whether for good or bad. And recently, a 2016 Princeton University valedictorian has people buzzing over the gossip ever since she got engaged to her former professor, who is 71-years-old.
The Ivy League university’s star student, Cameron Platt, 25, just finished up her master’s degree at the University of Oxford, in England. She also has posted a private post on her Facebook where she talks all about Lee Clark Mitchell, her septuagenarian finance who’ll turn 72 in June.
In her post she described how she met Mitchell in the fall of 2013, five years ago when she took one of his classes during her sophomore year. Mitchell has served as the chair for the English Department at Princeton.
“I was taking his lecture course on Henry James and William Faulkner. Lee was little more than a stranger to me then, but he captivated me with his brilliance, sensitivity, and passion. His lectures changed forever the way that I think,” Platt wrote in her post of April 18th.
Platt described how Mitchell had become a “devoted mentor” to her by the time she was graduating at the top of her class with a degree in English, as well as a certificate in theatre. However, after graduation, she left the United States to pursue a master’s degree in English and US history as a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford.
But during her two years in English, Platt couldn’t forget about the grey-haired professor, frequently thinking about him despite the ocean between them.
“I was surprised to find how much I still thought of Lee — and soon I understood that I felt something for him that I’d not fully acknowledged before,” Platt wrote on Facebook before adding, “At the end of my two years in Oxford, after much reflection, and with encouragement from my wonderful friends, I resolved to shoot my shot.”
Upon her return this past September, the young scholar reached out to Mitchell and asked him out. They went on a date to the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan, where the pair roamed the gallery halls like “shy teens, eager but tentative.”
She said Mitchell, most likely confused by Platt’s attraction to him, spent the majority of their first date trying to establish if it was in fact a date, while they were both “unsure of how to test new boundaries with each other.”
Platt continued, “At last, to our amazement, we broke through. Something then sprouted from a seed that neither of us had known that we’d planted, and we realized that the force of feeling that we’d long had for each other and called by other names (admiration, wonder, devotion, gratitude) held within it the hope and the potential for love.”
Platt, who is 46 years younger than Mitchell, wrote about how she initially kept their relationship “private” for the last half a year, until their engagement after seven months of dating. Then she felt ready to make the public post about her their relationship. Her post has since gathered roughly 300 likes.
Platt acknowledged that her announcement “will come as a surprise to many” as the couple themselves also had concerns about their relationship, given their “different stages of life,” however she said that the more important thing is that she’s deeply in love with Mitchell.
“Eventually it became impossible to deny how fully we feel meant for each other, and neither of us has looked back since,” Platt wrote in her final lines, “Now here we are, more enthralled than ever, wanting no life other than one we make together. Last week, we made it official.”
She shared a photo of the two of them, at an unknown restaurant, smiling over wine and a sparkling diamond engagement ring.
Mitchell is currently on an academic sabbatical from Princeton – something the school has said was requested long before his relationship with Platt came out.
Ben Chang, a university spokesman, also added that the school doesn’t believe it’s appropriate “to comment on personal relationships that take place outside of the University.”
As for the students of Princeton, most didn’t seem fazed by the pairing.
One student told The Post, “They’re adults, they can do what they want.”
“I’m not surprised, it’s happened before,” Another student confessed.
Still, there were those who had reservations about the relationship, despite Platt saying the relationship started after graduation.
“That kind of age disparity is probably something I’d categorize as wrong,” a student said.
What do you think of the age gap romance?