A Leap Year birthday

Author: Carol C. Bradley

Bill Kempf, associate director of regional developement, whose birthday is on Feb

A lot of people wouldn’t want their child to be born on a Leap Day, says Bill Kempf ’94, associate director of regional development.

Kempf is one of four University employees who celebrate a Feb. 29 birthday (the odds are 1 in 1,500). But Kempf gets a lot of mileage out of his birthday, he says. In the off years, he celebrates both Feb. 28 and March 1—maybe even the whole week.

The year he turned four and celebrated his first “real” birthday he had four different birthday cakes, he remembers. His older siblings each wanted the chance to celebrate with him, but it’s something he’s never lived down, he says.

The year he turned 21, he wasn’t allowed into the Linebacker on the night of Feb. 28, “But I made up for it later,” he says. “Some states won’t put Feb. 29 on a driver’s license. When I started work at Notre Dame I got a call to make sure it was the right date.”

Kempf (a proud member of the Irish Guard who keeps his kilt on his office wall) only celebrated one “real” birthday on campus. “But my parents came from Minnesota and took me to Chicago, and my roommates had a party for a friend coming back from the London Program. So I was jilted on my only real birthday on campus.”

Overall, it’s been a good experience, Kempf says. “When people hear I’m a Leap Year baby, they say, ‘Oh, that explains everything.’”

Other coverage: Why is there a Leap Day every fourth year? It all starts with Easter